Naturally aspirated Maloo R8s were equipped with the excellent 460bhp 6.2-litre LS3 V8. The supercharged Maloo R8 was fitted with a 543bhp supercharged 6.2litre LSA. Vauxhall-sold cars were available with a single trim level, but back in the Maloo’s native Australia, various options were offered, each influencing power output and body styling.
The Maloo R8 LSA’s engine is a detuned version of the same blown V8 fitted to the VXR8 GTS. If you can only find a naturally aspirated Maloo R8 to buy, but secretly want the thrill of forced induction, then fret not! LS-series V8s are massively tuneable, with various supercharger options and power upgrades available off the shelf. These engines are used to great effect in Corvettes, Camaros and many other American muscle cars, so don’t go thinking your rare Vauxhall (or HSV as the case may be!) is poorly served by the aftermarket tuning scene.
LS modifying is big business. MWP offers a range of V8 tuning options spanning everything from replacement headers, intakes, exhausts, supercharger conversions and performance pulleys to ECU configuration and mapping.
“Listen out for timing chain chatter when inspecting a Maloo,” says Marc. “There’s no service interval for the timing equipment, so it’s a case of taking note of unusual noises to determine whether the engine needs work,” he adds. “LS V8s are known to suffer cracked pistons, so a leak down test is a good idea if possible. These same V8s also tend to run lean. I recommend making use of good diagnostic software to check air/fuel ratio levels.”
Exhausts differ (in both length and shape) between Maloo R8s and the VXR8 GTS. Aftermarket offerings are available on special order from Australia, although independent bespoke manufacturers will be able to fabricate pipework to your specification here in the UK.