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An Italian turbodiesel for VE?

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Holden is making no secret about examining a diesel option for Commodore. The one sticking point, Holden insiders say, is the availability of suitable modern turbodiesel from within GM's 'network'.

"We don't have anything firm on the plate," a Holden spokesperson told CarPoint Confidential. "GM has both small and large capacity diesels available but the missing part of the equation has been in the middle… We’re looking all around the world," he said.

Development is reported progressing apace on new GM V6 and V8 turbodiesels in the USA. Aimed at the next generation of US-market pickups and SUVs, the engines are all-alloy OHC designs with a projected displacement (per cylinder) of around 560cc.

Simple maths will tell you that yields a V8 of approx 4.5-litre and V6 of 3.4. Sounds about right, eh? Maybe, but not so fast… The issue is not only when the engines might become available, but whether they will have the refinement to suit a passenger car.

We'd still like to bet that the GM powertrain engineers are aiming for Euro V compliance and best-practice refinement, but can Holden afford to take the punt?

So where else can the company look? Initial rumours had the VE running around with a five-cylinder 2.4-litre Fiat-sourced powerplant. That seems no longer to be a likely production solution -- not enough oomph in real or marketing terms.

There is another state-of-the-art turbodiesel Italian engine that could fit the bill nicely, however…

Enter turbodiesel specialist VM Motori. Founded in 1947, the company specialises in design and production of diesel engines for both automotive and industrial use (it also has a respected marine division).

Over the years, VM Motori -- which is based just north of Modena (the home of Ferrari) -- has supplied powerplants to Chrysler, Ford, Alfa Romeo, Rover, Land Rover and, wait for it, General Motors.

VM Motori’s latest automotive engine is a 3.0-litre 24-valve DOHC 60-degree V6 -- an ideal size and configuration for the VE platform. Dubbed the RA 630 DOHC, the common-rail engine is Euro V compliant and is available in a range of outputs. Top of the tree is a variable geometry turbo-equipped beauty that pumps out 184kW at 4000rpm and a stonking 500Nm at 1800rpm. Now, we're talking!

To quote the company's website: "Matching refinement with power with ultra low emissions, the 3.0L 24 v has to be the ultimate in diesel engines. This engine is particularly flexible in its design and can be tailored to meet each individual customer's requirements, be it for a low rev, high torque workhorse for a commercial vehicle or a refined, high-speed engine for a luxury car."

Dimensionally there seems little issue with getting the RA 630 to fit. The only sticking point may be weight. At 240kg it's no lightweight -- by way of comparison Mercedes-Benz's 72-degree 3.0 V6 weighs in at 215kg. Holden's 195kW Alloytec V6 is around 175kg and the current L98 6.0-litre V8 fitted to the Commodore is just 4kg more (179kg).

Hmmm... On second thoughts, nothing a decent suspension retune can't fix...

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LOL, when I read the title VM was the first supplier that crossed my mind. How much is 184KW in HP, btw?

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LOL, when I read the title VM was the first supplier that crossed my mind. How much is 184KW in HP, btw?


It is 234.68 HP.

Just for fun guys here is a link to a conversion program which we use at our company to convert different units.


It is a cool and spam free software and is quite comprehensive.

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It is 234.68 HP.



235HP is quite good! I'd like to see this engine on the Euro CTS, STS and SRX until the GM engines are ready.

Edited by ZL-1

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