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Holden Engineering Adds Local Character to New Trax SUV

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MELBOURNE – Aug 14, 2013: The new Holden Trax SUV will possess distinctively Holden drive characteristics thanks to the contribution of local engineering expertise to the global Trax development program.

An Australian engineering team worked in close collaboration with the Trax homeroom on its engine and transmission calibrations and suspension tune, delivering a fun-to-drive and fuel efficient Holden Trax for Australia and other global markets.

Over the past two years, the team has undertaken engineering development work on Trax to localise the suspension tune and calibrate the 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions for markets including Australia, Russia, South Africa and New Zealand.

The result is a sharp-handling and responsive front-wheel drive SUV that is ideal for Australian driving conditions, is fuel efficient and enjoyable to drive.

The Trax 1.8-litre 4-cylinder powertrain with Gen II 6-speed auto transmission – first launched to critical acclaim in the Model Year 2014 Cruze range – has optimised powertrain and transmission ratios to maximise the 1.8-litre’s progressive torque curve, ensuring the transmission is always in the right gear for the conditions.

The new Trax is also available with a five-speed manual transmission (LS models only) with a unique Holden-tuned calibration that achieves strong highway fuel economy without sacrificing launch feel and overall performance.

Holden Director, Planning and Program Management, Maria Koutsimpiris said Holden Engineering had significant input in the Trax global development program thanks to the team’s proven track record on global programs like Camaro, Captiva, Cruze, Barina and Malibu.

“The Holden engineering team has extensive capability in powertrain engineering, performance and dynamic development and developing vehicles to deal with some of the most variable road conditions in the world, which is why local and global development work for the Trax program has been entrusted to the Holden team,” she said.

“Our engineers led the calibration development of multiple Trax engine and transmission combinations for more than 20 markets around the globe, including Australia.

“We’ve also had a member of the global Trax team, Juneil Lee, working in Australia over the last 18 months to support the close collaboration between Holden Engineering and the Trax homeroom.

“Applying Holden’s vast engineering expertise to the 1.8-litre powertrain and two transmissions ensures that Trax benefits from a set up that is designed to suit Australian driver preferences and strikes the best balance between enthusiastic performance and drive quality – a balance that is also well regarded in other markets around the world.

“Not only that, we’ve designed our own Holden suspension tune which is very capable and makes Trax an enjoyable drive across a diverse range of conditions from highway touring or urban and country roads.”

The new Holden Trax features an economical 1.8-litre four cylinder petrol engine producing 103kW and 175Nm – the same engine that powers Holden’s acclaimed Model Year 2014 Cruze Equipe and CDX models.

The entry-level Trax LS is available with a 5-speed manual transmission or optional Gen II 6-speed automatic transmission – both have been calibrated by Holden. The top-of-the range Trax LTZ is available with the 6-speed automatic transmission as standard.

Underpinning the Holden Trax is an agile chassis system with Holden-tuned Electric Power Steering, front MacPherson strut suspension and compound crank axle set up at the rear.

Trax also features a raft of advanced chassis systems including Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, in addition to Electronic Stability Control incorporating Anti-lock Braking (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Traction Control (TC).

Holden Vehicle Dynamics Specialist Engineer, Michael Barber, who also worked on the local tune for the recently introduced Holden Malibu, Model Year 2014 Holden Cruze and the FE1 suspension for VF Commodore, said Trax was engineered for confident handling and ride comfort on a variety of Australian roads.

“We’ve had a significant amount of input into the way Trax is tuned for Australia so we set out to reward the driver with a secure and confident handling feel,” he said.

“Trax’s damper tuning provides good body control and compliance for high levels of handling stability and ride quality even on rough roads.

“We’ve also tuned the rear axle bushes to reduce interior noise, which is especially important on some of Australia’s notorious coarse chip bitumen surfaces.

“Trax’s Electric Power Steering has also been tuned by Holden to provide the best possible feel and connection between driver and tyres with additional focus on gravel road response and communication. Light steering efforts also make Trax easy to drive and park around town.”

The new Holden Trax SUV will be available at Holden dealerships around Australia from early September.