Australia Day, the country's national holiday, is the perfect time to celebrate two of the country's less traditional V8 muscle machines. Watch as a Holden Commodore SS V Redline Sportwagon and Ute SS smoke their tires to race around a skid pad and haul a barbecue set.
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.
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
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.
General Motors' thunder from Down Under, Holden, is claiming a new lap record at the Nürburgring... in the commercial and utility vehicle segment. You see, the company's amusingly powerful Ute is technically classified as a Class NA Light Goods Vehicle, so despite its car platform, one can technically argue that it's a commercial pickup truck. Kinda sorta.
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."
When not salivating over the prospect of the forthcoming C7 Corvette, GM Performance enthusiasts are busy speculating over the Chevrolet SS. The Holden Commodore-based performance sedan recently made its debut in NASCAR form, with the production model slated to launch on the weekend of the 2013 Daytona 500. Part of the rumor-mongering for this rear-wheel-drive V8 sedan was talks of US-bound translation of the Holden Ute – also the artist formerly know as the Pontiac G8 ST (pictured).
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.
2011 Holden Series II family – Click above for high-res image gallery
var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/business_finance/First_Drive_of_the_New_Holden_VE_Ute'; 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 ute
Before you start sweating, rest assured Holden's VE Commodore will be heading Stateside as the Pontiac G8, but as for other models such as the two-door Ute, things are looking in doubt. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is a key backer of bringing the Ute to the U.S. but revealed at this week's Frankfurt Auto Show that the export program could be in doubt because of the strong Australian dollar. Either the car-based pickup would be priced out of the market or GM would have to subsidize it, something tha
It's official, Holden's Denny Mooney has confirmed that the Commodore is heading to the US to join the Excitement division. To cop a phrase from my mother in law – no kidding, Dick Tracy. Bob Lutz let slip, and then owned up to the fact that the car is coming here as the Pontiac G8 during the Detroit show. Looking at the red G8 that posed with Mooney, our knees are all jiggly – we can hardly wait to get our mitts on one. Hopefully, it'll be outfitted with the 6-liter V8, but even the