HSV sets new World Land Speed Record

Published: 07 April 2006

Pictured: HSV.

Australia is no stranger to setting world records with individual and team performances, both in the sporting or professional arena. Now, Holden Special Vehicles has added itself to the list of Australians with world record status by officially breaking the Guinness World Record for the top land speed reached by a production standard utility/pick up truck.

The record was last set in February 2004 by Daimler Chrylser in a Dodge RAM SRT-10 8.3 litre V10, with a top speed of 248.783 km/h. HSV’s LS2 6.0 litre V8 Maloo R8 Ute smashed the barrier set by the Dodge, setting the new speed at 271.44 kph. The run was conducted under strictly controlled conditions on the Federal Governments Woomera Prohibited Area in outback South Australia with HSV’s five time Australian Touring car and Bathurst winning champion Mark Skaife at the helm.

To achieve the record and conform to the Guinness World Record guidelines, the Maloo R8 had to be independently scrutinised to ensure it was a standard production specification vehicle, in exactly the same state and condition as when it rolled off the production line. Once the Maloo R8 was certified, the attempt was run over a marked 1km course, again, to the guidelines set by Guinness World Records. The Maloo R8 had its speed in both directions measured and run within 1 hour to confirm its place as the “Worlds Fastest production Pickup/Utility”.

HSV Marketing Services Manager Paul McDonnell explained how the project came together; “Knowing we had a chance to set a new record was something our guys really wanted to make happen, in fact, many of the HSV team made this a personal project outside their normal work duties. We’ve had terrific support from a range of people and companies to make this happen. Firstly our business partner for road and race cars, Mobil Oils, has been very helpful in incorporating this record attempt within their own around Australia endurance challenge. The ‘Mobil Drive Around Australia Challenge’ sees a HSV Maloo R8 cover nearly 40,000 kms around the country without an oil change, so it was a good fit to run this World Record attempt as part of that programme. To ensure this attempt was scrutinised to Guinness World Record standards and that the safety and logistics were properly managed, we sort the assistance of engineering and field testing experts Test Trak Australia who did a first rate job in ensuring everything was 100%”

“The local community in Woomera were also fantastic, we visited the local school and all the kids got to meet Mark Skaife which was a treat for them. We involved as many locals as possible in staging the event, two bus loads even came out to witness the run. Having the support of the Department of Defence in allowing us to conduct this attempt at their test facility has only added to the story, this place has an amazing history dating back to the 1950’s and it’s fantastic to have the whole town and the Defence Department support our achievement.”

Guinness World Records official Mr Chris Sheedy was on hand to confirm the attempt was genuine and that HSV now hold the mantel for the top production Ute/pickup in the World.

“We are always keen to have new records broken or improved upon” he said “and I can confirm today that the HSV Maloo Ute is the Fastest Production Pick Up/ Utility vehicle in the world. Congratulations HSV!”

After the speed in both directions were recorded, Mr Sheedy observed the data being down loaded form the MOTEC dash logger which had been fitted to the Maloo for the attempt. Speed 1 was recorded at 265.72 kph, speed 2 was recorded at 277.16 kph, setting the new world record at a blistering 271.44 kph. Mr Sheedy then was able to officially award Mark Skaife and the HSV team the new world title.

“This is a fantastic achievement for HSV, this run has been conducted under strictly controlled conditions, as part of Mobil’s endurance drive programme, and it’s been a real team effort from all involved. Records are made to be broken, I think this one will stay for some time to come!” proclaimed Mark Skaife as he received the award in front of around 100 local fans and supporters.

The Z Series Maloo R8 is one of HSV’s most popular selling models, second only to the ClubSport sedan. The Maloo name plate has been part of the HSV stable for 15 years, and serves as a true Aussie icon in the performance utility market. The Z Series LS2 Maloo R8 was launched in October 2004, and was the second vehicle in the world to receive Corvettes LS2 6.0 litre V8 as its power plant.

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