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For the first time in many years, the engineers at Holden, GM's Down Under division, have cut the power of a V8 engine in the big Commodore sedan. The 6.0L V8 automatic transmission combination in the Commodore is now equipped with Active Fuel Management, GM's terminology for cylinder deactivation. The system allows four cylinders to be shut off at light load conditions. In the Commodore (which is sold in North America as the Pontiac G8) the power drops from 362 hp to 349 hp while combined fuel

Australia's Holden, a unit from General Motors, has announced a new badge for all vehicles that it equips with some sort of alternative fuel or gas-saving technology: ecoline. Holden faces a bit of an uphill climb when it comes to environmentally-friendly technology, as the marque is best known for its large, rear-wheel drive, V8-powered coupes, sedans and utes. This new ecoline badge is meant to soften that image somewhat. Unfortunately, the ecoline badge won't mean much until 2012 or so when h

General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz was bitten by the blogging bug again yesterday and uploaded a post to the company's FastLane Blog. Despite his hectic schedule the Chairman got some seat time in a pair of new GM products and wanted the rest of us to know he was impressed.

Sure, it's possible to argue about the long-term benefits of ethanol, but GM's announcement that their new 3.9L V6 engine will be a flexible fuel engine is the less exciting of the two bits of news. The second announcement, that the 3.9L V6 will have cylinder deactivation, is really a good idea that is hard to argue with. This is the introduction of cylinder deactivation, called Active Fuel Management (AFM) by GM, in V6 engines. It has been available in V8s for three years.

General Motors announced that it will be introducing 19 -- yes, 19 -- new engines and powertrains for the 2007 model year. The powerplants span the gamut of technologies available today and include hybrids, traditional gasoline-powered engines, ethanol powerplants and everything in between. The claim to fame for every last one is better fuel economy, reduced emissions and more choice, the automaker says.