Thunder Down Under: Holden Premieres Thunder Ute Special Edition

Australians have all the luck.  In addition to wild kangaroos and koalas, car-based trucks, also known as Utes, roam the country. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Holden Ute, Holden will be introducing a series of special edition Utes to celebrate -- including the Thunder Ute model.

Differentiating the Thunder Ute model will be charcoal-finished, 19-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system, leather seat bolsters, and Thunder badges. The Thunder Ute will come in a selection of head-turning hues ranging from “sizzle” (bright red) to “voodoo” (electric blue) to “hazard” (bright yellow).

Buyers will have the option of either six- or eight-cylinder powerplants for the anniversary package and either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Thunder Ute SV6 is powered by a 282-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine; whereas, the SS gets its motivation from a 6.0-liter V-8 engine producing 349 horsepower with the automatic or 362 horsepower equipped with the manual. No matter the engine or transmission, all power is sent under the truck bed to the rear wheels.

Holden says that the added kit for the Thunder Ute is worth around $3000, but is adding no price penalty to the Thunder Ute. With manual transmissions, the SV6 will start at AUD$34,990 ($36,647) and the SS will start at AUD$39,900 ($41,797).

Americans know the Holden Ute as the stillborn Pontiac G8 ST. For a short second in 2008, General Motors considered bringing the Aussie ute to our shores along with the Pontiac G8 sedan, which was nothing more than a rebadged version of the Holden Commodore on which the Ute is based. There have even been rumors in the past few weeks of a Chevrolet-badged Commodore possibly returning to the States within the next few years.

Source: General Motors

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