New Models - Holden One-Tonner
First drive: Holden's One-Tonner weighs in
After an 18-year gap Holden is back in the one-tonne cab chassis market
28 May 2003
IT'S back. After an 18-year absence the one-tonner cab-chassis utility returns to the Holden line-up from June 1, finally superseding the legendary WB.
DRIVE IMPRESSIONS:YEE-HAH! Take a primitive rear suspension, not a lot of weight over the top of it and plenty of power and torque to dump through the rear wheels and what have you got?
Like we said, yee-hah!
The One-Tonner is B&S ball heaven, just primed to hit the paddock and do some circle work. But unlike its VY Ute bretheren, it can also be a nose-to-the-grindstone worker thanks to its utilitarian design and construction.
Holden is spinning the line that the VY One-Tonner offers car-like on-road behaviour despite the separate chassis and leaf sptrings hanging off the back.
Sort of. Interior presentation, comfort and noise, vibration and harshness levels are familiar to any Commodore buyer. Sure, it's a bit noisier, but it is still very acceptable for a workhorse.
Where it gets a little bit sloppy is over rougher, tougher and chopped-up surfaces where the rear-end does tend to start bouncing around and passing some of that through to the cabin.
But we couldn't sample the car with a load onboard and that may change things.
It certainly steered okay and was very car-like in that regard. The biggest issue once the spaces got tighter and the traffic more congested was One-Tonner's sheer length.
There's a lot of metal hanging out there behind the cabin - and the rear wheels!
Performance is as impressive as ever out of the V8 engine, particularly when mated to the six-speed manual gearbox. No problem lighting it up off the line, or getting a slide happening around a slow corner.
Having said that, it's not tail-happy without being provoked on tarmac surfaces, tracking along nicely and behaving itself primly and properly.
The downside of a big engine is usually fuel consumption, but our combined average over all sorts of conditions from commuting to freeway hauling came out at an acceptable 14.2L/100km. Happily, regular unleaded is the fuel of choice.
Overall, VY One-Tonner is an appropriate update from the WB, refined enough to take the missus out on Saturday night yet also still with enough brute to cope with hard work.
And those circle work paddocks.
It's just a pity it took 18 years for Holden to build it.
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