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Sydney show: HSV's Maloo tale is out!

Blue-collar coupe: Maloo's tailgate has overlapping tail-lights and reverse parking sensors.

The leaks have dried up as HSV's lionhearted ute breaks official cover in Sydney

11 Oct 2007

AN ALL-NEW Maloo R8 ute and a 20th anniversary limited-edition ClubSport R8 were the stars of the Holden Special Vehicles display in Sydney today.

Despite official images of the redesigned Maloo being leaked on the internet six months ago and full details appearing in an Australian magazine that broke the embargo last week, HSV’s newest “coupe with a big boot” still managed to attract plenty of attention.

Part of the HSV line-up for more than half of the Holden brand’s 20-year existence, the latest Maloo is based on Holden’s all-new VE Ute released this month.

Apart from the same 307kW/550Nm 6.0-litre LS2 V8 that powers HSV’s VE Commodore-based sedan range, it adds a distinctive sheet-moulded compound (SMC) tailgate with overlapping tail-lights and reverse parking sensors, a wild bodykit comprising Group A Walkinshaw-inspired side skirt “exhausts”, an AP Racing four-piston brake package, new “gore and suede” HSV Performance seats and a heavily stylised hard tonneau with remote release function.

20 center image A “performance pack” consisting of full leather Performance seats and 20-inch alloy wheels (instead of the standard ute’s 19-inch items with 275/35-section tyres) will be a $3750 option, but the Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension system seen on the GTS, Senator and Grange is not available.

The single-model Maloo R8 goes on sale this month, priced between the base and R8 versions of the outgoing Z Series Maloo ($54,600 and $61,725 respectively) at $59,990. Six-speed auto versions cost an extra $2000 – undercutting the manual E-Series ClubSport R8 sedan by $900 to remain HSV’s least expensive model.

HSV said development of the new Maloo began simultaneously with that of the E-Series sedan and included comprehensive testing in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, resulting in what is claimed to be HSV’s most responsive ute ever.

The widely speculated limited-production version of Holden’s Effijy hot-rod concept failed to materialise on the HSV stand, as did the 7.0-litre V8-powered “LS7” ClubSport-based super-sedan that HSV denies exists.

While the former increasingly appears to have been pure fantasy, the latter is now expected to break official cover at the 2008 Melbourne International Motor Show in March.

Instead, HSV showed off a special commemorative ClubSport R8 as part of its 20th Anniversary celebrations. Just 100 examples will be built, featuring a unique “sandstorm” paint colour, “20th Anniversary” sill plates, GTS black accenting, leather Performance seats featuring 20th Anniversary logos, “chrome shadow” wheels and black/gold brake callipers. It is also available from this month, priced at $65,990 ($3100 more than the standard ClubSport R8).

Read more:

First drive: Holden's labour leader trades places

First look: VE wagon and HSV's smokin' new Maloo

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