The bent-eight ute by HSV – one that earned its place in the record books

Aussie su­per-ute tears the record books a new one

Motor (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

SURE, YOUR W1 is the fastest, most pow­er­ful and last Com­modore-based HSV to be built, but does it hold a world record? Well, the 2006 VZ Maloo R8 does, sit­ting right un­der the ti­tle for the fastest pro­duc­tion ‘pickup truck’ on the planet. And right­fully so. Of course, down here in Aus­tralia we’ve called ’em utes since Lewis Bandt helped Mrs Farmer get her pigs to mar­ket in the 1930s. And we’ve also been hot­ting them up for as long as we can re­mem­ber. Only two years after HSV was founded, it based its first su­per-ute on the VG Com­modore, with a 5.0-litre V8 and over­hauled front sus­pen­sion. Fast for­ward 16 years to 2006 and the Maloo had an LS2 V8 with 6.0 litres of shunt and rode on the up­dated VZ plat­form. With 297kW, 530Nm and 6500rpm red­line, the Maloo cer­tainly could move. Mark Skaife proved its speed on May 25, 2006, when he tore down a test range in Woomera, South Aus­tralia, at 277.16km/h in a four-speed au­to­matic ver­sion (the man­ual ver­sion couldn’t pull top revs in sixth). But that’s not the speed you’ll find un­der its name in the Guin­ness World Record books. Its av­er­age speed of 271.44km/h was taken from passes in both di­rec­tions over a full 1000m. Ei­ther way, it smashed the pre­vi­ous record held by a Dodge Ram SRT-10 pack­ing a Viper V10 – by more than 20km/h. It was good for this kind of stuff, be­ing on a longer wheel­base than its sim­i­larly pow­ered coupe and sedan sib­lings. The in­de­pen­dent rear-end was great for han­dling and gave it the edge on the ri­val FPV Pur­suit ute too. And while that tonneau cover, with spoiler, would have made lob­bing tools into the tray tricky, it cer­tainly helped at such speeds, ac­cord­ing to HSV at the time. It might be a point­less record, but we still won­der how fast the more re­cent Gen F2 su­per­charged Maloo could have hauled a cou­ple of lawn-mow­ers...

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