Holden has provided detail of five new models coming out over the next six months.
A seven-seater large crossover out of America and aimed at the Toyota Highlander and just-landed Mazda CX-9 is among five new Holden models just unveiled overnight, all set for New Zealand introduction.
Holden New Zealand is being guarded about saying too much about its plans for the vehicles, though it indicated the Acadia sports utility will be the last to roll-out, with introduction in early 2018.
Holden Australia, on the other hand, has no such reluctance to cite launch dates.
It says it is planning to effectively roll out a new model every 30 days from this point; one in October, two in November, another in January and then Acadia.
Traditionally, the NZ arm usually starts its deliveries around four weeks after the parent’s introductions, though occasionally some take longer.
The Acadia is going to be of high interest. Essentially Holden seems set to uptake a model that sells with GMC branding in North America, but with a change of badge and perhaps some minor styling revisions.
The GMC Acadia runs with two petrol choices, a 144kW/255Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder and a 231kW/367Nm 3.6-litre V6.
Though GMC is essentially a brand that corrals robust and workhorse fare, the Acadia is nonetheless potentially more road-focused than the Trailblazer, the upcoming version of what has been called the Colorado Seven.
“I am excited to confirm Holden New Zealand will be following a similar new model launch strategy,” Edward Finn, spokesman for Auckland-based Holden New Zealand, said after the models’ unveiling in Melbourne last night.
“More information about these future products, as well as anticipated arrival time into New Zealand, will be released later in Q4.”
Holden Australia’s event displayed the American market Acadia, which has only been on sale Stateside for a few months, having been first unveiled at the start of the year.
Acadia’s introduction is not wholly out of left field; it was cited as a potential once Holden announced earlier this year that is was evaluating a sizeable SUV to fill a gaping hole in its lineup.
Holden here will doubtless be keen to pitch in against the Highlander, the dominant performer in what Toyota calls the medium-soft market, and make hay while another arch-rival, Ford, looks relatively weak – it’s already ancient Territory, which ends production next month, will leave New Zealand in mid-2017 and it will lack a replacement until the Edge arrives, at least a year later.
Acadia’s arrival also provides a clearer marketing path for Trailblazer which, being based off the Colorado utility, has always looked less comfortable in its proxy role as a crossover alternate than when viewed as what it really is – a full-blown, rugged off-road tuned wagon of the same ilk as the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Isuzu MU-X, Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner.
In addition to taking the wraps off the Acadia, Holden also showed off facelifts for the Barina compact hatch and Trax small crossover that will be with us soon.
It also displayed the Trailblazer, which will here in November (and whose styling was inadvertently revealed in an ANCAP crash test announcement a week ago) and the Astra, also expected to be here by year-end, again from Opel in Europe.
It also announced intention to add another all-new ‘global SUV’ that is yet-to-be revealed, but is assumed to be the replacement for the current Captiva, which is in its 12th year of manufacture.
Acadia seems set to position in front four-cylinder and V6 four-wheel-drive formats, all with a six-speed transmission.
Although Holden is keeping pricing and specification thoughts to itself, it is very probable that the CX-9 and Highlander will be high their thoughts, given that both are of the same size and have petrol engines.
The Mazda runs a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that makes 170kW and 420Nm while the Toyota restricts to a 3.5-litre V6 making 201kW and 337Nm. Highlander starts at $59,990 and tops at $82,490. Mazda was expected to announce CX-9 prices at its media launch today, but has previously indicated hope of placing its three derivatives in $55,000 to $65,000 zone.
At 4917mm long and 1915mm wide, Acadia is slightly longer and about as wide as the Highlander (4865mm/1925mm) but shorter, by 78mm, than the CX-9.
Standard specification for Acadia in the US includes stop/start, tri-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, a WiFi hotspot, reversing camera, 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and daytime-running lamps. The entry model has 17-inch alloy wheels; the six-cylinders run on 18s and larger.
Trax and Barina adopt mid-cycle changes that are mainly cosmetic; new headlamps being the key exterior differences plus refreshed interiors, with specification enhancements.
Trax takes a new instrument cluster, with dials replacing the current LCD cluster, and it uptakes the new 7.0-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Holden suggests it’ll be in Australia in January. Does that mean February-March for NZ?
A November entry for our neighbour, Barina has more rectangular headlights, LED running lights and the latest ‘two port’ grille design seen on the Spark. It seems likely to step up to keyless entry and push-button start, heated seats, an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat and a heated steering wheel. No change under the bonnet, where regular Barina models are powered by a carryover 1.8-litre petrol engine while the RS model retains its 1.4-litre turbo.