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Move over Vectra: It's Epica!

Incoming: GM Daewoo first revealed its Tosca-badged Epica last year.

Holden dealers get excited by the late-2006 release of a new medium sedan - Epica

14 Aug 2006

The Vectra is dead! Not only will Holden change tack with its new mid-sized fighter, replacing the European-sourced Vectra with a Korean-built Daewoo, it will swap the long-standing Vectra nameplate for Epica.

The four-door sedan is called the Tosca in its domestic market - an acronym for "Tomorrow Standard Car" - but a source confirmed to GoAuto that Holden will adopt its European name for the local market.

Although Holden's corporate bodyguards remained tight-lipped about the Epica name, and any launch plans, the car has been previewed by Australian dealers alongside the four-wheel drive Captiva and VE Commodore range, signalling a potential showroom arrival before the end of the year.

The Epica is the next-generation of Daewoo's mid-sized sedan, codenamed V250, and replaces the Magnus, which, coincidentally, was sold in Canada and Latin American markets as the Epica.

The vehicle made its global premiere as the Chevrolet Epica at the 2006 Geneva motor show in March, highlighting the importance of the nameplate, and is likely to be seen for the first time locally at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in late October.

The Epica will be the conclusion of a massive year for Holden and the latest piece of its Daewoo-sourced value puzzle that already includes Barina and Viva and the upcoming Captiva.

The car is unique in the mid-sized segment, where it will fight with the likes of the top-selling Mazda6, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and the latest generation Camry, in that is powered by a transverse-mounted in-line six-cylinder - similar to the Volvo S80 and XC90 - in either a 104kW 2.0-litre or 115kW 2.5-litre configuration.

It is unknown if Holden will offer both versions of the engine, but it is likely to provide a logical model progression between value in a base-model to a fully-loaded flagship.

The engines drive the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic.

Surprisingly, considering it was designed in-house, the exterior styling is neat and contemporary, while the clumsy-looking Magnus was penned by famed Italian stylists Guigaro.

Holden dealers are said to be excited about Epica's potential for them to get back into the growing mid-sized market with a price-fighter that has some substance.

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