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Holden dusts off ‘Thunder’ badge

Thunderstruck: Holden has released another special-edition 'Thunder' version of its performance-oriented SV6 and SS Ute variants.

Limited-edition Holden SV6 and SS Utes land with extra value, drive-away pricing

Holden logo11 Apr 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

HOLDEN has revived its Thunder nameplate with two limited-edition Series II VE Ute variants released to mark the 60th anniversary of its original 1951 ‘FX’ Ute.

The special edition, which is based on the SV6 and SS variants, gains 19-inch charcoal-finished alloy wheels, satellite navigation, leather seat bolsters and ‘Thunder’ badging, which Holden claims equates to $3000 of added value.

Six-speed automatic models retain the recommended retail price of their SV6 and SS donor cars, coming in at $39,990 and $44,990 respectively.

However, those who go for the six-speed manual version will make an even more substantial saving over the standard variants, with the SV6-based Thunder priced at $34,990 drive-away and the SS-based version at $39,900 drive-away. This compares with the regular list price – before on-road costs are added – of $38,490 for the SV6 and $42,490 for the SS.

All ten paint colours from the standard Ute range are available, with prestige paint adding $500.

13 center imageHolden has not confirmed how many Thunder editions will be produced, only saying that production will run for a limited time over the coming months.

The SV6-based version retains the 210kW/350Nm 3.6-litre SDI V6 engine, while the SS Ute’s 6.0-litre Gen IV V8 pumps out 270kW and 530Nm (260kW and 517Nm in automatic guise).

Both the SV6 and SS V8-based Thunder utes come with six airbags and a five-star ANCAP rating.

The previous iteration of the Thunder nameplate was released in 2006, based on the VZ Ute and offering a claimed $3500 extra value on selected variants.

Sales of Holden’s Commodore-based Ute are down 24.3 per cent so far this year, while the 4x2 pick-up/cab chassis segment as a whole is down 10.9 per cent. VFACTS recorded 884 units sold in March compared to 1114 sales in the same month last year.

Despite this downturn, the Holden is still the second-best seller in its segment so far this year with 2220 sales and 17.1 per cent market share, placing it behind only Toyota’s seemingly unassailable HiLux in the pecking order.

2011 Holden SV6/ SS 'Thunder' Ute pricing:
SV6&nbsp
$34,990 (drive-away)
SV6 (a) $39,490 (RRP)
SS&nbsp $39,990 (drive-away)
SS (a) $44,490 (RRP)

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