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First look: VE wagon and HSV's smokin' new Maloo

Cargo cred: HSV's new Maloo will debut at the Sydney motor show beside the new Holden Ute upon which it's based. The VE Commodore wagon (below) should appear at the Melbourne show in March. Source: autoblog.com

HSV's all-new VE Maloo and Holden's redesigned Commodore sportswagon break cover

28 Aug 2007

HOLDEN revealed its all-new VE Ute last week and now both the Holden Special Vehicles version and the redesigned Commodore wagon have broken cover on the internet via Australian General Motors chat website www.ls1.com.au.

Holden won't confirm their authenticity but it's believed both images were snapped at a marketing presentation.

While HSV has revealed the successor for the world's fastest and most powerful utility will make its public debut at the Sydney motor show on October 11, speculation is is building that Holden will release its VE-based wagon as a spoiler for Ford’s new-generation Falcon range.

With the vital big Ford due early in the second quarter of next year, rumours are circulating that Holden is setting March or April as the debut dates for its VE wagon.

The ploy is designed to steal as much thunder from its arch-rival as possible, so expect both the redesigned 'Orion' Falcon and new VE Commodore wagon to surface at the Melbourne motor show in March.

Holden may even release a VE Series II model to buoy the entire Commodore range in the face of the new Falcon onslaught.

13 center imageFor the time being, Holden is still remaining coy about the existence of a VE Commodore wagon (left), but if these images prove to be the genuine item, it appears Holden has treaded further down the sports/lifestyle route with its new large wagon, which has been developed under the title Sportswagon - just as HSV's next-generation Maloo appears even less suitable for actual load-lugging.

Like Holden's VE Ute that goes on sale in October (and makes its public premiere alongside the HSV VE Maloo at Sydney), the VE wagon will be powered by the same 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 that drives the new VE Commodore sedan.

As with the VE sedan and Ute, the entry-level VE Omega and midrange Berlina wagon will most likely retain GM's four-speed auto.

An SS version could be available from launch, powered by the same 6.0-litre V8 as the SS Ute and sedan but likely to be mated exclusively to a six-speed automated transmission.

Speculation is rife the new wagon will employ the same short-wheelbase underpinnings as the VE Commodore sedan (not that of the long-wheelbase Ute and WM Statesman/Caprice, as is the case with the current VZ Commodore wagon).

Given the VE's wheelbase was stretched by around 100mm, that would make the VE wagon's wheelbase only 30mm-odd shorter than before, but its more rounded roof and tailgate almost certainly suggest overall cargo space will be reduced.

The new Maloo, meantime, will pack the same 307kW/550Nm 6.0-litre V8 as HSV's VE Commodore and WM Statesman-based E-Series sedan range, mated to six-speed auto and manual transmissions.

While that's up 10kW and 20Nm on its predecessor, new Holden Ute specifications indicate the VE Maloo is also likely to be up to 150kg heavier - but it should still deliver 0-100km/h acceleration in around five seconds.

As HSV's least expensive V8 model (the new Maloo is expected to stay priced from under $60,000) it should not only continue to offer the greatest HSV bang for one's buck, but reclaim its traditional position as HSV's second most popular model behind the ClubSport entry-level sedan.

Apart from 20-inch GTS wheels and a hard tonneau cover, both of which are likely to be optional equipment, the image reveals Chevrolet El-Camino-style B-pillar extensions and mock exhaust outlets integrated into the rear of aggressive new side skirts.

Read more:

VE Ute confirmed for US, but not as a Chev

First look: Clean sheet for Holden VE Ute

VE Ute design: An alter ego

VE Ute tech: Raising the (sports) bar


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