Vauxhall only sells one pick up vehicle these days, and while our rivals will wow you with improvements in emissions and fuel economy in a CV’s new model year, our offering – the new Maloo LSA – is more likely to impress with the arrival of its all-new, supercharged 6.2-litre, 536 BHP V8 engine.
So while it’s possibly not a contender for next year’s MPG Marathon, the Vauxhall Maloo LSA will haul… well, up to 540kgs from standstill to sixty in an unfeasibly short space of time, and do so with the utmost composure, despite the fact that it’s classed as a commercial vehicle (business users can even claim the VAT back from its very reasonable £54,200 on-the-road price).
The new LSA engine brings maximum power up from 425 BHP for the outgoing LS3 V8 to 536 BHP, and an increase in torque from 420 ft lb to 495 ft lb. First seen in the current VXR8 GTS launched last year, the LSA is essentially the same unit fitted to the Camaro ZL1, albeit in a slightly re-tuned form. An Eaton 4-lobe supercharger, stand-alone water-to-air charge-air cooling system and high-flow exhaust system with bi-modal exhaust function turn the Maloo into the fastest production ‘ute’ manufactured in Australia, and the fastest CV available in the UK.
To cater for the extra 111 BHP of power and 75 ft lb of torque compared with the outgoing Maloo, modifications have been made to the vehicle’s chassis. Spring and damper rates have been stiffened to reduce body-roll and further improve turn-in, while the unique rear suspension module delivers improved rear stiffness and rear braking efficiency.
Also now standard on the Maloo LSA are Launch Control (manual models only), a limited slip differential, sat-nav, Bluetooth, Onyx Leather trim, and EDI (Enhanced Driver Interface).
In addition to more power and standard equipment, the Maloo also benefits from a raft of exterior styling upgrades. The front end features a re-designed fascia incorporating a subtle splitter, while the addition of pitch-black bonnet air vents help deliver an even more aggressive look.
The pitch-black theme is carried through to the mirror and vents, with a new 20-inch, five-spoke alloy wheel design completing the styling package. Two new colours – Slipstream (vibrant blue) and some Like it Hot (metallic red) – complement the Maloo’s fresh new look.
Vauxhall’s VXR8 GTS, the other model in Vauxhall’s V8, rear-wheel-drive range, also has some subtle changes for 2016. While power remains unchanged at 576 BHP, and torque at 545 ft lb, the five-seat, four door saloon receives new bonnet vents, bumper grilles and side sills, as well as a new centre-stack arrangement inside the cabin and two new exterior colours. On the road price for the 2016 VXR8 is £55,500 with six-speed manual transmission and £57,200 with the six-speed auto, with oil cooler.