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Prototypes and Concept Cars



Holden SSX

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17 October 2002, Sydney International Motor Show: Holden today took the covers off a remarkable concept car that showcases the strength and flexibility of its considerable design, engineering and production capabilities.

The SSX is an all-wheel-drive crossover sports hatch prototype that heralds the next-generation of Holdens.

Fully drivable, the SSX is a luxury four-seater sports lifestyle machine which combines high output V8 performance and AWD handling character with cargo carrying convenience. Its flat-floored, multi-purpose load area is accessible through a large rear hatch and can be extended by folding the back seats flush with the floor and dropping the fold-down end gate.

Peter Hanenberger, Holden Chairman and Managing Director, believes vehicles like SSX will complement the off-road AWD capability of cars like the upcoming Cross8 as Holden enters a new era of manufacturing flexibility based around families of niche vehicles.

"SSX is our vision of the future. It is the cream of Australian design and engineering expertise channelled into a car of world class standard. It heralds a family of low ride height, inspirational all-wheel-drive niche performance vehicles that could become reality in less than two years."

Michael Simcoe, Holden's Executive in Charge, Design, says the widetrack SSX can be described as the ultimate expression of Holden performance, but it is also a clear expression of how functional a range of niche vehicles can be.

"We're asking questions with this showcar. We want people to tell us if a flexible performance vehicle like this is something they'd like to see in a few years. We're saying that where we are with the Commodore SS right now isn't necessarily the only way to go. We intend to expand the range with more and more inspirational niche models with a variety of powertrains, drive systems and innovative body styles," he continued.

"Like the Cross8 all-wheel-drive with off road capability that's due for release next year, the low ride height SSX is based on our versatile V-car platform - and both vehicles point to a new era of production flexibility at Holden," Mr Simcoe said

The sleek SSX (SS + Crossover) is the product of the company's biggest ever concept car project. The young Holden design team members credited with bringing this exploratory vehicle vividly to life are senior exterior designer Max Wolff, interior designer Warrack Leach and colour and trim designer Kirsty Lindsay.

Set apart by more than its brilliant 'Kryptonite' green finish and slick, black-on black interior, the SSX announces its high output V8 performance potential with a wide track stance, wheel arch extensions over 19-inch magnesium alloys, front fender vents, Venturi-style aerodynamic underpans - punctuated at the rear by twin central exhausts - and dual aircraft-style fuel filler doors.

Styling cues are VY Commodore with a more aggressive edge - in front a bold, deeper facia with twin projector headlamps, foglamps and exclusive grille. At the rear, the hatch is cleverly integrated and edged with a slim black spoiler. Specific blackout tail lamps set SSX even further apart.

In the passenger compartment, there's more 'wow' factor in the form of black leather sports seats in 2+2 configuration, bisected by an elongated centre console in brushed Titan silver. Elsewhere (on the sports instrument cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel, transmission shifter, for example), more silver accents complement matt black, soft-feel trim finishes. In effective contrast, the high-mounted multi-function display screen, instrument and climate control clusters and auxiliary switches are red-illuminated.

The rear load compartment comes in for equally stylish treatment, its matt black floor bisected by stainless steel wear strips, and side storage compartments finished in Titan silver. With either or both of the rear seats folded, the steel-highlighted floor finish continues and an integrated rear storage bin remains accessible.

The Holden SSX design concept is powered by a high output, 5.7 litre Generation III V8 engine. It forms part of the extensive Holden display at the Sydney International Motor Show and can be viewed from October 18 - 27 inclusive.

Features and specifications

Control and Handling

5.7 litre high performance GEN III V8 engine
4-speed electronic automatic transmission
All-wheel drive
Front, rear and centre open differentials
High-performance Harrop brakes with specific SSX caliper graphics
Traction control
Power steering
Front track: 1,623 mm
Rear track: 1,680 mm


Kryptonite finish (brilliant green metallic with tinted top coat)
Titan silver and black detailing, SSX badging
19"x8" five-spoke, Titan silver cast magnesium wheels
245/35ZR19 Potenza S-03 tyres
All-new front fenders, front bumper
Wheel arch extensions front and rear
Body width (at rear wheel arches): 1,936 mm
Exclusive grille and twin projector headlamp treatment
Projector foglamps
Hexagonal mesh detailing in front facia
Extensive ducting for improved engine and brake cooling
Front fender vents
Dual high mounted aluminium alloy fuel filler doors - aircraft-style
Unique body side moulding with side repeater lamps
Specific blackout tail lamp design incorporates dual stage LED stop/tail function
Venturi style aerodynamic underpans front and rear; rear incorporates twin central aluminium finish exhausts
Hatch and drop down end gate
Black spoiler on hatch edge
All-new rear quarter panels
Sculptured rear door design
Specific rocker panels
High-mounted rear antenna


Menace black Nappa leather sports seats in 2+2 configuration feature traditional performance sew pattern
Black Anthracite-based interior trim
Centre console in Titan silver, extends to rear compartment, with leather-trimmed grab handles, integrated rear storage bin, rear cup holders
Sports instrument cluster with Titan silver detailing and red illumination
Red illuminated screens, climate control cluster and auxiliary switches
Leather-trimmed sports steering wheel with Titan silver inserts
Leather trimmed handbrake and transmission shifter with Titan silver detailing
Ashen black uncut loop-pile carpeting and mats.
Matt black circular knit trim on instrument panel, doors and headlining
Drilled alloy finish brake/accelerator pedals and footrest
All new rear compartment trim incorporates speakers and storage bin with Titan silver cover
Full length flat load floor with technical grain Anthracite vinyl trim, stainless steel wear strips.
Soft-feel paint on lower doors, instrument panel and other surfaces
Load space -
Length (rear seats up): 1,050 mm
Length (rear seats down): 1,530 mm
Width: 1,010 mm
Height: 650 mm


Power side windows, power rear window
Steering wheel with height and reach adjust
Electric driver's seat height function
Large screen menu-controlled multi-function display
Dual zone climate control
Cruise control
Headlamps auto off; programmable time delay
Rear window demister
Roof-mounted storage compartment with integrated spot lamps
Solid, fold open seatback map pockets in Titan silver

Safety and Security

Driver and passenger airbags
Remote hatch lock and remote key release
Anti-submarining seat ramps
Automatic collision engine shut down
Encoded remote key
Engine Immobiliser
Dual stage unlocking
Remote deadlocking
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