General Motors’ England-based Vauxhall division has updated the segment-defying Maloo with more power and a revised front fascia for the 2016 model year.
The most accurate way to describe the Maloo is to say it’s a modern interpretation of the Chevrolet El Camino that was deep-sixed in 1987 after a decades-long production run. Equal parts car and pickup truck, the Maloo is manufactured in Australia by General Motors-owned Holden, the same company that builds the Chevrolet SS, but a handful of examples are shipped to England each year with a Vauxhall emblem on the grille.
Discreet at best, the visual modifications include 20-inch alloy wheels, a new splitter up front, and gloss black air vents in the hood, The cabin is largely carried over from last year’s model, but it comes nicely appointed with navigation, dual-zone A/C, leather upholstery, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Power is provided by a 6.2-liter V8 engine called LSA in GM-speak that uses an Eaton supercharger to generate about 536 horsepower at 6,150 rpm — 105 ponies more than last year’s model — and nearly 500 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. Borrowed from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the eight-cylinder sends the Maloo from 0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155 mph for the sake of safety. A six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential both come standard, but buyers who want to go clutch-less can order a six-speed automatic unit at an extra cost.
To put those performance figures into perspective, the rear-wheel drive Maloo can keep up with a Porsche 911 Carrera down a drag strip, and Vauxhall points out it earns the honor of being the fastest commercial vehicle currently sold in the United Kingdom. It would easily out-perform every truck sold in the United States too, but General Motors has made it crystal clear that it has no plans to offer the Maloo on our shores.
The Maloo isn’t all about going as fast as possible in a straight line. It’s classified as a truck, after all, and it can haul nearly 1,200 pounds when it’s equipped with a manual transmission.
In England, the 2016 Vauxhall Maloo carries a base price of £54,500, a sum that converts to roughly $81,241, once taxes are factored in.