Green Cars to Shine at Melbourne Motor Show

By dancurranjr On February 27th, 2009

melbourne-auto-motor-showGM Holden will unveil a new small car and Toyota will display its next generation hybrid Camry in an unprecedented focus on green technology at the opening of the Melbourne motor show tomorrow.

Holden, which drew record crowds to Sydney with a reborn Monaro a decade ago, will stand its tradition of motorshow surprises on its head with a frugal four-cylinder instead of the fire-breathing V8s of the past.

The Holden small car will be a pointer to the model that will be made in Adelaide from 2010 and show off fuel saving technology such as direct petrol injection. As work on the final shape of the car gets into full swing at Holden the show car will be an important test of buyer reaction.

Holden’s entire stand will have an environmental focus, with ethanol and LPG versions of the Commodore as well as a V8 with cylinder shutdown technology, which has just gone on sale.

Both Holden and Toyota are under pressure to show that they are making progress after accepting money under the Rudd Government’s car plan to reinvent the local industry.

Earlier this week in Melbourne, Toyota rolled out three alternative power concepts to feature on its stand including the next generation Prius and the Camry Hybrid due be built at its Altona plant from next year.

Ford, which has yet to receive money under the plan, has already announced it will assemble a small car in Melbourne from 2011.

Its stand will feature an imported small car that will boast the best fuel efficiency available in Australia when it goes on sale later this year, as well as a freshened up version of its locally built Territory SUV.

The Melbourne motor show will be the only event of its kind in Australia this year after the cancellation of the usual capital city events due to the global slowdown. Its next motor show will now be in 2011 after the organisers agreed to join forces with the Sydney motor show to host events on alternate years.

The green theme will continue throughout the exhibition halls with hybrid and electric cars. The battery powered Mitsubishi iMiev, a small city runabout, is currently under evaluation for sale in Australia while Subaru’s plug-in Stella, which goes on sale in Japan this year, will both be centre stage.

Honda will have show its new Insight petrol-electric car fresh from its unveiling last month in Detroit. Touted as the most affordable hybrid on the market, it should be on sale here by next year as competition for Toyota’s next generation Prius, which arrives mid-year.

SOURCE: The Australian

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