Work­horse is a show pony

Holden’s hero ute gets frogged by turbo shop­ping trol­ley

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - JOSHUA DOWLING NATIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR joshua.dowling@news.com.au

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:

@JoshuaDowling

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