As we all know, and try to forget, Australia's car manufacturer is only Holden on to life until 2017. So, will they go out quietly? Will they do a limited run of "Final Edition" family sedans with special badges and colour choices, like some chump who's given up? Whaddya take 'em for, a bunch of poofters?! No, they're going to go out with the fastest Ute ever made by sticking their most powerful engine into the HSV Maloo. Howzat!
News.com.au reports that HSV (Holden's performance arm) will take the supercharged GM LSA from their GTS super-sedan and plonk it in the front of their venerable car-based workhorse to make a utility vehicle with 430kW - 577 horsepower to you and me - and 546lb/ft of torque. Sending all that force to wheels with almost no weight over them promises to be... exciting, although HSV have apparently spent four years getting it to work, including fitting "the biggest brakes ever fitted to a ute anywhere in the world." I would imagine some kind of traction control is also involved. One with an off switch.
While Holden's boss is playing dumb on the subject, Holden dealers have let slip that the "Maloo GTS" will appear in Aussie showrooms at the end of this year, costing around AU$85,000, making it the priciest Ute ever as well as the fastest and most powerful (oh, and the rarest, with 150 expected to be built). With the odds of a re-badged Chevrolet El Camino still looking slim and Ford Australia packing up after 2016, this could remain the fastest pickup in the world for a long time. America might try, but huge and heavy truck-based pickups won't be as agile even if they can outrun the extra drag. The GTS sedan hits 60mph in 4.4 seconds and has been tested at nearly 280km/h, or about 170mph, so the Maloo ought to be there or thereabouts.
Now go ahead and beg for GM to make an El Camino ZL1.