What is it?
It’s the new the Vauxhall Maloo. Doesn’t mean anything to you? The Maloo is a Vauxhall VXR8-based pick-up truck created for the Australian market, but which has been known to make a cameo appearance in the UK line-up.
This is the ‘E3’ model, meaning it is based on the current 425bhp, 406lb ft 6.2-litre V8 VXR8. Power is sent via a six-speed manual ‘box through a limited slip-diff to the rear-wheels alone, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 4.9sec. It’s the second generation of Maloo we’ve had the pleasure of seeing in Britain, but this one sets a rather different price point at £51,500.
What’s it like?
It drives exactly how you would expect. It has a blunt, gung-ho approach to its power delivery and responses that suits the redneck image, and whilst that may sound unappealing in some ways, it is massively entertaining.
The main controls are all fairly heavy, but the steering is weighted well enough and with familiarity you can modulate the sensitive brakes easily, too. The gearshift is positive but heavy and whilst it’s never going to be a delicate machine it is not as wooden as you might imagine.
The chassis gets MacPherson struts up front, multi-link at the rear, and bespoke spring and damper settings all round, and the setup endows the Maloo with acceptable traction and pliancy over the French mountain roads where we drove it.