Known as a ute in its homeland of Australia, the Pontiac G8-based ute has officially been named the G8 ST (Sport Truck) 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."
In the end, Bierley explained, GM 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 showroom appearance in late 2009, as a 2010 model. It should feature the same 361-horsepower V-8 as the G8 GT performance sedan, and 0-to-60 time of 5.4 seconds. A V-6 is also expected. The new mill won’t be the same V-6 engine used in the base G8 sedan, but rather the direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 used in the Cadillac CTS.
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 V-8-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.
Full production of the Pontiac G8 ST will commence at Holden’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia.