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Holden's SSX offers a practical outlook


June 4, 2004

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Holden's contribution to the multi-purpose vehicle trend - the SSX concept - injects flexibility into the sporting hatch design.

The SSX all-wheel-drive crossover is a fully driveable luxury four-seater prototype that combines V8 performance with the convenience of a multi-purpose load area that can be extended by folding the back seats flush with the floor and dropping the fold-down end gate to create what could be described as a station wagon/sedan/utility hybrid.

Unveiled at the Sydney International Motor Show in October, the prototype takes its styling cues are VY Commodore, adding an extra edge at the front end by incorporating a deeper facia with twin projector headlamps, foglamps and exclusive grille. The body is finished in brilliant "Kryptonite" green and the jet black interior is completed by stainless steel wear strips and silver side storage compartments that become visible when the rear load compartment is in use.

The SSX (the X stands for "crossover") also features wheel arch extensions over 19-inch magnesium alloys, front fender vents, Venturi-style aerodynamic underpans and twin central exhausts at the rear, where the hatch is cleverly integrated and edged with a slim black spoiler.

Part of a broad initiative by the design team at Holden - the biggest ever concept car project ever undertaken by the company - the range will be expanded and experimented with the aim of providing niche models with a variety of powertrains, drive systems and innovative body styles and Holden expects that the new performance vehicles could become reality in less than two years.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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