After 4 years and 3 model revisions, in 1979 GMH finally gave the Gemini a complete makeover, which included a revised engine and alteration to virtually every body panel.
The Gemini had now spanned the casm between the traditional large HZ Holden
HZ to the new smaller VB Commodore
, and the styling changes reflected Holdens new visual identity, with the TE looking very much the little brother to the VB.
Unfortunately the attractive coupe was discontinued, and the SL/E became known as the SL/X. Other changes included a better quality interior trim and suspension modifications bestowing the TE with a more compliant ride. Combined with some changes to the sound-proofing, the TE Gemini's cabin was a much better place to be over the previous models.
Changes to the Isuzu 1.6 liter power plant included a new cylinder head and different distributor and carburetor settings which in effect reduced performance but increased fuel economy - which was after all one of the main selling points of the car. Power dropped to 50kW and 110Nm.
1981 saw the introduction of the SLX diesel
sedan, a great and reliable car, but Australians did not warm to the idea of a diesel
in such a small car that already offered good fuel consumption in petrol form.
Worse still was the competition from the Blue Oval, Ford now taking the fight right up to the Gemini with the release of the KA Laser
. It seemed Australia's love affair with the Gemini was fast coming to an end.
The General countered with the relase of the Sandpiper II Special Edition, however this failed to sway those besotted with the far more modern looks of the Ford Laser. The last of the TE's rolled off the production line in 1982 when the TF model was introduced.