Holden  - SST Stepside Custom Pickup Concept
Holden's SST Stepside Custom Pickup
Holden has unleashed a muscular One Tonner-based custom design concept at the Melbourne International Motor Show. Known as SST, it's a look-at-me, street-smart prototype that highlights Holden's ability to quickly transform sketch into showcar.
SST is a sports/recreational street machine that should hold plenty of appeal for the 'boys with toys' brigade. To assess buyer interest and help establish the viability of the SST concept, Holden will be asking interested showgoers to offer their opinions.
The 225kW V8 SST step side custom pickup had its genesis late last year when Holden sought ways to emphasise the One Tonner's versatility by showcasing individual design themes.
If it receives the green light, the SST One Tonner would carry Holden By Design badging and join an increasingly diverse Holden light commercial line-up that's the strongest in company history and currently leading its national sales category.
Its cleverly integrated, low-slung custom step side body is described by Holden Senior Designer Jeff Haggarty as, "tough, stubby and muscular with a mildly retro feel, but contemporary in execution."
Reflecting the front fender sweep, the SST's muscular rear fenders frame 19-inch five-spoke alloys, 275/35 low profile tyres and four-pot Harrop brakes. Front wheels are 18-inch; the reinforced step side is fully functional and there's an aircraft-style fuel filler cap. Cab design cues are overtly SS, and the theme continues along deep-skirted flanks and into a Ute-style rear facia with low-set integrated reversing lamps.
The tailgate sports a moulded lion logo reminiscent of an earlier pickup era and SST has stacked, twin circular tail lamps. The deep tray, finished in heavy-duty aluminium propeller plate, is equipped with storage compartments and a polished alloy sports bar with high-mount stop lamp.
The step allows easy access to tie loads to one of six integrated tie-down points. SST remains a workhorse at heart, underpinned like all One Tonners by the unique to Holden torque arm chassis frame that gives it serious load carrying capability.
The prototype's brilliant electric blue with violet mica finish - appropriately named Ego - is reflected in glossy, colour-keyed cockpit and console surrounds in the SS-style interior, which is trimmed in Anthracite black leather, with seat and door inserts in Bermuda blue.
Kelly Brauer, Sales and Marketing Manager Performance Products and Racing, said the SST project gave another great example of Holden's capacity to offer market-responsive niche vehicles with a performance edge.
"In this case, we used the One Tonner as a blank canvas, if you like, to show that you can take a light commercial vehicle and do whatever imagination dictates," Brauer said.
"The fact that the SST project was completed in a little under two months is a tribute to the energy and talent of the specialist design and engineering team working on it - and to the tools at their disposal."
The SST custom body was created using advanced composite panel technology, which lends itself to the lightweight tooling and flexible manufacturing processes that are required for cost-effective low volume production.
The 2004 Melbourne International Motor Show runs to 8 March at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.