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HSV to sell V8 ute in Australia by Q1 2020

By Cameron Kirby, 18 Oct 2019 News

HSV to sell V8 ute in Australia by Q1 2020

Holden Special Vehicles will have a 313kW petrol V8 ute on sale early next year

Holden Special Vehicles will begin selling a V8-powered ute in Australia as early as Q1 next year.

Following the successful import and re-engineering (a fancy way to describe their extensive conversion process) of the Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado 2500, HSV will begin to sell the ‘smaller’ Silverado 1500.

Smaller is a loose term when describing the Silverado 1500, because while it is a size down from the gargantuan 2500, some variants stand 20cm taller than the Holden Colorado.

The Silverado 1500 will compete against fellow American pick-up, the Ram 1500, which is converted at the same facility and sold independently in Australia.

Read next: American-sourced trucks are booming down under

While HSV is refraining from making an official statement just yet, Chris Polites, HSV’s Executive Director for sales, marketing and after-sales says the brand is “very keen” on the Silverado 1500.

HSV has had the Silverado 2500 on sale in Australia for 18 months now, and is positive about its ongoing sales, which Polites states has a “good regional mix” throughout the country.

“We are limited by what we can get out of the US,” he added. “But we are buying every one we can get our hands on.”

In the US, the 2020 Silverado 1500 starts at US$28,300. However, the cheapest variant fitted with the L87 6.2-litre engine is the Custom Trail Boss, carrying a MSRP of US$46,265 with a dual-cab body.

A direct conversion with current rates to Australian dollars equates to $67,747. However, this doesn’t provide a fully accurate guide for what a Silverado 1500 would cost in Australia, as the final spec has not been announced, while HSV must shoulder the costs associated with re-engineering the pick-up and getting the vehicle to Australia.

Read next: How HSV's right-hook Chevrolet Camaro is made

HSV wouldn’t be drawn on pricing, but Polites indicated that the 1500 would be sold for less than the cheapest 2500, which starts at $114,990, and dismissed a comparison with the RAM 1500, which costs $99,950 for a dual-cab variant.

Wheels estimates a low six-figure sum will be required to buy the Silverado 1500, which would be the first new generation full-size pick-up to go on sale from a manufacturer in Australia.

The RAM 1500 that is sold in Australia is offered with a 5.6-litre naturally-aspirated V8, producing 291kW and 556Nm, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Wheels understands the Silverado 1500s brought to Australia will be fitted with the L87 6.2-litre petrol V8 with 313kW and 624Nm mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

All 2500s sold by HSV are fitted with a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 sending 332kW and 1234Nm through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Read next: GMC Canyon Denali testing in Australia

Chevrolet claims that the L87 and 10-speed combination is capable of towing a maximum capacity of just over six tonnes, with a maximum available payload of 1020kg.

A Z71 off-road package is offered in the US, which adds Rancho shocks and off-road focussed suspension, hill decent control, an automatic locking rear differential, two-speed transfer case, metal underbody shield, and all-terrain tyres.

There are plenty of creature comforts as well, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, along with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, and a camera-based adaptive cruise control system are standard on LTZ and High Country trims.

Somewhat counter intuitively, what Australians would refer to as a dual-cab is a crew cab in North America, while what we know as a crew cab is a double cab.

Dual-cab Silverado 1500s can be purchased with both a ‘short’ or ‘standard’ rear tray, with the latter adding 9.5 inches (24cm) to the bed.