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First look: One-Tonner back in black

Power lifter: The One-Tonner will be available with choices of both V6 and V8 power.

Reborn cab-chassis One-Tonner leads a workhorse flood at Holden

28 Feb 2003

TO the strains of AC/DC's classic rock anthem "Back in Black", Holden this morning at the Melbourne motor show revealed the 21st century iteration of its own classic, the One-Tonner.

Absent from Holden showrooms since the WB departed the scene in early 1985, the reborn Commodore-based cab-chassis One-Tonner will go on sale around mid-year.

Holden confirmed today it will be sold in base V6 specification and as an "S" model, which will offer the option of the Chev-sourced Gen III 5.7-litre V8 engine.

A 260kW HSV Maloo Cab Chassis was also revealed in Melbourne. It uses the LS1 V8 from the ClubSport, while underneath is a self-levelling HSV suspension with four piston premium brakes.

An integrated body kit with under tray panels and a polished Jarrah timber tray completed the look of HSV cab-chassis.

The One-Tonner is the first of a gaggle of locally-built commercials heading our way from Holden over the next 12 months or so. Also on the way are the Cross8 crew-cab in two and four-wheel drive variations and the Commodore-based 4WD wagon.

The One-Tonner is an important addition to Holden's lineup because its Ute sales have consistently lagged behind the Ford Falcon, which does have a cab-chassis one-tonne variant.

"Our customers told us that they wanted more than a tough workhorse that would do anything asked of it - they wanted something that handled like a car and also had unquestioned street credibility, without payload compromise," Holden chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger said.

"The new One-Tonner answers their call. It has a unique, world-first chassis frame design that was developed utilising international resources. This design adds strength, durability, ride refinement and handling never seen before in a light commercial of this sort," Mr Hanenberger concluded.

The One-Tonner, unlike the independently suspended Holden Ute, is fitted with a live rear axle and elliptical leaf spring rear suspension, and has the capability to carry payloads of over one tonne in some set-ups.

Holden says its One Tonner's construction is unique because it is part monocoque and part chassis frame. Some designs have the chassis frame mounted to the underside of the cab, but the Holden's chassis frame is bolted into place with a heavy duty torque arm.

This takes the form of vertical uprights at the front of the chassis frame, which are bolted to the cab at both top and bottom. Holden says bolting through a complete cross section, rather than welding the surfaces together, allows the use of heavier gauge material and creates a much stiffer, stronger and more durable connection.

The One-Tonner can be optioned with an alloy tray or a steel dropside tray with removable sides. Like its predecessors, it can be fitted with a broad range of custom body styles.

The One-Tonner shares the recently upgraded exterior styling and interior presentation of the VY Ute and Commodore range.

While Holden wasn't talking about pricing at today's reveal, it did release a preliminary list of features for the One-Tonner, which we've reprinted below.

Holden VY One Tonner Features
152kW 3.8 litre ECOTEC V6
225kW 5.7 litre Generation III V8 (optional S)
Electronic control, four-speed automatic transmission
Six-speed manual transmission (with Gen III V8)
Anti-lock braking (S)
Limited slip differential (S)
16x7-inch alloy wheels (S)
Electric remote control exterior mirrors
Twilight sentinel (headlamps auto on/off)
Mobile phone power socket in console
CD player, four-speaker 40-watt audio system with speed-dependent volume control
Power antenna (S)
Bucket seats, high rise centre console armrest
Power-adjustable driver's seat (S)
Driver airbag
Air-conditioning (S)
Power windows (S)
Leather-wrap steering wheel (S) Option/Accessory Highlights
Holden authorised LPG system
Six disc in-dash CD changer
Passenger airbag
Alloy pedal cluster
Stainless steel sill plates
Towing equipment (1600kg/2100kg) Colour Selection
Heron White, Redhot and Phantom (black metallic)

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