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HSV outs 2015 range upgrades

Daniel Gardner
13 October 2014

Buyers of HSV's record-breaking 430kW/740Nm GTS Maloo ute will pay $6500 less than the sedan equivalent, after the iconic Australian brand confirmed its $87,990, plus on-roads price-tag ahead of customer deliveries in late November.

The pricing was revealed as HSV announced a series of upgrades to its 2015 Gen-F range that include more power for R8, Clubsport and Maloo variants, paddle-shifters for automatic versions, sportier exhaust notes across the board and more personalisation options.

With the new increased specification, prices of all affected variants have seen a small increase with entry level manual ClubSport versions creeping up by $1000 to $61,990, plus on-road costs, while an automatic gearbox adds $2500 to the price tag on all variants.

Prices for the range-topping supercharged GTS monster sedan have not changed, remaining at $94,490 or $96,990 for the automatic.

A new exhaust system and mild engine re-map has given R8 variants the biggest power gains, with the output up to 340kW from 325kW, while torque gets a boost from 550Nm to 570Nm,

Sedan and tourer R8 versions have had a price bump of $2000, while the Maloo ute hops up by $1700.

The same modification has increased the ClubSport and Maloo power output by 8kW to 325kW with torque unchanged at 550Nm, and prices of Maloo up by $1000 to $59,990.

The new bi-modal exhaust system is now standard across the range with the exception of the Grange variant, and uses an electrically operated valve system to alter the engine note from more subtle while cruising to “throatier” and louder when in sports mode.

All variants optioned with HSVs six-speed automatic gearbox now have steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, to allow manual selection of gears without the driver having to take their hands from the wheel.

HSV says the Active Select system will allow drivers of its automatic vehicles “to extract maximum performance from the powertrain”.

Previously, adding an automatic gearbox to any 2014 model costs $2200 with the exception of the GTS which carried a $2500 premium, but all autos will be priced at $2500 for the 2015 range.

The fiesty 6.2-litre supercharged GTS now has 'dark stainless' 20-inch alloy wheels to match those on the recently announced Maloo ute variant, while R8 variants get 20-inch rims dressed in 'tornado grey'.

Styling flourishes continue for the 2015 range with a 'Hyperflow' performance rear spoiler available for ClubSport, ClubSport R8 and GTS variants, while all R8 versions can opt for a 'pitch black style' pack to add accents to fender vents, mirror caps and lo-line spoiler (and tailgate on the tourer).

HSV has added two new colours to the 2015 line-up with Jungle Green and Some Like It Hot red joining the range of eight other colours in the existing pallette.

Only the Grange has been excluded from any equipment or pricing changes remaining at $85,990.

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HSV GTS Maloo: First drive review

David McCowen
13 October 2014

The HSV GTS Maloo is a jack of all trades.

It's a highway mile-muncher, muscle car, workman's tool and fashion statement rolled into one. Australia has a rich history of V8 utes, but none quite like this.

By introducing a supercharger to the Maloo's 6.2-litre V8 engine, HSV created a two-door machine with more power than Ferrari's 458 Italia.

Settling into an interior pilfered from the well-appointed GTS sedan, a prod of the ute's starter button produces a soundtrack normally heard in pitlane at Mount Panorama.

A triumphant fanfare of revs is a prelude to a lumpen, off-beat idle and throaty gurgle from its quad exhaust tips. Each cheeky blip of the throttle is rewarded with a burst of energy followed closely by a rich snap and crackle, part of a soundtrack every bit as lairy as the Maloo's boy-racer looks.

The ute's tray seems to serve as an amplifier to that sonorous V8, a boombox turning the GTS sedan up to 11. Wallflowers can quieten the clever bi-modal exhaust, but doing so is like unplugging AC/DC and asking them to play an acoustic rendition of Thunderstruck.

Moving away from rest, our six-speed manual test example has torque aplenty, though a heavy pedal for its twin-plate clutch requires finesse.

The controls are appropriately weighty for a car of its nature, with a meaty feel to the steering and brakes serving as a constant reminder to the Maloo's potential.

We tested the ute on a wide variety of roads and across more than 1700 kilometres taking in everything from capital city traffic to twisting country backroads and endless interstate freeways.

It's an imposing brute in town, thanks largely to not inconsiderable dimensions and restricted visibility. The VF Commodore's A-pillars have girth to rival a gumtree, and over the shoulder vision is heavily compromised by styling extensions to the car's cabin, along with twin cowls that rise above its hard tray cover.

That remote-locking tonneau is far from watertight, and wouldn't close without a firm press just above the lock mechanism to help it latch properly.

A standard reversing camera with new guidelines that predict the car's path makes parking manoeuvres possible.

The GTS Maloo is almost impractically low and not exactly ideal for worksite duty. A HSV spokesman could not say what its load capacity is, only that it is less than 500 kilograms.

A touch longer than its GTS sedan counterpart with a longer wheelbase too, the Maloo GTS also weighs in at a not inconsiderable 1830 kilograms.

There is precious little storage in the cabin, and the ute's six-speaker stereo offers sub-par quality for a $90,000 car, though Holden's suite of MyLink infotainment features is present and correct.

The Maloo is far from perfect, but all is forgiven the first time you push its throttle all the way to its stop.

The ute's thrust is little short of alarming, hungrily reeling in the horizon with a voracity only halted by gear changes and a driver's fear for their licence.

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Awesome. Shame it's a bit of a swan song for Australia, since the Ute is going the way of the dodo. Too bad the US never got a crack at seeing if there ever was a market for the Ute here. Guess we'll never know.
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A rather dull Chevy Montana will probably be the next UTE to be sold in Australia. A dull 4-pot 1.8L will be as big good as it gets, enjoy the Maloo while its still available. Dull is the future.

I don't know if this is a troll or what but if it's true then GM shouldn't even bother putting them on the boat. This thing would make the Australia Malibu look like a runaway success!

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A rather dull Chevy Montana will probably be the next UTE to be sold in Australia. A dull 4-pot 1.8L will be as big good as it gets, enjoy the Maloo while its still available. Dull is the future.
Australia has already chosen their replacement for the Utes. They are choosing between Colorados, Rangers, Hiluxes, Navaros, & other body on frame trucks. They already offer diesels that get better FE than even the Montana could offer.
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