The modern equivalent of the Chevrolet El Camino is better on the track than you’d expect thanks to a supercharged V8.
Fans of classic American muscle tend to have a fondness for the few utes that were built and sold here, which include the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino. However other parts of the world, particularly Australia, have not let go of their souped-up utes, which is why the Vauxhall Maloo is still in existence. Its name translates to “thunder” in Aboriginal language, and this VXR8 edition is the one that really brings the electrifying performance thanks to a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 out of the previous Chevy Camaro ZL1.
That’s good for 537 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque, more than enough to get the lightweight rear wagging under throttle. Tiff Needell of Evo manages to take one to Silverstone Raceway in the UK for a few laps around the circuit and finds out that he can pass Porsches, BMWs, and the like by using a bit of skill and tapping into the Maloo’s vast power reserves.
Our favorite part about the Maloo, aside from the fact that it’s not too far-fetched to believe its name was penned by Dr. Seuss, is that it’s still built today and sold in the UK. It was already an absurd proposition to believe that Holden was building the four-door VXR using the same engine, but sending that level power to the rear wheels in a vehicle that has had its rear end lightened thanks to the fact that most of the car exists on the front end is downright insane. To help put down the power, Vauxhall includes a limited-slip differential and a stiffened suspension, and with an experienced driver like Needell at the helm, it looks to fare well against its opponents.