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Holden's SST Stepside Custom Pickup - The One Tonner Show Stunner

9 February, 2004

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Holden will use the upcoming Melbourne International Motor Show to unleash a muscular One Tonner-based custom-design concept.  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.  At least, that's what Holden intends to find out.  To assess buyer interest and help establish the viability of the SST concept, it 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 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.  Cab design cues are overtly SS, and the theme continues along SST's deep-skirted flanks and into its Ute-style rear facia.

The tailgate sports a moulded lion logo reminiscent of an earlier pickup era and the deep tray, finished in heavy-duty aluminium propeller plate, is equipped with storage compartments. The functional 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 leather.

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," Kelly 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 begins 27 February and runs to 8 March at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

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