Here's your chance to get a modern-day El Camino with the steering wheel on the left.
A left-hand-drive HSV Maloo R8 LSA is heading to auction later this month, giving US-based buyers a chance to get a road-legal unicorn. Known in Australia as a 'ute,' the Maloo R8 LSA isn't your average pickup.
This particular model is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that puts out 635 horsepower - nearly as much as a Camaro ZL1 - at the rear wheels. That's a lot of muscle for a small truck.
The LSA motor has received several modifications, including a new cold air intake, headers, and a larger supercharger pulley.
Mecum Auctions are offering this Sting Red example, which will be sold at the 2023 Chattanooga event on October 13-14, 2023. So, what else should you know about this powerful brute? Thanks to the left-hand-drive conversion, it can probably be driven legally in the United States - no need to wait for the 25-year import ban to be lifted.
It's a handsome brute with a familiar front end, enhanced by a deeper bumper and menacing air vents. It looks familiar because it shares its front fascia with the Chevrolet SS, a sports sedan sold in the United States between 2014 and 2017. The SS was a rebadged Holden Commodore, a car that has spawned many variants, including a 'ute.'
The Chevy SS that arrived in America all those years ago received a more conventional grille and lower bumper treatment, but the family resemblance is unmistakable. Two-tone twin-spoke alloys add extra sporting flair and conceal the red-painted brake calipers. The Maloo's bed is hidden by a sculpted tonneau cover that fits perfectly with the sports bar. An integrated spoiler hints at the R8 LSA's capabilities and the quad tailpipes at the rear.
It may be a pickup truck, but the interior offers sedan-like comfort and features.
Chevy SS owners will feel right at home behind the wheel of this Maloo, as the dashboard is virtually identical. The interior has been trimmed in Red Hot and Black performance leather, with suede on the bolsters, door cards, and fascia. Lashings of carbon fiber enliven the admittedly generic dash layout.
Buyers won't want for much, as the Maloo boasts climate control, semi-powered seats, and a standard infotainment system. As this is a 2016 model, we wouldn't expect much from the infotainment screen, display, or amenities.
Mecum hasn't listed an estimated selling price, but we wouldn't be surprised if this Maloo attracts much attention. In Australia, the market for these high-powered pickups has gone crazy. There's a growing fanbase of 'Ute' and Maloo lovers stateside, which is no surprise. It's the closest thing to a modern-day El Camino the world will ever see, especially now that Holden has become defunct.