Holden has at last revealed details of its recent visit to Germany's hallowed Nurburgring course, where a simple engineering exercise was turned into a record lap for a "commercial and utility vehicle".
It's a contested claim, but Holden is sticking to it.
News of the facelifted VF SS-V Redline Ute's trip to 'The Green Hell' first surfaced last month, when savvy spy photographers spotted an uncamouflaged - and probably unrecognisable - utility roaring around the 'ring.
“Being surrounded by mostly European manufacturers at the industry days, the Ute really stood out and I was getting plenty of thumbs up," said Holden Engineer Rob Trubiani, the ute's pilot on the day.
"A few of the more expensive European cars on the track got a shock as this red Aussie Ute flew past them.”
Holden quickly copped to the fact that the jig was up, but, while rumours flew and insiders spilled a few beans, the carmaker kept quiet on the specifics.
Today, Holden has confirmed a Nurburgring lap time of 8:19:47, declaring a world record for a commercial and utility vehicle.
("Well, we’re claiming it anyway. The VF Ute is certified by the Australian Government (DOTARS) as Class NA – Light Goods Vehicle," Holden says in today's release.)
The record time was set during a full run of the Nordschleife section of the Nürburgring, a total of 20.8km.
But, as for the record, it might depend on who you ask. Earlier this week, a 2.0 litre diesel-powered VW Transporter - modified by German tuner Revo - set a lap time of 9:57, and fans seem ready to declare this the quickest 'commercial vehicle' sprint around the 'ring.
Holden says there was no 'utility vehicle' record for the Nurburgring before the Ute's run...
You can decide for yourself, but we'll go with Holden: with more than a minute up its sleeve on the Transporter, the SS-V Ute could have done it with a load of bricks, a barrow and a Blue Heeler in the back.
The previous record in a commercial vehicle was set by German ace Sabine Schmitz, driving a Ford Transit on a 2005 episode of the BBC's Top Gear.
But, back to that SS-V Redline Ute:
"We sat down and calculated what we thought the Ute could do and targeted around 8min 30sec. Initial practice sessions at the track confirmed that was a stretch target so that’s what we aimed for," Trubiani said.
"To slash 11 seconds from that time with an 8m 19.47sec lap was incredible."
Trubiani says the Ute used for the record was a nearly stock-standard SS-V Redline, with only a dash more negative camber at the front wheels and the removal of its speed limiter.
Visiting the 'ring as part of the VF Commodore's pre-release engineering program, Holden says the Ute ran flawlessly for seven days at the famous course, charging through 35 laps.
"Driving the SS V Redline Ute at the ‘Ring has been the highlight of my career,” Trubiani said.
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