Our friends at PickupTruck.com have posted a "first drive" report on the new Holden VE Ute, and from the sounds of things, we really, really want Bob Lutz's GMC Caballero idea to come to fruition. The wheelman for PickupTruck.com was Aussie scribe James Stanford of GoAuto, and in addition to giving us the particulars about the slick, car-based pickup, he also gives us a quick backgrounder on Australian utes in general. It's interesting. For example, while Utes cost less and seat fewer humans than the sedans they're based on, they actually have better resale values. Where many people use the El Camino as a punchline here in the US, in the land of Oz, that's simply not the case. The Ute is a desirable vehicle Down Under, and it can be infused with a healthy dollop of badassedness.
The VE Ute makes no bones about its light-duty nature, with the SS boasting a peak cargo capacity of just a smidge over 1,300 pounds (less still if you go for the killer-looking 19" wheels). This isn't a shortcoming, however, as three-fourths of Holden Utes sold are sport-oriented, anyway. In this department, the VE Ute brings the goods, pumping out 362 horses in V8-powered SS trim via a six speed transmission (manual or automatic). Rear tires can be incinerated at will if that's your flavor, but the suspension is tuned so that attacking the curvy stuff's as fun as testing the Ute's straight-line capabilities. We won't steal the PickupTruck.com's thunder, beyond that. For the nitty gritty, you need to check out the review for yourself. Then, cross your fingers and hope that this Aussie beast follows its sedan cousin over here sometime in the future.