Holden is claiming a world first for its first new VU-series ute (i.e. utility or pickup) in 10 years: independent rear suspension. The new model was unveiled at last month’s Sydney Motor Show but technical details have been withheld until now.

Other claims include sporty styling, more load space plus ride and road manners more on a par with the sedans from which the ute is derived than a typical one-tonne pickup.

There are three versions: base, S and SS. Standard across the range are a 3.8-litre V6 engine, radio/CD player, trip computer, centre console cupholders, rear window defogger, luggage net and a storage box.

Buyers opting for the S version get a loadspace tonneau cover, power windows, stereo controls on the steering wheel, electric driver’s seat, alloy wheels and some extra exterior chrome trim.
The sporty SS version comes with standard 5.7-litre V8, bigger alloy wheels, front body add-ons and sports suspension from the equivalent SS sedan, air conditioning, passenger airbag, anti-lock brakes and an electric aerial.

Both cabin and load space are increased and the load capacity of the base model has been hiked 18% to 830kg. Fuel capacity is up and an LPG option is offered for V6 models in combination with automatic transmission.

Holden will sell the ute in Australia from next month priced from $A23,330 ($US12,600) to $A36,490 ($US19,600). It will also be exported to New Zealand and other Asia-Pacific markets.

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