HOLDEN is poised to introduce what will become the world’s fastest ute — probably of all time — leaving a legacy likely to last decades after General Motors’ Australian factories close in 2017.
It will be the first — and the last — Holden ute that can accelerate to 100km/h faster than a Porsche.
The Holden Special Vehicles performance car division will ensure the humble homegrown ute goes out with a very big bang by installing the supercharged V8 from the $100,000 HSV GTS sedan, the fastest and most powerful car Australia has ever produced.
HSV has been working on the top secret project for the past four years but has only told Holden dealers this week.
The supercharged ute has managed to stay under wraps because most pundits figured it would simply be too powerful for a vehicle that starts life as a workhorse.
But the boffins at HSV have fitted the supercharged Maloo (aboriginal for ‘thunder’) with the latest technology to enable its might and power to get to the road responsibly, including the biggest brakes ever fitted to a ute anywhere in the world.
HSV boss Tim Jackson refused to confirm such a car exists but Holden dealers have told News Corp Australia it will be in showrooms by the end of this year priced about $85,000, making it the most expensive ute ever sold in Australia.
It will also be one of the most collectable cars in Australian motoring history, with just 150 expected to be made, compared with 500 Ford Falcon GT final editions, and the more than 1000 HSV GTS sedans sold over the past year.
The HSV GTS Maloo, as it is expected to be called, will likely become the fastest ute of all time because the only vehicles that could possibly overtake it are US pick-ups; although they have a lot of power, they’re too big and too heavy to match the speed of Holden’s sleeker and lighter car-derived ute.
The supercharged V8, which has almost as much horsepower as a V8 Supercar, was originally designed for a racing version of the Chevrolet Camaro in the US.
The engine is shipped to Australia and fitted on the Holden production line in Elizabeth, near Adelaide, before the partially-completed car is transported to HSV in Clayton in the outer suburbs of Melbourne for the finishing touches.
Ford was the first to claim the title of World’s Fastest Ute. In 2003 a supercharged Ford F-150 pick-up recorded a top speed of 237.7km/h at Ford’s proving ground in Michigan.
In 2004 a Dodge Ram powered by a massive V10 borrowed from the Viper supercar broke the Ford’s record with a top speed of 248.7km/h at the nearby Chrysler proving ground.
In 2006, Holden racing hero Mark Skaife claimed the Guinness World Record in a HSV Maloo. After two high-speed runs at the Woomera rocket range he set an average top speed of 271.4km/h, a record which still stands today.
HSV is yet to confirm if it will repeat its 2006 world record attempt and raise the bar, but a recent test by Top Gear magazine pushed the supercharged HSV GTS sedan to almost 280km/h.