Update: Pontiac G8 ST to feature direct-injection V6

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Update: Pontiac G8 ST to feature direct-injection V6

Update: Pontiac G8 ST to feature direct-injection V6

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Update: Known as a ute in its homeland of Australia, the 2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck has officially been named the G8 ST in its adoptive American home. Revealed earlier this year for U.S. sale, the Pontiac-branded vehicle was then nameless, as executives reportedly weren't happy with the rather plain 'sport truck' label. Nevertheless, it seems those two words have inspired the acronym that is now official.

Confusion with the similarly-named G8 GT is likely, though any uncertainty will be only on paper, as in the flesh, there will be no mistaking the wayward spiritual offspring of the long-gone El Camino - a name which was itself in contention for the new car, given that strong familial resemblance.

"'G8 ST' was one of the most popular suggestions, plus we noticed a far broader trend toward simple, easy-to-remember names," said Craig Bierley, product marketing director for cars and crossovers at General Motors' Buick, Pontiac and GMC division. "We actually thought very long about El Camino," he said.

"In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino's unique place as part of Chevy's heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac."

The G8 ST is on track to make its U.S. debut in late 2009 as a 2010 model, featuring the same 361hp (269kW) V8 as the G8 GT performance sedan, and zero-to-60 times of 5.4 seconds. According to Edmunds, the new G8 ST will also be available with a V6 engine. The new mill won’t be the same V6 engine used in the base G8 sedan, but rather the direct-injected 3.6L V6 used in the Cadillac CTS.

Original: Following months of rumours, General Motors announced today that their Australian branch, GM Holden, will export two new vehicles to North America to join the Pontiac G8. The new arrivals include a Pontiac G8 "sport truck", based on the Holden VE Commodore Ute and the G8 GXP high performance sedan, both of which will soon be shown at the New York Auto Show.

The export programs were confirmed today by GM Holden’s new Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Reuss, who described them as great additions to Pontiac’s portfolio.

“It’s not everyday that a manufacturer announces a vehicle that creates a whole new segment in a market, but with this, the first ute export to North America in the form of the G8 sport truck, is exactly what Pontiac is doing,” Reuss said. While 'utes' (an Australian abbreviation for utility vehicles) are a dime a dozen Down Under, their presence has largely been ignored in the U.S in favor of larger, more rugged offerings like the Ford F150. However, this doesn't mean that the ute is 'soft' in any sense - the Pontiac G8 sport truck will sport a 6.0L V8 engine mated with a six-speed auto box that should get it flying, although in a car this powerful, the lack of weight at the back and the rear-wheel drive combination will likely lead to some hairy moments.

Not content to settle for the moniker "G8 Sport Truck", Pontiac is running a competition allowing consumers to come up with a name for the new vehicle. The public will be able to submit their suggestions through the Pontiac website.

Full production of the Pontiac G8 sport truck will commence at GM Holden’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia, in the second half 2009 with the Pontiac G8 sport truck expected to arrive in dealers’ showrooms in late 2009.

Also being unveiled by Pontiac at the New York International Auto Show will be the new flagship vehicle of the GXP performance series, the G8 GXP, which adds to the existing line up of the G8 and G8 GT and will also be built in Adelaide starting later in 2008.

At the heart of the G8 GXP is the 6.2L LS3 small-block V8, currently rated at 402hp and 546Nm of torque, only 100 horsepower less than the new M5 and with similar practicality and weight. Purists will also be pleased to hear that there will be a manual variant with both 6 speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions available.

Pontiac is also reportedly considering adding an option for a V6 engine to its G8 Sport Truck lineup in the U.S. Holden already makes two variants equipped with the global V6 Alloytec engine, so it would not be unrealistic for GM to simply decide this late in the game to add the same basic models to the U.S. offerings.

Community feedback is playing a role in the decision making process, however. Given the low costs in bringing the model over, it may be more of an exercise in gauging the effect of the less-powerful model's existence on the perception of the V8-equipped models than one of weighing the cost of import against the likelihood of sales.

Nevertheless, the added fuel economy of the smaller-displacement engines would be a potential selling point, even with fuel prices falling back somewhat from their crest earlier in the year. And though they may not be V8s, the V6s being considered are still quite potent. The two variants offered in Australia are rated at 180kW (241hp) and 195kW (261hp), which should be more than enough to preserve the 'Sport Truck' appellation intact.
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Comments (29)
  1. That "ute" is interesting, we had one like it here called the "El Camino" many years ago, before everyone had to have an SUV or pickup trick. The Subaru Brat was another one.
    Judging by the demise of both of those styles, I don't have high hopes for this new one, but we'll see...

