The idea of propelling a 1700kg plus Commodore with a teenie weenie 3.0-litre V6 engine sounds absurd, especially when it doesn't have a turbo or supercharger to help.
But before you howl in protest and suggest driving this car would be as enjoyable as having your face eaten by a swarm of hungry rats, consider that it uses some fairly flash technology called direct injection.
Instead of injecting petrol into a pre-combustion area, this system shoots it straight into the combustion chamber for more bang per squirt. If you know any drug addicts, ask them about the benefits of direct injection before they die of something.
The result of this mechanical trickery is a 3.0-litre V6 that manages a remarkable 190kW, although the torque is not all that great at 290Nm.
There is also the benefit of improved fuel consumption with an official figure of 9.3 litres per 100km, making it most efficient large Australian six-cylinder (it uses 600ml per 100km less than the Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion).
The small V6 is available for the Omega and Berlina sedans and wagons, while the more premium models get a 3.6-litre V6 which also uses direct injection. Both are made right here in Australia, mate.
The 3.6 now generates an impressive 210kW, which means Commodore owners will be able to chortle at Ford Falcon six-cylinder owners who make do with 195kW, unless they have an XR6 Turbo.
Holden fans should be aware there is more power to come from this engine given it generates 227kW in the Cadillac CTS, so standby for future updates.
The bigger engine's torque rating is 350Nm, which not as much as the Falcon with 391Nm, but it is better than it was.
Both engines are now available with a six-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the four-speed clunker that was about as refined as the Festival of Farts.
Holden has also made some other changes to push the fuel consumption down as far as possible including fitting low-rolling resistance tyres, pumping them up, fiddling with the alternator so it only comes on sometimes and shutting off the engine's fuel and spark when it goes down hills.
At this point Holden ran out of money. It cut back on the Assorted Creams for the staff room but still didn't have enough to make any cosmetic changes to the Commodore, inside or out.
The first thing you notice when you get into one is how dated the interior looks. The radio display has resolution so chunky I had Commodore C64 flashbacks (that's an old-school computer from the 1980s you young punks) and the info screen in the instrument cluster is no better. The Omega feels generally cheap and I swear the door lining is some form of hessian, but I also drove an SV6 which is better thanks to its optional leather trim.
Holden hasn't been able to address one of the biggest issues with the car, those huge A-pillars which block out a large section of your view. It is easy to lose sight of motorbikes, cyclists, nuns, endangered animals, when making a right turn.
Still, this update is about the engines and I can honestly say the Omega 3.0-litre drives a lot better than expected.
You do have to hit the accelerator with great enthusiasm to get things going and the Commodore does feel like a big, heavy, car, but it is adequate for people not too worried about performance.
There is a 2.8-litre engine available from GM in the US, but this would be a step too far methinks.
The automatic shifts nicely, but does have to work a lot to cater for the engine's lack of torque.
If you touch the throttle at highway speeds, it changes down a gear and it hunts around up hills, but it's still better than the old four-speed.
The engine is loud when revved hard, but has a sporty edge to it. It is quieter than the old one at highway speeds and at idle.
Its fuel consumption was impressive for a large car, coming in at 9.2 litres per 100km, although the test drive did include a fair amount of highway cruising.
The Omega rides better than it did when the VE was launched in 2006. Back then the rear suspension floated like a water bed when it met the slightest bump, but it has been tightened up.
The 3.0-litre engine will be the choice of stingy fleet managers, but most people will take the new 3.6-litre if they have a choice.
It's a far sweeter engine that the old one and feels stronger all the way through the rev range.
Our car was a manual and working through the gears is a lot of fun.
This engine sounds great down low, from around 1500rpm to 3500rpm, with a throaty pack-a-day grumble. Unfortunately, that sound is overwhelmed by thrashy engine noise when you wind it past 3800rpm.
It has more low speed pull than the previous engine, but you do need to wring its neck to unlock the serious performance. While it has more muscle, it doesn't really feel like a 210kW engine.
The fuel consumption figure was 11.9 litres per 100km at the end of the run, but it did include a lot of hard acceleration (all legal of course) and hardly any highway running.
Like the Omega, the SV6 is quieter inside than the last model. Its ride is firmer again, but still comfortable and handles as well as it did when the VE was launched...that's bloody good by the way.
The fact that the exterior hasn't changed isn't an issue with the SV6 because it has aged better than Kylie, although it doesn't look as good in hot pants.