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TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Jun 23, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN

By JOHN GRAFMAN

Now this is something refreshing. As more and more concept cars strive to be no more than a sneak peek at a production vehicle, we hail the Holden EFIJY as something altogether different. This sculpture on wheels puts the word 'concept' backed into concept car.

Occasionally, a design is so pure that it can transcend geographical boundaries and time. This is often easier said than done. What works with one culture and their particular styling influences doesn't always work with another. Nevertheless, its true beauty is something everyone can appreciate

Love is a funny thing, because love can make you do things you wouldn't otherwise do. Fortunately, the design team at Holden fell in love with this design. If it wasn't for that love and passion, this car would never have been made. Chief Designer and project leader Richard Ferlazzo sketched the first EFIJY designs way back in 1989. However, as design studio projects with production possibilities moved to the front burner, the EFIJY fell to side project status. As a result of the effort put together by the design team, as well as numerous suppliers, the project crawled forward.

Holden is one of those GM brands that most of us in America are keenly unaware of. However, in Australia, they have had a long rich history. Lucky for us, GM feels this is worth the extra cost of shipping and handling needed getting it to our shores.

This particular show car pays homage to the 1953 FJ. But even those who aren't familiar with that particular vehicle can still bask in the radiant glow that this modern interpretation provides. In creating this, the designers asked themselves a question: What would the design studios produce in the 1940s and '50s if they had all the modern capabilities one can call upon today?

Don't be fooled. This isn't just about looks. This is a driver, albeit a right-hand driver. The motivating force is the 6-liter, LS2 motor sourced from the Corvette and retrofitted with a supercharger. The end result is good for 645 horsepower at 6400 rpm, and 560 pound-feet of torque at 4200 rpm. Sadly, in spite of all this outrageous power, we had to limit our speeds to something more than a little sedate.

The EFIJY has several trick features, like an air suspension capable of lowering the car to an unbelievable 27 mm off the ground. Also, proximity sensors open the door upon the driver's arrival. The gear selection is handled via a push button controls on the center console. The floorboard is actually maplewood. The curved maple timber veneers are accented with aluminum trim. The Soprano Purple paint is covered by multi layer translucent topcoat, which creates an especial deep look. All the material choices are the best of the best with simply exceptional hides, and metal trim pieces.

One of the in-your-face features done right are the massive billet aluminum wheels. The 20 x 9-inch front and 22 x 10-inch rear dwarf the '53's original 15 x 4 inch rims. The fluting on the EFIJY is reminiscent of the '53.

While the Auzzie is a throwback to design, the components are nothing but modern. LED lights are used in the headlights, brake lights, in the sill plates, and courtesy lights. The use of dual filaments allows it to throw different colors. Instrumentation is provided by a LCD screen display, along with a drop-down touch control LCD screen. And if the driving isn't entertaining enough, try on the hard drive audio and video file system complete with a 2000W amplifier, 1000W RMS subwoofer, two x 200W RMS mid-bass, two x 100W RMS split mid-range, and two x 100W RMS directional tweeters. If this doesn't rock your world on any continent, nothing will.

Covering our relatively short drive on baby smooth roads, the EFIJY comes across as being very well-constructed. Furthermore, all the right elements are there, from a perfect pitch rumble, to stylistics interior design cues and materials. All the pieces seem to mesh well far beyond level of a typical trailer Queen.

Australia is a half a world away, but it might as well be in another galaxy. This super cool coupe will never see the light of day at any assembly plant in this country or any other. Once in a great while, design needs to be done just to inspire and push the envelope.

This is one package most will love to get their hands on. This gives new meaning to the term 'special delivery'.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

The most animated reflection of the 40s and 50s since "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."

Find more at www.gm.com

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: Nice try mate, not for sale

Engine type: GM 6.0-litre, LS2 aluminum V8 with Roots-type supercharger

Drive configuration: Front engine / rear-wheel drive

Suspension: Front: Modified Chevrolet Corvette. Forged upper and lower control arms; height adjustable airbag suspension units with electronic control

Rear: Modified Chevrolet Corvette. Forged upper and lower control arms; height adjustable airbag suspension units with electronic control

Wheels and tires: Front: Billet aluminum - 20 x 9-inch, Dunlop SP Sport - 9090 255/35 ZR 20 Rear: Billet aluminum - 22 x 10-inch, Dunlop SP Sport - 9000 285/30 ZR 22 rear

Brakes: Front: 381mm grooved and ventilated rotors; six-piston aluminum calipers Rear: 381mm grooved and ventilated rotors; four-piston aluminum calipers

Overall length: 5,162mm Overall width: 1,999mm Overall height: 1,386 - 1,274mm

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