THIS is a commuter’s dream - a car you can travel more than 1100km in before you have to think about refueling.
It’s one of Holden’s “Dual-Fuel’’ offerings that come with two tanks - one for petrol and another for LPG.
Holden’s efficient dual-fuel Alloytec V6 engine is available on Omega, Berlina and 60th Anniversary sedan models, and the Omega ute.
A big plus is that there is no noticeable difference in performance between the modes.
Running on gas, the V6 produces only slightly less power and torque than petrol.
The figures show that there’s 175kW of power available at 6000 rpm when you have the gas switch flicked on, and 180kW at 6000 rpm when it’s running on unleaded. Maximum torque is 325Nm (gas) and 330Nm (petrol).
Having a total of 146 litres of fuel storage is a huge bonus, particularly for people who do plenty of miles.
Not only do you have a massive cruising range, there are also cash savings of more than $1000 a year by running on LPG (based on 30,000km per annum).
When using petrol, the Holden averages 10.6 litres of fuel for every 100km covered, while on gas it uses 14.2 litres/100km.
As well as having the ability to run on a cheaper fuel, there is also a Federal Government subsidy to tap into.
The Government’s LPG scheme provides a $2000 rebate for private motorists who convert a petrol car to gas.
Because Holden makes the car as a petrol model and then fits the gas, it qualifies for the full allowance.
With it costing around $2400 extra for dual fuel, this means it’s only $400 more once you factor in the rebate - not much when you consider the ongoing fuel savings. The LPG ute is $1400 more than its petrol-only equivalent.
You also have all the attributes of the regular models, including being spacious, comfortable, well-equipped and refined.
The only setback for families that require plenty of boot space, is that this is compromised by the placement of the gas tank.
The car also feels a bit heavier on the road due to the weight added by the additional tank.
In the Berlina sedan we tested, the 73 litre cylindrical LPG tank was located under the parcel shelf in the boot while in dual-fuel utes, a 74 litre cylindrical tank is fitted in the cargo tray with a modified tub liner. On both variants, the existing 73 litre petrol tank is unchanged.
Holden’s LPG unit is an advanced Sequential Vapour Gas Injection (SVGI) system, which injects gas directly into the engine, mimicking the petrol injection sequence. It has automatic changeover to LPG via seamless cylinder-by-cylinder activation and provides an automatic change back to petrol at low LPG levels.
As the dual fuel system has been designed and engineered by Holden, customers have the confidence that dual fuel models are covered by Holden’s three-year/100,000km new vehicle warranty and are fully tested for safety and crash worthiness.
All vehicle safety systems are also retained including Electronic Stability Control as standard on both sedan and ute models.
LPG and petrol fillers are combined under the existing fuel filler cap and there is a separate LPG fuel gauge.
There is no difference to service intervals and little difference to service costs, with an LPG vapour filter requiring replacement every 15,000 km, and a liquid filter every 120,000 km.