It's winter time in the land down under, and General Motors has arrived at the 2011 Melbourne Motor Show with a handful of new Holden models. Australians will soon see the 2012 Holden Colorado, 2012 Barina and 2011 Cruze Hatch arriving on dealer lots.
The Australian Colorado gets buff body lines and stylish LED running lamps in the bumper (at least on premium trims). Holden's Sonic, known in Oz as the Barina, is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (we get 1.4 or 1.8-liter engines in the States), which can be paired with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Finally, the 2011 Holden Cruze Hatch is the five-door we would love to see arrive stateside wearing a Bowtie.
The Holden Cruze Hatch has already hit UK and Korean showrooms in its Chevrolet guise. The diesel-powered Holden Colorado goes on sale next year. Expect the Barina to arrive towards the end of 2011.
Dive into all three Holden vehicles by clicking past the jump for the full press release on each. Also, be sure to look through the galleries below.
Another chapter in Holden's product renaissance is set to begin with the Australian debut of the stylish all-new Barina hatchback at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.
The new generation model, on sale in October, will enhance the appeal of Holden's small car range which now includes the highly-acclaimed Australian-built Cruze sedan and hatch and the baby of the Holden family, Barina Spark.
Barina, which has already been launched successfully in Europe and the United States by Holden's sister brand Chevrolet, brings fresh new styling and a high level of standard safety features to the sub-compact segment.
Its striking interior and exterior design was led by Holden's Ondrej Koromhaz while on assignment at General Motors' South Korea design centre and takes familiar design cues from its Barina Spark and Cruze siblings.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said the Australian debut of the new-generation Barina marked a new chapter in the proud 26-year history of the popular light car.
"The introduction of this new model shows Barina has really grown up. This is a world-class vehicle with leading design and safety credentials. We think it's going to be a real hit in showrooms around the country," Mr Devereux said.
"Importantly, it represents yet another example of our product renaissance which is seeing our entire model line-up refreshed with exciting new vehicles designed to beat other entries, not just compete with them.
"The eye-catching design of the all-new Barina will make it stand out from the crowd and deliver what Australian small car drivers need and want.
"We're excited about Barina's potential and we think it will appeal to an even broader range of customers when it goes on sale in a few months."
Locally-inspired interior and exterior design
Barina boasts a muscular appearance with a wide stance, sculpted body panels and dynamic proportions. Its five door body has a coupe-like profile with aggressive shoulder lines and concealed rear door handles.
Rounded, exposed head and taillights give the front and rear fascia a three-dimensional, sporty appearance with its dynamic proportions carried through the high beltline, sweeping roofline and integrated rear spoiler.
Its compact dimensions conceal a spacious and edgy interior complete with motorcycle-inspired instrument panel and multiple storage pockets.
On the driver's side, the detailed instrument cluster features a large, round analogue tachometer set within an asymmetrical LCD readout alongside an easy-to-read digital speedometer. Ice blue interior illumination and LED backlighting is featured throughout the cabin.
As the leader of the advanced global design work, Koromahz said he was proud to see the all-new Barina make its first appearance in his home country.
"After several years in the making, it's very satisfying to see the finished product ready to hit Aussie roads. I think customers in this country will respond really positively to the new Barina," he said.
"We worked hard to give it an assertive appearance with lots of character that will appeal equally to men and women.
"We also aimed to deliver a really strong road presence with modern, sporty details like exposed headlights and concealed rear door handles.
"Overall, it's pleasing that we've been able to deliver Holden customers such a strong package."
Barina's modern interior design and spacious layout is enhanced by an array of convenience features, including Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB input with iPod connectivity, cruise control and steering wheel audio controls.
With performance to match its good looks, the all-new Barina is equipped with a responsive 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine equipped with a 16-valve cylinder head with dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing. It comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic.
Barina also boasts a high level of standard safety features.
It delivers the active safety benefits of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), incorporating an anti-lock braking system, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and traction control. Occupants are protected by a total of six airbags – dual front, front side impact and full length curtain airbags.
The all-new Barina will be on display alongside a range of Holden vehicles at the Australian International Motor Show at Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 1-10 July.
New model pricing, full specifications and features will be announced closer to launch.
Holden's latest home grown hero, the highly-anticipated Cruze hatch will make its local debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.
Displayed in stunning show form, the Cruze hatch show car premiered at last year's Paris Motor Show and serves as a precursor to the production model which will be built in South Australia.
Designed and crafted by Holden's Port Melbourne design studio, the Cruze hatch will join the successful Series II Cruze sedan line-up, which has rocketed up the sales charts since local production began in March this year.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said the introduction of the stylish Australian-born hatch would bolster the Cruze line-up.
"Cruze has been a stand-out success, from the moment it launched it quickly became one of the country's favourite nameplates," he said.
"We achieved this sales success with only one body style, so we're looking forward to adding this great looking hatch to the range and seeing Cruze go from strength to strength. We think the hatch will hit a sweet spot with buyers looking for great design, versatility and practicality.
