After 16 years, General Motors’ Australian arm Holden is scheduled to build the last Buick-designed 3.8-litre pushrod ‘Ecotec’ V6 at its engine plant in Port Melbourne next week.

Holden Engine Operations workers will complete the last engine, which will be framed for display at the Fishermans Bend factory, on Friday August 6.

Production of the pushrod V6, dubbed ‘Ecotec’ for its last few years of production, is being wound down to make way for new, overhead camshaft ‘Alloytec’ V6 engines (from GM’s new global V6 engine family), which will soon be launched in Australia in the facelifted VZ Commodore model line.

Holden has been building the new V6s for export since late 2003 and recently commenced production for its locally-built cars.

More than 1.4 million of the previous V6 engines have been produced at Port Melbourne since 1988 for both domestic and export use. Cars with the Australian V6s have been shipped to the Middle East (where the Commodore is sold as the Chevrolet Lumina), Asia, South Africa, South America and New Zealand.

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The original Buick-designed engine, first built in Australia in 1988, was upgraded in 1995 to increase performance and efficiency and a supercharged variant was developed in 1996.

While US-made versions were for years installed in front-drive GM-brand cars, all the Holden-made units were adapted for the rear-drive Commodore models.

“Ecotec was a fantastic engine that was able to provide great power and efficiency over a number of years. It was also able to be refined to ensure less exhaust emissions without diminishing performance,” a Holden spokesman said.