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GM reportedly building world's fastest pickup

hsv-ute-876.jpg

HSV Maloo R8 (Holden)

Holden, the Australian division of General Motors, is set to release the world’s quickest and likely fastest pickup, News Corp Australia’s Joshua Dowling reports.

It’s not a truck, but what folks Down Under call a “ute,” a sedan-based two-door with an open bed. It’s basically what the Chevrolet El Camino would’ve become if it hadn’t been put out to pasture in 1987.

This one’s built on the same platform as the Chevrolet SS, and is already pretty sporty, but the one Holden Special Vehicles is working on will leave the rest in the Outback dust.

Developed in secret over the past four years, the $80,000 two-seater will be powered by a supercharged version of the GM’s 6.2-liter LS3 V8, which produces 580 hp in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

The engine also sees duty in the Holden GTS Maloo sedan, where it’s good for a 0-60 mph run in 4.4 secs and a quarter-mile sprint in 12.3 sec. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, but has been tested above 170 mph, while the ZL1 can crack the 180 mph mark.

A previous high-performance version of the ute set the Guinness record for fastest pickup in 2006 at 169 mph, but there’s no word yet if Holden is planning to try to break it.

The new ute is also expected to carry the GTS Maloo name. Maloo being an aboriginal word for "thunder."

Holden has yet to confirm the vehicle’s existence, but you’ll have to move as quickly as it apparently can if you want to order one.

Only 150 will be produced, and Holden -- along with Ford Australia, which also sells a ute -- is shutting down its local manufacturing at the end of 2016, so there’s a good chance it will hold the title of most powerful Australian-built ute forever.