General Motors' down under crew at Holden have been busy of late creating the Zeta platform that underpins most of the company's lineup of coming rear wheel drive cars. Holden has its own tuning division known as Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) that produces the really high performance variants of the Holden vehicles. HSV is facing the same realities as high performance groups like Mercedes' AMG and Audi's Quattro GmbH. They know that they will have start migrating to more efficient powertrains, and GM has a variety of elements in the parts bin to work with. Currently, HSV uses the classic small-block V8 as the heart of their vehicles but they are now looking at alternatives, with an eye toward attracting younger buyers.

With greater efficiency in mind, HSV is considering some of the diesel and hybrid technologies that GM has now or will have in the next couple of years. One obvious choice would be the new Duramax 4.5L diesel V8 that GM will launch in its light duty trucks next year. The engine was specifically designed to fit with the packaging envelope of the small-block meaning it will fit into the Zeta vehicles. At the Chicago Auto Show, GM showed the Denali XT concept which was a 4 door pickup truck built on the Zeta platform using the Two-Mode hybrid system. Other possibilities are the upcoming 2nd generation mild hybrid system set to debut in 2010 and the 2.9L diesel V6 that will debut in Europe next year. GM already has the direct injected and turbocharged 2.0L EcoTec in several vehicles as well as the direct injected 3.6L V6. Plenty of options abound for performance with drastically reduced emissions and fuel consumption. It will be interesting to watch what direction, HSV, AMG and others take in the coming years.

[Source: Drive.com.au]

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