You better start stockpiling tyres now. If the Holden VE Ute makes it to the US in the near future – and I’ll bet a slab of cold ones it does – you guys are going to need plenty of the black stuff.
With a 362-horsepower V8 shoved under the bonnet of this weapon, the VE Ute makes a mockery of No Smoking laws by torching the rear tyres on demand.
Holden has just launched the all-new model in Australia, where powerful utes are often regarded as affordable two-door sportscars as well as workhorses. There's no negative trailer-park stigma with car-body utes Down Under - the machines are so sought after that they have a better resale values than their sedan siblings.
Based on the VE sedan, which is headed to the States with a Pontiac front end and a Pontiac G8 badge, this Holden is a low riding car-based ute available with V6 and V8 engines.
Aussies have a long history of these street friendly cargo carriers, with the first real ute created when a farmer requested a car he could use to carry all his produce and take the family into town. The resulting 1934 Ford V8 ute started an Aussie fascination with the mild load haulers that has grown stronger as more horses have been crammed under the bonnet.
It’s easy to see why Aussies love their utes.
Firstly, they are pure two-seaters.That means there’s room for your sheila, but not her mother. She has to either ride in the rear tub, where you can’t hear her, or stay at home.
Just as convincing is how much bang you get for your bucks. A ute is usually about $5,000 Aussie dollars ($4,330 USD) cheaper than the equivalent four-door sedan. To translate, that adds up to 3,703 cans of beer or about a dozen rear tyres.
Competition has spurred on the development car-based utes in Australia, with Ford developing utes based on its rear-drive Falcon sedan. The Blue Oval performance utes comes with a 349-hp 5.4-litre V8 and a wickedly smooth turbo 4.0-litre six that pumps out 329-hp.
Holden was always going to hit back and turned its attention to the Ute after launching the all-new VE sedan last August. It dropped its hard-working flat tray One Tonner and the stretched crew cab Ute models and concentrated on the two-seater.