Vaux-Hauls Its Heritage With The VXR8 Maloo LSA


June 14, 2016 By Mike Lee
Last updated on June 14, 2016

Vaux-Hauls Its Heritage With The VXR8 Maloo LSA

  • Vauxhall’s new Goodwood Festival star lugs first precious load

With 107 times the power of its forebear it’s no surprise that the new Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo LSA, which will be tearing Tarmac at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed next week, makes light work of carrying Vauxhall’s very first car.

With 536bhp (544PS), the Maloo LSA is Britain’s most powerful light commercial vehicle (LCV). And with a top speed limited to 155mph and a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds (both estimated), it’s also the fastest too.

But that doesn’t mean that the Maloo LSA is a one-trick pony. With a payload of 500kgs, it’s more than capable of accommodating its oldest Vauxhall namesake in its generous load-bay. Built in 1903, the ‘5HP’ weighs just 272kgs and can hit a maximum speed of 25mph – barely a sixth of what the Maloo can achieve – but quick by early twentieth century standards.

So how would their times compare on Goodwood’s famous hill climb track? While there’s no official timing in the First Glance class in which the Maloo can be seen this year, we estimate that it would reach the finish line of the 1.16-mile course in 55 seconds, at least three minutes ahead of the 113-year-old 5HP.

Take into account the Maloo LSA’s performance armoury, though, and it’s no great surprise. With an all-new 6.2-litre, supercharged V8 shared with its Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sibling (which will also appear in the same class) Vauxhall’s super-commercial deploys its power through a limited slip differential to the rear wheels. Its driver could make the car disappear in a haze of tyre smoke off the start line at Goodwood, but for a clean getaway, the Maloo also benefits from a neat Launch Control system for maximum-attack starts.

Despite these bookends of Vauxhall’s immense heritage appearing to have nothing in common (see chart, below), there’s one feature which is shared by both vehicles. With surprising prescience, Vauxhall’s 1903 engineers joined the chassis and the lower part of the 5HP’s body into a composite steel and wood structure, effectively creating a very early monocoque design, which is now employed by almost all production cars around the world.

Vauxhall is returning for a second year as sponsor of the hugely popular Goodwood Festival of Speed (June 23-26). Its unique Family Experience area is set to captivate children and adults alike with a mix of fun-filled challenges and more than 30 exciting old and new cars to see. The area, which features a large, free crèche and hospitality area, is the only one of its kind at the event and is guaranteed to be an instant hit with families.

2016 VAUXHALL VXR8 MALOO LSA vs 1903 VAUXHALL 5HP – 113 YEARS OF PROGRESS

5HP  Maloo
Engine capacity 978cc 6,162cc
Cylinders  1 8
Power  5bhp 536bhp (544PS)
Torque N/A 671Nm @3850rpm
Engine construction Integrally cast head/block All-aluminium heads/block
Fuel delivery Vauxhall spray carb Electronic fuel injection
Crankshaft 2-bearing Cross-bolted, 5-bearing
Transmission Clutchless, 2-speed 6-speed manual
Drive Via chain to rear axle Via limited slip diff. to rear axle
Suspension – front Spiral springs/no dampers MacPherson Strut
Suspension – rear Spiral springs/no dampers Fully independent, multi-link
Steering By tiller / plenty of faith By wheel / rack & pinion
Brakes  – front None 367mm diameter ventilated discs
Brakes – rear Drums 372mm diameter ventilated discs
Wheels 26-inch / wire construction 20-inch / alloy
Tyres – front 26/3 255/35 x 20
Tyres – rear 26/3 275/35 x 20
Top speed 25mph 155mph (limited/est)
Acceleration (0-60mph) Uh, never… 4.3 seconds (est)
Fuel consumption 38mpg (unofficial) 18.5mpg (official combined)
Price 130 guineas (£136) £54,520