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Red vs Blue

In the same week Team Red rips the covers off the Series II VE Commodore, meanwhile Team Blue have big engine news on Coyote V8.

They cannot help starting a stoush when their deadliest rival has something important happening.

So, in the same week Team Red rips the covers off the Series II version of its VE Commodore the members of Team Blue have news on the Coyote V8 for the latest Ford Performance Vehicles tweak. Except that it's now called Miami...

It's classic stuff and a reminder of the importance of cars - and homegrown hero cars - to ordinary Australians.

The FPV V8 numbers are impressive and so is news that the engine could actually be re-exported to the USA after the local tweaking that includes a supercharger package from the classy Harrop Engineering. 

Most people, including Carsguide, expected FPV to take most of the engine upgrade from America but the company has spent $40 million doing the job right on home ground.

It's just a pity that the upcoming FPV GT will not have much in the way of visual changes to flag its benchmark performance.

Over at Holden, it's a big week with VEII and news of a fresh export program to Brazil, complete with a sales campaign built around motorsport legend - double world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner
- Emerson Fittipaldi.

We've known for more than a year that Holden's big focus for VEII is what it calls flex-fuel engines, with the ability to run on E85 ethanol fuel. It's the same stuff which has been used by the V8 Supercar racer since the start of last year.

Carsguide is not convinced the E85 ability will win too many private buyers to the car, particularly with only a handful of service stations currently pumping the stuff and range limitations for the fuel, but could be a powerful incentive for major fleet buyers.

The real change is that a local carmaker is pushing ahead on ethanol, a fuel with serious potential in Australia because it can be made from sugar can off-cuts. Even better, Holden is tapped into a program led by an American company - Coskata - that is working on a process to extract ethanol from rubbish that currently goes into landfill.

Holden's E85 push is also giving the oil companies a solid shove on a greener fuel and that's got to be a good thing, too.