Sunday, July 3, 2011
Car Of The Day: July 3, 2011
Today's car of the day is Matchbox's 2010 Holden Ute.
The Holden Ute is a coupe utility built by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors, since 2000. Before then, Holden had marketed their Commodore-based utility models under the Holden Utility (VG) and Holden Commodore utility (VP, VR, VS) names, although the term “Holden Ute” was also used in their official marketing literature. The Holden Ute name is often used for earlier Holden Utility models (which were produced from 1951 to 1984) as the word "ute" is a colloquial term used commonly in Australia for a utility vehicle or pickup truck. Holden's performance division, an independent company called HSV assembles a high-performance version called the Maloo. Between 2003 and 2007, Holden built a stretched, crew cab version of the Ute with four doors and seating for five, called the Holden Crewman and between 2003 and 2005 a cab-chassis version known as the Holden One Tonner.
The Ute launched with a locally-built 3.8 litre Ecotec V6 engine of Buick design. A 5.7 litre Generation III V8 engine option was also available, but this was replaced by the 6.0 litre Generation 4 in 2006, and updated to the L98 specification later on that year. In 2004, Holden replaced the venerable V6 with a 3.6 litre Alloytec unit.
The Australian-assembled Ute was to be sold in the United States as the Pontiac G8 ST starting in 2009 alongside the four-door Commodore-based G8 sedan. However, due to GM's company-wide model review, a result of the 2008 global financial crisis, such plans were shelved on 6 January 2009. Exports of the G8 sedan remain unaffected. Sales of the Ute in South Africa as the Chevrolet Lumina SS commenced during 2006/2007.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Holden Ute
A beautiful model from Matchbox, but it appears they forgot to tampo the rest of the taillights. From the pictures I've seen, the model's taillights should extend to the diagonal body line. The casting's great, the color is great, and I was really looking forward to seeing this come Stateside as the Pontiac G8 ST. Maybe there's hope of it coming here as an El Camino eventually?
2007 saw the launch of Holden's eagerly anticipated VE Ute range, unveiled to the media in August, with showroom sales began later in the month. The new generation designated VE, based on the VE Commodore tackles an upward consumer tendency towards using utes as lifestyle vehicles. This further shifts the ute away from the traditional workhorse market.