2012 HSV Maloo R8

Forget the Nissan Navara. Forget, too, the Triton and the Ford Ranger. They are fine workhorses but if you want a load-lugger that will speed you between jobs like a Jack Russell chasing a ferret, there is only one car for the job, the HSV Maloo R8.

Maloo means thunder in Aborigine and upon first glance at the mad HSV you tend to agree that you are indeed in for a storm if you climb aboard this beast.

From the front it looks colossal, bedecked with massive intakes and snarling snouts, while at the back there is a pool table-sized load bay that doubles as the world's best man bag.

Buried in the nose of the brute rests the 6.2 litre V8 engine that powers the R8, the Corvette and the Chevrolet Camaro. It is the latest 'LS3' engine, putting out 317kW and 550Nm of torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine is so powerful it is easy to bumble around in a high gear and let the engine do the work. Alternatively, you can make full use of the six gears to extract ludicrous performance from something so strange.

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