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First look: Holden SST heads for Melbourne

Bulked up: The SST one-tonner ute is Holden's take on an American-style "look-at-me" pick-up.

Holden reveals an Americanised interpretation of the One Tonner ute

10 Feb 2004

HOLDEN has revealed the SST concept as the car industry warms up for the Melbourne motor show.

But the One Tonner utility-based concept, which Holden describes as “a sports/recreational, look-at-me street-smart prototype”, won’t be Holden’s only Melbourne show stopper, with the 2004 GTS expected to take pride of place on the HSV exhibit.

And Holden hints there could be more surprises in store at the show, although it's not revealing what they are at this stage.

As the sketch shows, SST is the first Holden to present the custom-designed, street machine look that’s long been a feature of American motoring.

If it reaches production, SST could be an important tool in Fishermens Bend’s export drive into the US, with which Australia has struck a free trade agreement that will end the current 25 per cent import tariff on utilities.

If offered here, the SST One Tonner would carry Holden By Design badging and be offered within Holden’s expanding light commercial range.

Holden makes no bones about the SST’s unashamedly American styling flavour, and says the concept aims to find out just how much appeal such a product might hold for the local “boys with toys brigade”.

Apparently the SST idea was born late last year in an effort to emphasise the One Tonner’s versatility, while SST also aims to highlight Holden’s ability to “quickly transform sketch into showcar”.

Powered by a 225kW version of Holden’s Gen III Chevrolet V8, the SST custom pickup features an integrated, low-slung custom step-sided composite body that’s described by senior designer Jeff Haggarty as “tough, stubby and muscular with a mildly retro feel, but contemporary in execution.” The SST concept will also feature 18-inch front and 19-inch rear alloys (the latter with 275/35-section tyres), four-piston Harrop brakes, a moulded lion logo on the tailgate, a heavy-duty aluminium propeller plate tray, six integrated tie-down points, a colour-keyed and Anthracite-trimmed SS-style interior and a brilliant electric blue with violet mica finish named Ego.

“In this case, we used the One Tonner as a blank canvas, if you like, to show that you can take a light commercial vehicle and do whatever imagination dictates,” said sales and marketing manager performance products and racing Kelly Brauer.

“The fact that the SST project was completed in a little under two months is a tribute to the energy and talent of the specialist design and engineering team working on it – and to the tools at their disposal.”

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