Workhorse is a show pony
Holden’s hero ute gets frogged by turbo shopping trolley
A MEGA-DOLLAR marketing stunt for the Holden ute at the world-famous Nurburgring race circuit has backfired.
Holden took a new VF Commodore SS ute to the high temple of horsepower in Germany a fortnight ago so it could become the fastest ute to lap the perilous 21km circuit and then use the achievement in advertisements.
But despite its V8 grunt and new lightweight materials, the SS-V Redline ute is slower than a four-cylinder turbo Renault hot hatch. The new VF Holden SS-V Redline ute costs $48,490, according to a bulletin issued to dealers this week, while the Renault’s RRP is $42,640.
In June 2011 the Megane RS became the fastest frontdrive production car to lap the Nurburgring, at 8 minutes and 7.97 seconds. The V8 workhorse and show pony set a comparatively leisurely 8:21, only a few seconds ahead of a Hyundai V6 Coupe and slower than the Chevrolet Camaro with which it shares its underpinnings.
When Holden was quizzed about the ute’s Nurburgring campaign, the company said the vehicle was there for routine testing.
But Carsguide can reveal Holden filmed the hot-laps at a considerable cost for a coming marketing campaign.
Former Holden boss Mark Reuss, now in charge of General Motors North America, was behind the wheel for the mammoth exercise. This reporter is on Twitter: