Holden's dual-fuel V6 is being offered in the new VE-series Omega, Berlina and select Commodores. The 3.6L Alloytec powerplant can switch seamlessly between LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and gasoline without any serious difference in power. Furthermore, the setup is said to offer an operating range of 1100km (683 miles) or better (assuming both tanks are full at the beginning of a journey).

The dual-fuel V6 produces 235 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque in LPG mode and 245 hp/243 lb-ft when it's running on gasoline. In terms of fuel economy, the Omega and Berlina each get 16 liters/100 km (14.7mpg) in LPG mode and 11.1 liters/100 km (21 mpg) running on gasoline. LPG burns cleaner and costs around half as much gasoline in Australia, which makes it a very attractive alternative fuel on the continent.

In Holden's dual fuel sedans, the 73-liter LPG tank is trunk-mounted (based on the photos, it looks as if a fairly good chunk if space is sacrificed), while the gasoline tank lives in its normal spot. The Dual-fuel option costs $3,900 AUD, which is partially offset by a government rebate of $2,000 AUD.

According to Wikipedia, LPG and/or dual-fuel vehicles are offered by Australia's major auto manufacturers. If you're an Aussie reader who drives one of these types of cars, we'd love to hear your opinions in the comments.

(Press release, photos after the jump)

[Source: GM Holden]


HOLDEN'S DUAL-FUEL SYSTEM
Click images to enlarge



PRESS RELEASE:
Holden's Dual-Fuel V6 Engine Delivers More Range And Flexibility

Holden's efficient dual-fuel Alloytec V6 engine is now available in VE Omega, Berlina and Commodore V-Series special edition models.

The 3.6-litre engine, built at Holden's Port Melbourne Global V6 plant, runs on both petrol and LPG and delivers seamless transition from petrol to LPG while driving, with only a small power difference.

VE LPG powered sedans produce peak power of 175 kW @ 6000 rpm (petrol 180 kW @ 6000 rpm) and peak torque is 325 Nm @ 2600 rpm (petrol 330 Nm @ 2600 rpm).

Holden Executive Director, Engineering, Tony Hyde, said the dual-fuel engine option gave customers an economical choice to petrol, without large sacrifices in performance.

He said there was widespread interest in LPG options given the fluctuating price of petrol.

"Dual-fuel engines provide a tremendous range and can significantly reduce running costs," Mr Hyde said.

"A dual-fuel VE sedan range can be more than 1100km and if customers travel around 30,000kms annually, running on LPG can save more than $1000 year depending on fuel prices and driving style.

" The option of two tanks also offers the flexibility to run on LPG and fill up with petrol when the driver chooses – or to run on petrol should LPG be unavailable."

Mr Hyde said the Federal Government's $2000 LPG rebate was also a strong incentive for private customers to explore the $3900 dual-fuel option.

Private purchasers of Holden's dual-fuel engine are eligible for the $2000 rebate because fitting is done post vehicle production at HSVi.

LPG fuel economy on dual-fuel Omega and Berlina models is 16.0 litres per 100km and petrol is 11.7 litres per 100km. The increased petrol outcome in dual-fuel engine models (VE petrol only Omega and Berlina models return 10.9 litres per 100km) is due to the weight of the gas cylinder (just under100kg).

Holden's LPG unit is an advanced Sequential Vapour Gas Injection (SVGI) system, which injects gas directly into the engine, mimicking the petrol injection sequence.

It has automatic changeover to LPG is via seamless cylinder-by-cylinder activation and provides an automatic change back to petrol at low LPG levels.

In VE sedans, a cylindrical gas tank is located in the boot and usable LPG tank volume is 73 litres. The 73 litre petrol tank remains unchanged.

Dual-fuel models are c overed by Holden's three-year/100,000km new vehicle warranty and are fully tested for safety and crash worthiness. A ll vehicle safety systems (inc Electronic Stability Program®) are retained.

There is no difference to service intervals and little difference to service costs, with an LPG vapour filter requiring replacement every 15,000 kms, and a liquid filter every 120,000 kms.

Holden's dual-fuel Alloytec V6 engine is available on the following vehicles:

VE Commodore Omega
VE Commodore V-Series
VE Berlina
VZ Commodore Executive Wagon
VZ Commodore Acclaim Wagon
VZ Commodore Ute
VE dual-fuel models have begun production and can be ordered immediately.

Dual-fuel Alloytec V6 engine option price: $3900
Federal Government rebate of $2000 applies.

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