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Holden MY10 SIDI Technology: First Drive

By Jay Williams - 09/September/2009

Holden Calais V-Series Sportwagon
3.6-litre SIDI V6 Calais V-Series Sportwagon

Holden Berlina
3.0-litre SIDI V6 Berlina sedan

3.0-litre SIDI V6 Engine
 3.0-litre SIDI V6 Engine

Omega Sportwagon
3.0-litre SIDI Omega Sportwagon

SV6 Ute
3.6L SIDI SV6 Ute

3.0-litre SIDI Engine
3.0-litre SIDI Engine

At a recent press day Holden showcased the latest evolution of their V6 range.

Dubbed, Spark Ignition Direct Injection or SIDI, Holden's latest technology promises better fuel economy than any current V6 in its class and, surprisingly, even some 4-cylinder engines.

This state-of-the-art technology features multi-point fuel injectors for direct injection into the combustion chamber.

While conventional port-injected engines inject fuel upstream of the intake valve into the intake port, this fuel and air mixture enters the combustion chamber when the intake valve opens.

On direct-injection V6 engines, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber during the intake stroke, at which time only air flows through the intake system and into the combustion chamber when the intake valve opens.

During the subsequent compression stroke, the fuel and air mixture, now in the combustion chamber, are ignited conventionally by the spark plug. As the fuel vaporises in the cylinder, the air and fuel mixture is now cooler compared to previous conventional systems.

This enables the use of a higher compression ratio in the combustion chamber, which improves engine performance and efficiency. Less fuel is needed to produce the same power, especially at normal cruising speeds, compared with conventional port-injection combustion systems.

Holden claims fuel economy:

3.0-litre SIDI Omega Sportwagon (auto) - 9.3l/100km, 13% improvement over the previous model.

3.0-litre SIDI V6 Berlina sedan (auto) - 9.3l/100km, 12% improvement over the previous model.

 3.6-litre SIDI V6 Calais V-Series Sportwagon (auto) - 10.3l/100km, 9% improvement over the previous model and fuel

3.6-litre SV6 Ute (Manual) - 10.2l/100km, 11% improvement over the previous model.

Even though Holden has managed to reduce fuel consumption the engine range receives a significant boost in power. 

Power output:

3.0 litre SIDI V6 Omega and Berlina sedan and Sportwagon increase from 175kW to 190kW

 3.6L SIDI SV6, Calais, Calais V-Series range increases from 195kW to 210kW.

Changes to the MY10 Commodore are mostly fuel efficiency, improved driveability and a couple of new ‘hero’ colours 'Poison Ivy' and 'Wild Fire'.

The same body shape as previous models continues. The interior in also unchanged, with mostly black plastics and dark upholstery. 

The most obvious change to Holdens V6 range is the new SIDI V6 engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Holden has also introduced lower rolling resistance tyres from Bridgestone on models with 16" and 17" wheels - Omega, Berlina and Calais sedan and Sportwagon models and Statesmen, which also increase fuel efficiency by reducing friction.

Other features include:

Reduced idle speed - the SIDI V6 is tuned at 550rpm.

High efficiency alternator - smaller, lighter and more efficient.

Deceleration fuel cut - when decelerating or coasting downhill, fuel supply to the engine is seamlessly cut and at certain speeds seamlessly reinstated. 

Turbine damper - the turbine damper smooths out subtle instabilities, allowing the engine to operate in Low rpm, high torque range.

The two day launch began in Yuroke, Victoria covering around 300km and concluded in Albury, New South Wales. The task was to drive the Omega Sportwagon, Calais V-Series Sportwagon, Berlina Sedan and SV6 Ute (all featuring the new SIDI technology) and compare Holdens "claimed" fuel consumption in real world testing.

And I must say the numbers were impressive, even though it was country driving.

The drive was divided into four legs, changing over cars at each checkpoint. Each car was assigined a Holden representative to navigate, record fuel consumption, distance traveled and average speed.

Fuel economy was the key aspect of the drive, the 3.6-litre engine in the Calais V-Series Sportwagon recorded 10l/100km, 0.3l/100km less than Holden claims.

But the standout of the day went to the 3.0-litre Omega Sportwagon which recorded 8.6l/100km, 0.7l/100km less than Holden claims.

These figures may sound impressive but some of the other journalists took the challange more seriously and recorded even better results. Which is impressive taking into consideration that the new engines have an increased power output and, not only that, Holden has also managed to reduce CO2 emissions.

Using the Federal Government's Green Vehicle Guide, the Omega, Berlina sedan and Sportwagon and Calais sedan models achieve a 5.5 Greenhouse Rating and four stars.

Official CO2 Emissions:

3.0-litre Omega and Berlina sedan and Sportwagon auto - 221g/km, 12% improvement

3.6-litre Calais sedan 236g/km, 11% improvement

Marketing Director, Phillip Brook, Said "that the Omega is 1.2L/100km more fuel efficient and emits 30 grams a kilometre less CO2 compared to the base model Ford Falcon XT automatic."

With the type of technological advancements Holden has made with its new 3.0-litre and 3.6-litre SIDI engines the future is looking bright for them and the environment.

We look forward to putting the new engines and drive train through their paces in the near future.

Related Links:
Holden Calais V Sportwagon (Road Test)
Holden Sportwagon SS V (Road Test)
Holden VE Ute: SS vs SV6 (Road Test)
- Holden Sportwagon (Road Test)
Holden VE Ute (First Drive)
Holden Captiva Diesel (Road Test)
Holden Astra Diesel (Road Test)
Holden 4-cylinder Small Car (2010)
Holden Ethanol E85 Commodore (2010)
Holden AFM V8 + EcoLine (2009)
Holden Commodore Diesel (2009)
Holden Commodore Hybrid (2010)
Holden Coupe 60 Concept (2008)
Holden Coupe 60 Concept (2008)

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