Australia is a peculiar place. It’s a country where the second most popular race series features a grid made up entirely of Ford and Holden ‘utes’ – i.e. pick-up trucks based on saloons.
Not just any ‘utes’ either. You see, both Ford and Holden stuff exactly the same high performance drivetrains into their utes as they do into their saloons. Which leads us to the ute you see here, shortly to go on sale in the UK.
What we have here is the new, 2016 Vauxhall – nee Holden – Maloo LSA. It’s based on the same version of the big Commodore saloon that’s sold here as the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS. As such, the Maloo LSA is powered by a supercharged, 6.2-litre V8 engine producing a monstrous 529bhp and 495lb/ft of torque.
This, then, is a commercial vehicle with power and performance in the same league as the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63. Vauxhall quotes a 0-62mph time of just 4.6secs. No top speed is given but we expect it’s limited to 155mph, as per the saloon. Ungoverned, it would probably run well past 175mph.
Vauxhall briefly offered a 425bhp version of the Maloo in the UK during 2012/13. The new LSA features a new front bumper with big intakes and splitter, wing vents and 20in wheels. The running gear has been beefed up too, with stiffer springs and dampers.
There’s a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. Oddly, the manual gets launch control, rather than the auto. Both versions get a limited slip differential; thousand-yard drifts will be just a twitch of a toe away, especially as there’s no weight at all over the driven rear wheels. Until you put some stuff in the load bed. The Maloo is, first and foremost, a commercial vehicle and can carry a useful 540kg.
And, because the Vauxhall Maloo LSA is a commerical, business users can claim the VAT back on the £54,500 price.
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By Only Motors