GM Holden Confirms Diesel Commodore Within 18 Months

By Chris Haak


According to Australian website GoAuto, GM’s Holden subsidiary in Australia is expected to offer the same 2.9 liter V6 turbodiesel (pictured) that GM will also offer in the Cadillac CTS in Europe (and possibly/likely in the US as well) in its VE platform vehicles. Among others, these include the Commodore, which is the vehicle that became the Pontiac G8 in the US.

Of course, since GM North America needs to improve fleet fuel economy, and because the G8 is built in Australia alongside the Commodore, it seems like a reasonable assumption that the G8 may eventually offer the same engine as an option. The V6 diesel’s output is approximately 250 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.

The same article said that it expects the South African-built (and Australia-sold) Hummer H3 to offer the same engine at some point.

Even more interesting would be whether GM took a play from Audi’s playbook and fitted the upcoming 4.5 liter Duramax V8 turbodiesel into a high-performance HSV variant of the Commodore or G8. This “Baby Duramax” is intended for light duty trucks and SUV such as the Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon and half ton pickups, and is designed to fit into the space occupied by a small block Chevy V8. Imagine this engine, which will produce “at least” 310 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque in a sporty car!

I’m all for consumer choice and fuel-saving technology, so I hope to see more powertrain diversity from GM and others in the coming years. High economy/high performance diesels sound like a great combination.

For more on upcoming diesel offerings, click here.

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Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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  1. on a diesel-related topic, I spotted this editorial from Diesel Power magazine blog about
    10 predictions about diesel like Diesel sports car, diesel premium engine and diesel powered car on the cover of Hot Rod magazine.

    I wish for a Pontiac G8 diesel (and Chrysler, bring us a 300 diesel here, you sold one in Europe since the beginning) we could have our cake and eating it too, lots of MPG (or the minimun of liters/100 km if you use the metric system) with a nice big car.

  2. The more I learned about diesel, the more I loved it. I think a lot of Americans are going to feel the same way. Diesels are definitely the way to go until usable electric vehciles show up.

  3. “High economy/high performance diesels sound like a great combination.”

    I would rephrase that to ‘adequate economy / high performance’

    An even better combination would ‘High economy / adequate performance’
    How about putting a small turbo diesel 4 cylinder in a malibu sized or smaller and getting 50mpg tomorrow!
    then, improvements could be made to get it to 60,70 mpg within 5 years…

    until automakers (and consumers) get away from horse power (or torque) wars (and ridiculously useless performance) it’s just a matter of picking your poison…

  4. I will gladly trade high MPG for average performance. All day long. I’ll take a 120 hp Malibu that gets 60 mpg. Right now.

  5. I don’t think any drivetrain combination (even a diesel hybrid, which doesn’t exist in North America and would be prohibitively expensive) could get the current 2008 Malibu up to 60 mpg. 40 mpg maybe with a ~2 liter turbodiesel and six speed automatic. The 60 mpg cars will be smaller, lighter, and less powerful.

    But you guys are right; everything is a tradeoff and you understand that unlike many people. I hear people saying all the time that CAFE is good because they want 40 mpg full size SUVs that go 0-60 in 6 seconds. The laws of physics and economics prevent that. However, if people are willing to accept less performance and space, fuel economy improvements should be relatively easy to see.

  6. I’ll see your sacrifice of horsepower for economy and raise you an even greater sacrifice of horsepower:

    I’ll take a 90 HP Malibu diesel engine with a six-speed automatic. That ought to be good for at least 50 mpg.

    Or, I’ll take a 60 HP Honda Fit with a six-speed automatic. That’s got to be good for at least 56 mpg, right?

  7. Holden have been umming and ahhing about this VM motori sourced engine for a while just as Ford Oz have been playing with the 2.7L TDi that Ford codeveloped with Peugeot and is now lying under bonnets as diverse as Jaguar, Land Rover and Peugeot. Both are for their large RWD platforms so it is fair and reasonable given the Oz involvement in the next RWD large car platforms for GM and Ford that US consumers can expect to see some diesel engines in the near-ish future. But there are questions still to be answered…
    1) will US consumers accept large cars with small capacity diesels?
    2) will the US EPA accept the economy improvements whilst trading off the known problems with diesel engines such as the higher production of ultra fine particles and nitrous compounds (over gas engines) and the potential human health issues these are known to contribute to? Especially given the litigeous nature of the US and other western nations….

    But I still love my TDi.

  8. I would like to buy a Chevrolet Malibu with a diesel hybrid. That’s got to be good for at least 60 mpg. If VW can get a Golf with a diesel hybrid to get 70 mpg, then a Malibu ought to be able to get 60.

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