While the U.S. is about to get its first taste of two-door, rear-wheel-drive, car-based pickups in the form of the Pontiac G8 ST (official name still TBD), Australians have been enjoying these things, called utes, for decades. While Holden introduced a new version of its Commodore-based ute last year, Ford has just gotten around to meeting the challenge with its new Falcon-based ute. And you know what that means: Ford vs. GM cage match in Koala Bear country!
Pickuptrucks.com has pitted the Holden SS Ute and Ford XR8 Ute, both top-shelf sports models, against each other in this Ultimate Sh-Ute-Out for the ages. For as similar as these utes are in price and power, we were surprised to learn how different they actually are. The Ford ute, for instance, is considered more of a workhorse than the Holden and thus continues to use a leaf-sprung rear suspension instead of an IRS like the Holden. Apparently it's the more truckish of the two, as evident by its separated cab and bed compared to the clean one-piece design of the Holden. Both models tested use big V8 powerplants, but the XR8's Boss V8 was more high-tech compared to tried-and-true Gen IV pushrod.
Being that Pontiac is about to start selling the Holden Ute in the U.S. as the Pontiac G8 ST, this comparo is a good Beginner's Course in the wonderful world of Aussie utes. And who knows, if the Pontiac G8 and G8 ST sell well, that may just be the urging Ford needs to bring the Falcon stateside sooner than the next-generation model. Check out the gallery of insanely cool high-res shots from the comparo below, courtesy of Pickuptrucks.com, and hit the source to read the comparo from start to finish.