Following on from our recent look at a few Holden ute concepts from times past, here’s a stormer from HSV.
The Maloo was an established model in the tuner’s line-up but the HRT Edition Maloo concept from 2001 turned things right up with a wide body treatment and a big surge in power. Almost as impressive as the Maloo’s stance was the fact it took just four months to go from drawing board to show star.
Starting with the standard ute, the front track was widened 50mm with a reworked steering rack and front strut to suit. The rear was made 75mm wider, achieved by wider wheels with a hefty offset and unlike other Commodore based utes of the time, it gained a multi-link rear end.
The sleeker look of the HRT concept comes from the fact that all the pillars had been altered in some way. The A pillar was layed back to fit a more rakish Monaro windscreen, while the other pillars were shortened to lower the roofline.
Some 150mm was added to the length of the cabin, the doors were made longer too, while the ute’s tray was cut to fit the fares and wider wheels. The budget must have been stretched to breaking point as the panels were fashioned from fibreglass, including the one-piece front end.
The 6.2-litre V8 featured a unique crankshaft, rods and pistons, and with a GTS-sourced manifold and throttle body and LS6 Corvette heads, US-tuners Callaway managed to massage 350kW and 600Nm from it. This at a time when the regular HSV range was putting out 255kW. It ran with a six-speed transmission, while the 378mm front rotors were the biggest ever used by HSV at the time, with six pot calipers.
The 20-inch wheels were custom made, while the interior featured sat nav and audio with a 10-inch sub. Rounding out the special build was a fridge in the tray and mood lighting to set the scene.