  2. The main reason for the UTE coming over to the USA is to improve the GM CAFE rating for pick-up trucks. No other reason as far as I can see.

    There is a G8 wagon/estate which would make much more sense than an SUV for 95% of SUV buyers but they're not briniging it over as it would hurt the CAFE for cars due to the relatively large engines.

  3. Isn't there already a Ford Falcon or Holden something with similar El Camino design in Australia?

  4. Well lets see so far we've got A sedan.High performance sedan,and a truck Now We're missing I don't know maybe The STINKIN WAGON WHICH WILL MAKE

  5. WILL GO TO YOU!!!!!!!

  6. ?

  7. 94 Taurus owner, I agree 100% with you, but unfortunately the US release planning is being driven by the new CAFE requirements. Until SUVs and station wagon/estate are classed together I fear we won't see a station wagon version of the G8.

  8. it looks sh*t with the Pontiac grille ! All versions of the Commodore have.

    They shoudl use the HSV grille and create a badge for Pontiac isntead of the faux par BMW double kidney copies !!

    Either way you yanks are gonna love this ute...its a beast !! :-)

  9. Don't forget the Subaru Baja, or the SSR.

  10. Oh well, until the G8 sport wagon get's the go ahead for production,I'll just go
    for an V6 G8 Ute.

  11. you mean a G6 ute ??

    the Sportwagon doesnt look like its gonna come over to the US.

    And cause of the stupid new CAFE rules the Statesman / Caprice (elongated Commodore range) wont be exported to the USA to be the flagship executive Saloon that They need

  12. I'm a New Yorker living in NSW, Australia and i tell you, Ford and Holden utes are all over the place! The climate is ripe for these cars and the V8 rumble they provide is awesome. Ford needs to hurry and americans need to remember V8s ruled the streets in all aspects(family trips, grocery getters and the track). Oh, and one more thing... stop checking the box for the automatic transmission!!!! Most folks here drive manuals (and that's includes CITY driving). Stay up!

  13. Yes I can see the analology with the Subaru Baja, with its sewing machine motor compared to the Pontiacs' 6.2 Litre V8!

  14. I just got back from the New York International. I have to say, I am disappointed with the G8's interior materials and fitment. The glovebox feels a flimpsy as a cheap dollar store toy. The shifter's leather wrap is very poor quality.
    I love the car itself, however.

  15. ute's are for farmers. near extinction specie of a car.

  16. not true desig.......the current utes are also owned by hoons that know that a V8 being driven out of the rear wheels that only have a very very light tray sitting on top of them will allow them to do their tearaways !

  17. is that el-camino thing from pontiac a joke, it has to be, because no car company would be that stupid, ohh wait its pontiac a division of the soon to be bankrupt GM corporation

  18. brad... what's stupid about it? everyone wants a truck but cant afford the gas. everyone wants RWD but no cars come with it any more. these things are going to sell well here cause they sell well in australia.... just wait and see.

    there are a lot of camino and ranchero fanboys out there just waiting for a modern day variant. the SSR didnt sell well cause it was rediculously overpriced for what it was.

    I'm glad to see them considering a V6.. there just arent enough trucks out there with V6's any more.

  19. oh and by the way.. I'd like to see a farmer buy one of these things. farmers and contractors are the only people who buy trucks to USE them. these babies wouldn't stand up to the punishment that you give a truck.

  20. this thing wont sell, and chris "everyone wants a truck",--------- i dont know about that, ohh but if they sell well in australia they must sell well here. Give me break.

  21. gm's shares drop below $10 for the first time in 52 years, and with stupid designs like this, its no wonder why

  22. for all the people who THINK they know about this car..you need a wake up call....this is not a workhorse. It is the top of the range Ute in the lineup.
    So this would be for the building contractor executive who still has to lug around equipment but more for surveying than working.
    there is a version that costs about half as much and is very much plain Jane. And THAT is the workhorse that is used mainly by farmers and builders. Some get the V8 version some try and upscale, but if memory serves there are about 10 or 12 different vairations of the Ute alone.
    So please please please do some research before lambasting something you have no idea about at all !!

  23. Saw it coming, dumb name, but saw it coming.

  24. Vry nice truck, pity ireland don,t have them

  25. Another waste of money by GM

  26. Yeah chuck, because no one would by a fuel efficient car based truck right? Waste of money.

  27. What was the point of me submitting a name most fitting for that thing.

    G8 SSU

  28. Okay, how long ago did all the magazines tell us that the name would be here as soon as we read the article? Two months?

  29. @Chris said: "there are a lot of camino and ranchero fanboys out there just waiting for a modern day variant."
    LOL that's the first thig I thought of! Get your ElCamino ON, bro...

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