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Forza Horizon 3 gets a trio of Australian vehicles

I called Forza Horizon 2 “easily the best racer I’d played in the last decade” in my review, and I stand by that statement to this day — the game is absolutely amazing for arcade racing fans.  Well, the sequel is heating up ahead of its launch this holiday season, and today we get a look at some of the whopping 350 cars coming to Forza Horizon 3.  This week’s update focuses on Australia.

Three cars from Holden showcase a walk through the classics, as well as modern muscle with the ’74 Sandman, the Ute, and the 2016 Holden Special GTS Maloo.   Check em out below, and click for a better look at these beautiful vehicles.

ute

1951 Holden 50-2106 FX Ute

The roots of the Holden Ute go back to the to a post-World War II era, when the world couldn’t get enough Australian wheat and wool. When “Australia’s Own Car” – the 48-125 Holden four-door sedan –launched, it only had one model and Aussies had to wait more than two years for a load-hauling version. Once the Ute arrived, it was dubbed the “FX” – though exactly why it earned that moniker is the subject of debate. What was clear is that these durable and hearty vehicles were perfect for the work that needed to be done, whether it was on the farms or construction sites of Australia. With just 60 hp in its stock form, the FX is a far cry from the powerhouse utes of today. But the heart and soul is all there.

panel van

1974 Holden Sandman HQ Panel Van

Few vehicles are as distinctly Aussie as the Sandman HQ panel van. Originally, these sedan deliveries were derivatives of the typical ute with a metal or plastic shell enclosing the cargo tray. They developed into a phenomenon that escalated to its height in the 1970s before falling off in popularity. The most famous Sandman was driven by Mel Gibson in the original 1979 “Mad Max” film. Like many, Max’s panel van was converted for camping. During the climax of their popularity, Sandman panel vans were tricked out with mural paint jobs, custom windows and details that spoke to each owner’s passions. Sure, some were used for more utilitarian uses but in some cases, what went on in the backs of many of the funky Sandman HQs around the country was often more exciting than merely hauling around the tools of the trades that helped build urban Australia.

GTS

2016 Holden Special Vehicles GTS Maloo

As you bang through the gears and are rocked back in your seat at the release of the clutch, you’ll quickly understand why the GTS Maloo is referred to as the “Ferrari of utes.” It’s one way for Holden to say thank you in big way before the Australian manufacturer closes its doors in 2017. While utilitarian in purpose, this ute is all about going very fast. Take the supercharged V8 under the hood or the upgraded brakes and suspension. This Maloo is ready for track duty straight away, mate!

Forza Horizon 3 is hitting the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs on September 27th.   Head over to ForzaMotorsport.net for full details on all of the vehicles announced so far.

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