Gallery: Aussie ute shoot-out
It's Australia day! Celebrate with our outback adventure in a pair of bruising V8 pick-ups
Posted: 26 Jan 2015
The Australian dream is undoubtedly dying. So we hit the road to ensure it wasn't already dead.
There is something beautiful and raw and pure about a big V8 engine. It might be analogue when compared with the twin-charging antics that squeeze power out of smaller, smarter engines, but it's loud, obnoxious, uncouth power at its Australian best. Ford's FPV Pursuit is hiding a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 under that now-crumpled bonnet bulge, which spits out 422bhp and 401lb ft of torque. Holden's HSV Maloo R8's is even bigger: a massive 6.2-litre V8 generates 435bhp and 405lb ft. And they're built for the straight-line hauls of the Aussie outback - all brute force, air-splitting momentum and joyous exhaust. They're old-fashioned, unfeasible and have been force-fed altogether too much power to ever actually use. They chew through petrol like an A380 Airbus and don't so much accelerate as bludgeon the road ahead to death. They're utterly suicidal in the wet, even with all traction options engaged. In short, they're wonderful.