First Look: 2010 Pontiac G8 Sport Truck
"Sport Truck," or ST, is just a placeholder. It's the generic name for the El Camino-style 2010 Pontiac G8 variant based off the Holden Ute. Try saying "Ute" over here without sounding like Joe Pesci describing a young person in "My Cousin Vinny." GM is holding an online contest at www.pontiac.com/namethiscar to pick a name. The result will be announced on April 15.
It could've been Caballero, after the late-1960s/early-1970s GMC version of the Chevy El Camino. GM is "tripling" its Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealerships in the States, and all you'd need is a different nose for this thing. It wasn't the cost of a new nose that made GM pick Pontiac over GMC. It was, to quote product manager Brian Shipman, because of the Ute's sportiness, and "it probably wasn't the best fit for 'Professional Grade.'" The two-door, he says, is a better fit for Pontiac.
That seems a flimsy argument, given that GMC is about to get a second unibody, front-drive crossover, based on the Pontiac Torrent, to complement the larger Acadia. And some Sierra pickups are two-doors. Anyway, the G8 ST comes over in late autumn 2009 with only the GT's 361-horsepower/385 pound-feet V-8 and six-speed automatic. Its wheelbase is stretched 3.7 inches over the sedan and it's 5.7 inches longer overall. The frame and structure have been reinforced to stiffen the pickup body.
Pontiac isn't about to talk sticker price, but it looks like it could echo the G8 GT's $29,995 price or command a couple thousand more.
Target audience? The warm "smile states," people with motorcycles and wave runners and the like. The bed is 73.9 inches long and 47.4 inches wide between the wheelhousings. Payload is 1316 pounds, towing capacity is 2000 pounds, and there'll be no all-wheel drive. There could be all sorts of variants, like an LS3-powered GXP or a V-6, but nothing else is "in the cards" so far, Shipman says. Pontiac could change its mind and bring in the handsome wagon (call it "Safari"), only if the market here for wagons changes drastically.
There could be another coupe, maybe called "GTO," but GM says the new Holden 60 coupe is no more than a concept, so far. How many renamed Utes could Pontiac sell? It's a "segment-bending" model, with no existing competition to help make a guess. In other words, Pontiac is in the dark on how well it will sell as we're in the dark about its name.
|2010 Pontiac Sport Truck|
|Vehicle Layout||Front engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door car-based truck|
|Engine||6.0L/361-hp/385-lb-ft 16-valve V-8|
|Curb Weight||3995 (mfr)|
|Length x Width x Height||201.8 x 74.8 x 58.3 in|
|EPA City/Hwy Econ||TBD|
|On Sale In U.S.||Late 2009|