Holden  - SSX
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.
Engine & performance:
Position: front, longitudinally
Capacity: 5665 cc
Power: 320 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque: 465 Nm @ 4400 rpm