CANBERRA – GM Holden Ltd. says its new SUV will be called the Captiva and will be powered by an advanced new 3.2L global V-6 all-alloy engine made in Melbourne.

The Australian auto maker releases the name and first images of the new production car here to coincide with the Captiva's global debut at the Geneva auto show this week. (See related story: Chevy Epica, Captiva Making Geneva Debuts)

The vehicle is being built by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. in South Korea for export to the European market, where it also is badged the Chevy Captiva. (See related story: GMDAT to Sell Captiva SUV in Europe)

However, the Captiva has a strong Australian influence, with former GM Holden-based designers Mike Simcoe and Max Wolff involved in the car's design team.

“The production car remains very close to the S3X concept, which has impressed show crowds in Australia in the past few months,” GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Denny Mooney says.

Mooney says his company has had extensive input in the Captiva to ensure that it looks, feels and drives as a Holden brand vehicle should. Engineers extensively tested the car around Australia and at GM Holden's Lang Lang Proving Ground, ensuring top ride and handling for local conditions.

The Captiva's active all-wheel-drive system instantly employs the rear axle, as driving conditions dictate, via an electronically controlled electro-magnetic coupling to provide maximum traction.

This system also works seamlessly with an electronic stability program and antilock braking system, enhancing driver control, the auto maker says.

“This vehicle has been a missing link in our product lineup, and we believe there is strong appetite for its arrival,” Mooney says. “The Captiva is Holden's strongest move yet into the SUV market, and it will represent great value and high specification.”

The new Holden Captive will be in showrooms in the year's second half.