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Last month, we brought you word that Holden was planning a new performance model that promised to be the fastest and most powerful ute in the world. And here it is.

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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.

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Randy Reese is the Colorado dreamcatcher for those who still light votive candles at the altar of Our Lady of El Camino. He fulfills his role by importing the bodies of Australian utes, like the one pictured above, and installing them on the chassis' of fully US-compliant cars like the Pontiac GTO, G8, or Chevrolet Caprice or Impala. His two-year-old company only builds a few cars a year - each one takes 2.5 months - but they're all fully done up with their original safety equipment, accessories

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Ford is ending Australian production after 90 years in 2016, and with it may go perhaps the most iconic vehicles in its auto market – the ute. Car-based pickup trucks like the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino were always more of a curiosity than a true market force here, but in Australia, they have long proven hugely popular.

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The Holden Commodore ute, an Australia-only automotive icon, could be relegated to the history books in 2016 due to falling sales in the face of increased consumption of pick-up trucks imported from Japan and Thailand, News.com.au reports. Year-to-date, Holden Commodore ute sales have slipped 31 percent.

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Holden isn't giving anything away when it comes to specs, but the Aussie outpost of General Motors has offered a few snapshots of the Sportwagon and ute versions of its brand-new VF Commodore. All the company will say for now is that the models are still being tested before final approval and that all three variants will go on sale at the same time later this year.

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Could Chevrolet sell a reborn El Camino in the United States? Let's ask an expert, General Motors International Operations boss Tim Lee, what he thinks. Speaking to the Aussies at CarPoint.com.au, Lee had this to say: "I think here in the US that vehicle has a tremendous amount of cache so if we could [import it] we would if it makes sense."

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There are plenty of ways to get your holiday tree home from the farm, but few are so classy as this Volvo 850 ute. Built in Sweden and shipped to Belgium, the car wears all of the necessary kit to pass as a 850R, and with a turbocharged 2.3-liter five cylinder under the hood, this creation should have no trouble dashing through the snow. Looks like a mighty fine use of an otherwise derelict Volvo wagon to us, though we have to imagine all that torque steer and no weight over the aft would make f

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With the Holden Commodore sedan on its way back to the States as the Chevrolet SS, we were hoping that the El Camino-like, two-seat Ute wouldn't be far behind (after all, the halfbreed was supposed to be offered here as the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck before General Motors offed the brand altogether). Unfortunately, however, the Aussies have been informed that the Ute falls under our light commercial tariff rate of 35 percent – roughly three times the rate on passenger vehicle imports.

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Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) is the Australian equivalent to Ford's SVT division here in North America. Its high-performance sedan, the GT, is based on the Ford Faclon saloon. FPV has unveiled the most hardcore version of the GT yet – the FPV GT RSPEC. The machine was developed by FPV with the intent of providing track-minded consumers a competition-ready performer.

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A New Zealand man, for reasons only clear to himself, decides to attempt a Starsky & Hutch drift around a corner in a ute that can only kindly be described as vintage. With that opening, you're no doubt expecting the obligatory "of course it all goes wrong and he crashes."

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The General wants more rear-wheel drive vehicles in its lineup and has plans to bring a few more to America, including a sedan and possibly a wagon and sport utility, according to Car and Driver.

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The 2012 Targa Tasmania is officially underway, having started on the 17th of April. While we'd give (nearly) any portion of our anatomy to see the spectacle in the flesh, we'll simply have to content ourselves with living vicariously through the miracle of YouTube for the time being.

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Holden Commodore SS Ute Camaro Conversion – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Chevrolet Montana – Click above for high-res image gallery

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The HSV E Series 2 lineup - Click above for a high-res image gallery

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New Zealand Mitsubishi wants you to buy a Triton ute, and to lure you into doing it they're using goats -- because really, who can resist a goat? Said Mitsu's New Zealand sales and marketing manager, Peter Wilkins, "three years of drought has severely depleted sheep and beef populations, so what better time to float the goat?''

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Pontiac G8 ST - Click above for a high-res image gallery

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Click above for high-res gallery of the Pontiac G8 ST

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