While America has its ongoing performance war among the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, a similar battle in Australia might soon be going out with a bang. Both Ford and Holden are cutting back on local production in the coming years, but their performance brands are firing off one last salvo of insanely powerful utes that are some of the wildest vehicles ever to come from the land Down Under.
Ford Performance Vehicles already showed off its Falcon GT F 351 and Pursuit Ute. The latter packed a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with 422 horsepower and 402 pound-feet and was limited to just 120 units. That seemed like quite a finale.
New rumors indicate that Holden Special Vehicles has a real bombshell on the way, though. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, the engineers there plan to pull the 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 out of HSV's GTS sedan, where it's rated at at 577 hp (430 kilowatts) and 546 lb-ft (740 Newton-meters) of torque, and put it into the Maloo performance ute. It could be the quickest production vehicle of its type, ever. HSV isn't officially admitting the project exists yet, but dealers have confirmed it's on the way by the end of the year.
Like the Pursuit Ute, HSV's mega-ute is likely going to be rare and expensive. According to the paper, the production run is rumored to only be around 150 units and prices are supposed to be about 85,000 Australian dollars ($78,840 at current rates).
HSV is rumored to be sticking around even after Holden ends local production in 2017, but it might not be tuning the rear-wheel drive, V8 muscle cars like it's known for now. A 577-hp ute seems like a great way to say goodbye to the old way and hello to the future.