Hot on the heels of word that Holden Special Vehicles was looking at alternative drivetrains for future high performance models for the GM Australian lineup comes news that Holden will introduce a mainstream hybrid within two years. Nick Reilly, GM President Asia-Pacific was in Australia recently for an annual review at Holden and announced that the brand that developed the Zeta platform would introduce a gas-electric hybrid within two years. According to Reilly, the big Commodore sedan would likely be the first to go hybrid. Actually selling hybrids in Australia could prove problematic though since buyers there have generally shown little willingness to pay the extra cost. Reilly is encouraging the Australian federal government to introduce tax breaks to eliminate some of the financial sting for consumers.

Of particular interest to Americans is that the Commodore is now available in here as the Pontiac G8 and the new Camaro that is debuting this summer is also based on the same architecture. If a hybrid Commodore appears, it is almost a certainty to show up in at least the G8 and possibly the Camaro soon after. GM already showed a two-mode hybrid equipped concept pickup at the Chicago Auto Show called the GMC Denali XT which is built on the same platform. At the debut of the two-mode Tahoe last year, GM officials described a third smaller rear wheel drive passenger car variant of the system which could make its debut in the Commodore. The next generation of GM's mild hybrid is also possible and GM explicitly said that system could be used in rear wheel drive applications.

We contacted GM's US hybrid spokesman Brian Corbett for comment on which system might be used. Corbett declined comment on any unannounced products.

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

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