S3X Strikes the Right Note for Holden
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Aussie-influenced seven-seater concept
previews new SUV direction
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16th October, 2005
Holden is showing the striking S3X concept SUV at Sydney's 2005 Australian International Motor Show, as the preview for a Daewoo-sourced seven-seater Holden destined for Australia next year.
Holden has confirmed a production version of the S3X would be introduced into the Australian market during 2006, offering the full flexibility of an SUV-style vehicle with the confidence of the Holden brand.
The production vehicle will closely resemble the S3X which has gathered major design accolades since its world debut in late 2004.
And the car has an Australian influence with two former Holden designers, Michael Simcoe and Max Wolff, part of the design team which ensured the car would attract global attention.
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, today said S3X signalled a new era for Holden’s market footprint in Australia and its most purposeful step into the SUV arena.
Mr Mooney said the SUV would immediately challenge established performers through its attention-getting design and carrying flexibility.
“The S3X production version will fill Holden’s most obvious portfolio gap in a truly convincing way,” he said.
“It will have great packaging flexibility, up-to-the-minute design and extremely competitive levels of equipment.
“It will deliver three rows of seating to accommodate seven in comfort and will provide sporty suspension allowing the type of driveability which people expect from Holden.
“S3X is a sign of things to come for Holden SUVs and gives strong hints on how the final production car will look.
Holden has been involved in the vehicle’s design and engineering development with GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, with the production version representing the first vehicle to fully benefit from General Motors’ global resources since GM’s major investment in GMDAT in 2002.
Simcoe, formerly Holden’s Design Director, was head of Asia-Pacific Design when the car was being developed. Wolff, a former Holden Senior Designer, is now Deputy Director Advanced Design at GMDAT.
Holden engineers have also worked with GMDAT on various aspects of the production version, inevitably increasing its appeal for Australian buyers.
“The production version of this car will represent a true collaboration between various parts of General Motors operations in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Mooney said.
“Being involved at such an early stage brings great rewards in terms of how the car looks and just as importantly, how it performs.”
The S3X concept car has been warmly received since its global debut as the Chevrolet S3X at one of the world’s major motor shows, the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile, in September 2004.
The eye is immediately drawn to the car’s purposeful stance and powerfully flared wheel arches filled by 20-inch nine-spoke wheels. Other exterior highlights include metal inserts in the front and rear bumpers and horizontal vents in the wings.
The jewel-like front headlamps are designed to catch and divert light through cylindrical prisms.
The S3X has a wheelbase of about 2.7 metres, placing it roughly equal to several of the country’s top-selling SUV offerings. Its exterior dimensions are 4,639mm in length, 1,848mm in width and 1,722mm in height.
Sitting inside the car, the light and roomy atmosphere created by the large, louvre-style glass roof becomes immediately apparent.
The design of the interior is dominated by a combination of real wood and metal. The on-board infotainment system includes a DVD-based navigation system linked to an 18-centimetre monitor.
At the rear, the window can be opened separately to access the luggage compartment without opening the tailgate.
The concept car features environmentally friendly hybrid technology, offering a glimpse into General Motors’ potential future propulsion systems.
The global debut of the production version of the S3X will be in 2006. Holden is yet to announce Australian launch timing or local specifications and features.