HIGH FIVE

New Zealand LCV - - CONTENTS - Com­piled by: Dean Evans

The fastest and most fa­mous utes, and quick­est SUVS. Num­ber 1 will amaze you…

WITH THE WORLD OF SPORTS UTES AND SUVS HEAD­ING main­stream, man­u­fac­tur­ers are push­ing the bound­aries of per­for­mance, from fac­tory fast spe­cials, to mo­tor­sport and speed records. Amer­ica’s love af­fair with the truck/ute goes back to the 1960s, but NZ isn’t far be­hind, with a love for the work­ing ve­hi­cles evolv­ing to a fam­ily trans­port. So we have com­piled the top five top-of-the tree, fastest and most fa­mous utes and SUVS from around the world that, for rea­sons of speed, pro­file or per­for­mance, truly de­serve a high five.

5 GMC SYCLONE: WORLD’S FASTEST PRO­DUC­TION TRUCK

Back in 1991 when The Simp­sons was in its sec­ond year, Amer­ica’s GMC pro­duced a truck that blew ev­ery­one and al­most ev­ery­thing away: the aplty named Syclone. With a 4.3-litre tur­bocharged V6 and all­wheel drive, the four-speed au­to­matic gear­box was good enough for 0-100km/h in 4.4 sec­onds back when a Fer­rari 348 did the same time in 5.4 sec­onds! Syclone’s 209kw/474nm put it down the quar­ter­mile in quick-for-the-time 15.4 sec­onds, though af­ter­mar­ket tuners un­leashed their po­ten­tial and ran much faster.

4 HSV MALOO R8: OF­FI­CIALLY WORLD’S FASTEST TRUCK

The World’s Fastest Truck was a ti­tle claimed by HSV’S Maloo R8 ute back in 2006, when Mark Skaife drove a show­room stan­dard 6.0-litre V8 to re­set the Guin­ness World Record two-way av­er­age of 271.44km/h, near Woomera in South Aus­tralia’s out­back. This beat the record at the time of 248.78km/h by a Dodge Ram SRT10 8.3-litre V10.

3 NASCAR TRUCK SE­RIES

Start­ing in 1995, the Truck se­ries was es­tab­lished as a third-tier to the NASCAR se­ries, and it re­mains the world’s most suc­cess­ful truck rac­ing cham­pi­onship. The trucks run 5.9-litre car­bu­ret­tored V8s pro­duc­ing around 500kw, with a four-speed man­ual, and weigh just 1542kg. Along with man­u­fac­turer sup­port from Ford and Chevy, Toy­ota no­tably joined the se­ries in 2004, and re­mains in it for the cur­rent 23-round cham­pi­onship.

2 MAD MIKE’S RUMBUL

Kiwi’s own Mad Mike built his own Mazda REPU (Ro­tary En­gined Pow­ered Ute) and called it the RUMBUL Sta­dium Truck. Based on a Mazda B2000, RUMBUL runs a 13B Re­n­e­sis en­gine from an RX-8, pro­duc­ing around 186kw/250hp, and weigh­ing just 900kg – though re­cent up­dates in­clude a pe­riph­eral ported, fuel in­jected 13B twin-ro­tor en­gine. Be­cause loud.

1 ROD MILLEN’S PIKES PEAK TA­COMA

Quite fit­ting that two Ki­wis fill the top two spots, and in the wake of his suc­cess at the Pikes Peak In­ter­na­tional Hill­climb in 1994, 1996 and 1997 in his Toy­ota Cel­ica, Millen built this fac­sim­ile of a Toy­ota Ta­coma truck in 1998, re­plete with the rear of the aero­dy­namic body painted black to sim­u­late a tray. With a cen­tral driver po­si­tion, the tube-framed Ta­coma was specif­i­cally built for the 20km Pikes Peak hill climb, the sec­ond-old­est mo­tor­sport event in the world. The Ta­coma ran a 746kw/1000hp 2.1-litre four-cylin­der en­gine and weighed just 885kg de­spite its all-wheel drive; it could man­age 0-100km/h in 1.7 sec­onds though it wasn’t de­signed for stand­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion (Pikes Peak has a rolling start line), and was geared to max out at 211km/h, with ac­cel­er­a­tion the most im­por­tant fac­tor when climb­ing the dirt road (back then). The Ta­coma man­aged to win Pikes Peak in 1998 and 1999, and even had its own Hot Wheels replica made.

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