Forget the humble Commodore ute, the HSV Maloo R8 boasts race car-like engineering and detail.
Everyone talks about the raucous engine - a 6.2-litre alloy V8 churning out 317kW of power at 6000rpm and hefty torque of 550Nm at 4600rpm.
The growl from the four alloy tailpipes is impressive. But equally so is HSV’s attention to sure-footed roadholding and stopping..
Braking is handled by huge front 365mm ventilated front discs with four piston callipers, while the rear sees 350mm ventilated discs also with four piston callipers. The Maloo R8’s suspension has also received the HSV touch.
Electronic stability control is standard and the system encompasses anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and Electronic Brake Assist (EBA). Traction control is also standard.
Drive is to the rear wheels (naturally) via either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission and a limited slip differential with HSV’s own ratios.
Like HSV’s sedans, there are lots of nice touches inside – including leather sports seats and steering wheel and red lighting for the instruments.
vClearly though, looks are the big thing - the front is dominated by the new projector fog lights and penetrating 90mm headlights.
At the rear there is a gorgeous moulded tailgate that has allowed the designers to create a appearance almost totally removed from the standard Commodore.
The hard tonneau cover has an integrated rear spoiler and two aeroscoops. Underneath, there is a cargo area liner with automatic light and it’s thoughtfully connected to the vehicle alarm system.