BUYING GEN-F MALOO R8
One of the most outlandish vehicles to wear a Griffin badge, the Maloo R8 is a spectacular highlight of Vauxhall’s performance portfolio...
Now’s the time to get hold of one of the most outrageous vehicles to wear a Vauxhall badge.
We’re at a point in time when we have no idea when the next VXRs will be announced. It’s strange to think of Vauxhall without a line of red hot hatches, especially when the past fourteen years have been some of the most fruitful in the manufacturer’s time as a producer of performance cars. At one point in the not too distant past, it seemed as though there was no end to enthusiasm for slapping a VXR badge on the arse end of even the most mundane of models. Fastest people carrier in the world? Completed it, mate. Modified Meriva? You knows it. It didn’t matter if you wanted a family runaround or a track-focused speed machine. Whatever your requirement, there was a VXR available for you to enjoy.
Coinciding with the launch of the VXR brand at the 2004 British Motor Show was the arrival of the Monaro. None of us in attendance had ever seen a Vauxhall like it. Powered by a Corvette-stolen V8, the curvaceous two-door was essentially a rebranded product of Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), the performance arm of GM’s Australian manufacturer, Holden. Within three years, the Monaro was replaced by the bigger, angrier VXR8, a car many see as the modern-day Lotus Carlton. Even so, not even last year’s 587bhp 6.2-litre VXR8 GTS-R – the most powerful production Vauxhall of all time – can compete successfully against its cargo carrying sibling, the Maloo R8, when it comes to vying for the title of craziest Griffin ever sold in the UK.
Created in 1990 and based on Holden’s famous Ute, the Maloo was a perfectly sensible utlility vehicle until it was treated to an unnecessarily powerful V8 engine and sporty body kit. The R8 trim level was created in 2001. It was an R8 which broke the record for the world’s fastest production pick-up truck in 2006, beating the Dodge Ram SRT-10 by recording a top speed of more than 168mph.
RISE TO POWER
There have been nine different generations of Maloo, but the most recent is the Gen-F edition (20132017). It’s a rip-roaring riot of a machine available in both naturally aspirated and supercharged guise. We tested the 543bhp Maloo R8 LSA shortly after its launch in 2016. The blown beast shares much of its mechanical componentry with the VXR8 GTS, a 576bhp colossus boasting 545lb/ft torque. Oosh!
Gen-F Maloos were available to order new from a handful of Vauxhall dealerships. This veritable chunk of thunder from Down Under subsequently earned itself a dedicated following from a small-but-enthusiastic community of UK-based petrolheads. It’s important to note there are those who have imported their Maloos direct from Australia, taking advantage of a wider range of trim and colour options than Vauxhall offered. These same buyers saved themselves the hassle of waiting for a rare Vauxhall-badged ute to make itself available for purchase, but if you look in the right places, there’s every chance you’ll manage to avoid the expense of shipping and import duties.
We took a trip to see Marc Wale, owner of Vauxhall V8 specialist, MW Performance, in order to find out what you need to be aware of if you’re tempted to buy a tidy Gen-F Maloo R8 to call your own. Read on in order to discover what it is you should be looking for.