"We're very proud of the finished product, our contribution to the global design program and that our Cruze hatch will be rolling off the Elizabeth assembly line and into dealerships later this year.
"Importantly Cruze hatch represents yet another step in the Holden product renaissance, which is giving people more and more reasons to consider the lion badge."
Locally Designed and Built
The Cruze hatch show car has been adapted to reflect Holden's design DNA with an almost coupe like appearance with a low sweeping roofline and rising belt line.
Featuring the same dynamic proportions that have seen the Cruze sedan win favour around the world, the hatch stands out for its short front and rear overhangs and wide stance, helping it appear planted and secure on the road.
Holden designer Martin Love, a key player in the hatch program, said Cruze hatch design had to appeal to a broad range of customers to compete in the booming small car market.
"The customer base for a compact hatch is perhaps the most diverse imaginable," Mr Love said.
"A vehicle in this segment needs to appeal to families through to empty nesters, as well as young, urban professionals."
"When we designed the hatch, we needed it to be eye-catching and youthful yet sophisticated, and still provide practicality, features and comfort families need.
"We wanted to do something sporty and dynamic that would stand out against conventional hatch backs and we're really proud of the result."
The Cruze hatch has already made its sales debut under the Chevrolet banner in several markets including the United Kingdom and Korea.
Meanwhile, Holden is conducting its final pre-launch evaluation of Cruze hatch on Australian public roads and at the company's Proving Ground in Lang Lang, Victoria.
Pricing, full specifications and features of the full Cruze hatch range will be announced closer to launch later this year.
Holden has previewed its all-new Colorado 4x4 workhorse with a tough, Aussie-inspired show truck at the Australian International Motorshow in Melbourne.
The Melbourne show represents the latest step in General Motors' multi-stage international reveal for the new light commercial vehicle which included two separate Colorado designs shown in Bangkok and Buenos Aires.
The stunning five-seat crew-cab, styled and built in Holden's Port Melbourne Design Studio, foreshadows the production version of the next generation model launching in Australia in 2012.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said the new generation Colorado represented Holden's most significant play in the growing light commercial segment.
"Although this is a show vehicle, the fundamental design and proportions are true to form for the production version of the Colorado hitting Holden showrooms next year," Mr Devereux said.
"As a show truck it's designed to whet the appetite for another chapter in the Holden product renaissance – a series of new, world-class vehicles that are making people sit up and take notice of our new generation cars.
"Without doubt the new Colorado will be the biggest and toughest member of the Holden family– equally at home as a workhorse or active lifestyle vehicle.
"And as our centrepiece for the Melbourne Show, it also demonstrates the capability of the Holden Design Studio, which is an industry leader in stunning global show vehicles."
Exterior and interior highlights
Holden applied its proud sports-performance design flair to the Colorado, playing heavily on the vehicle's powerful stance and wide, athletic proportions.
The top-secret project was led by 26-year-old creative designer Ben Last who worked closely with General Motors' Colorado homeroom and design studio in Brazil along with operations in Thailand and US to develop the final Australian show theme.
Last, an industrial design graduate from Monash University, gave the Colorado's Brazilian-developed architecture, a unique Holden appearance through a number of locally styled panels including the front fascia, bonnet, fenders and tailgate.
Working to the brief of 'refined ruggedness', he also introduced a series of machined aluminium details to the vehicle including side steps, bumpers, rear step plates and side mirror attachment arms, as well as striking 20-inch satin-finished wheels fitted with Cooper Zeon LTZ 285/50/R20 tyres.
The Colorado's exterior is further enhanced by unique LED head and tail lamps, custom rear-vision mirrors with integrated turn signals, hard tonneau cover and a brilliant Red Rock metallic paint finish emphasising its strong surfaces.
Holden Design's Colour and Trim team created an equally impressive interior treatment for the Colorado with a rugged yet luxurious theme that combines high level craftsmanship with edgy street presence.
The interior includes strong dark tones such as steel and black teamed with a rich dark blue leather wrapped instrument panel and seats with red stitching.
Of particular note, designers used paper thin lighting known as electro luminescent film to light the Colorado's laser-cut metal circuit graphics on the front and rear door appliqués.
The Colorado show truck is powered by an efficient 2.8L turbo-diesel engine with a broad torque band for cargo and towing capability. It is one of a number of engines that will be offered when it goes on sale in Australia next year.
Engine: 2.8L Turbo Diesel
Transmission: Auto Transmission
Wheels: 20" x 9"
Tyres: Cooper Zeon LTZ 285/50/R20
Body: Crew Cab
Colour: Red Rock
Head lamps: LED
Tail lamps: LED
Seats: Rich Blue supple quality leather with Light Titanium Suede feature and red stitch detail
Headliner: Light Titanium Suede
Steering wheel: Leather wrapped in Very Dark Pewter leather with red stitch detail
Flooring: A technical loop pile carpet in dark steel
Lighting: LED interior lighting with electro luminescent film back-lit door appliqués