Steane Klose | Mar 17, 2008

Over the weekend, GM formerly announced the export of the VE Commodore Ute to North America. Due to arrive in the States in late 2009 the VE based Ute is currently being referred to as the Pontiac G8 Sports Truck.

Mirroring our own Commodore Ute the G8 Sports Truck will feature the same 270kW/361hp 6.0-litre V8 although US owners will get the benefit of Active Fuel Management technology, (displacement on demand) allowing improved fuel economy through the variable shutting down of cylinders in cruise or light load situations. There is currently no word on a V6 powered version being made available.

Not a great deal of imagination went into naming the ‘Sports Truck’ but there is a reason for that. GM are leaving the naming rights up to Pontiac fans who can head over to this site www.pontiac.com/namethiscar and suggest a new name for the new ‘truck’.

It’s hard to think of a name that would suit more than El Camino…

Image gallery and press release follow.

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PRESS RELEASE

PONTIAC INTRODUCES SEGMENT-BENDING G8 SPORT TRUCK

NEW YORK – The 2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck blurs the line between cars and trucks and is creating an all-new segment in the North American car market. This dramatically different vehicle blends the sporty handling of a performance coupe with the cargo capabilities of a light truck.

Based on the all-new Pontiac G8 performance sedan, the newest member of the G8 family has a longer wheelbase and a cargo bed suitable for either work or recreation. The G8 sport truck significantly stretches Pontiac's commitment to style and performance and is expected to arrive in dealers' showrooms in late 2009.

"Pontiac has never shied away from offering segment-defining vehicles, going back to the original GTO," said Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager. "There's simply nothing else like the G8 sport truck on the road today, and we definitely believe that there are customers who will be excited by its distinctive design, performance and cargo capabilities."

Consumer named

Another unique aspect of this new vehicle is the fact that it will be named by a consumer. Beginning today (March 15, 2008), consumers can visit www.pontiac.com/namethiscar and submit their name ideas. "As an important part of the G8 family, we know that 'sport truck' doesn't fully describe the vehicle's ability to blur the lines between sports car and truck," said Craig Bierley, Pontiac marketing director. "Because its fans will surely be as unique as the vehicle itself, we're giving them a voice in selecting a name that reflects its appeal." The winning entry will be announced April 15.

Design

The G8 sport truck maintains the same sporty exterior design as its namesake sedan. Flared fenders wrap around the 18-inch wheels and give it a wide, confident stance. The roofline has a coupe-like profile that reflects the vehicle's performance pedigree.

The doors, roof and exterior panels aft of the B-pillars are unique from the G8 sedan. One-piece outer body panels give the vehicle a sleek appearance. Wrap-around taillamps and fully concealed tailgate hinges add to the sculpted look. A color-coordinated, soft tonneau cover conceals and protects items in the cargo bed from the weather.

Performance

The sport truck draws its strength from the same powerful 6.0L V-8 engine used in the G8 GT. It puts out 361 horsepower (270 kW) and 385 lb.-ft. (522 Nm) of torque. The combination of a six-speed automatic transmission and Active Fuel Management technology provides both car-like fuel economy and an unexpected 0-to-60 time of 5.4 seconds.

While these performance numbers are respectable by sports car standards, the G8 sport truck offers flexibility unlike that of a sports car. A 73.9-inch (1878 mm) cargo bed has 42.7 cubic feet (1208 L) of cargo space and a durable composite bed liner. It also can carry a payload of more than 1,074 pounds (488 kg) and tow a 3,500-pound (1,600 kg) trailer.

Structure

The G8 sport truck is based on the same rear-wheel-drive architecture as the G8 performance sedan. However, the sport truck's body structure was reinforced in key areas to support its cargo and towing duties. More than 60 new components were added to strengthen the structure. Compared to the sedan, the 118.5-inch (3,009 mm) wheelbase is approximately four inches longer and the overall length is six inches longer.

Suspension and wheels

A four-wheel independent suspension with electronic stability control delivers confident handling, whether loaded with weekend home-improvement supplies or towing a pair of personal watercraft to the lake.

The steering box is located ahead of the front axle line for a quick, direct feel. The sport truck's front stabilizer bar is one mm larger than the sedan, and the rear suspension has been enhanced to support payloads without adversely affecting handling.

The G8 sport truck rides on 18-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels with a P245/45R18 summer performance tire. All-season tires are available. An optional Sports Package includes 19-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels with P245/40R19 summer performance tires.

Brakes and steering

The sport truck shares the G8 GT's four-wheel disc brake system, featuring 12.64-inch front and 12.76-inch rear rotors. Front rotor thickness is 1.0 inch, while the rear rotors are 0.87-inch thick. Twin-piston, front alloy calipers and vented rotors and single-piston, alloy rear calipers with vented rotors are standard, as is ABS.

Comfort and convenience

Given its heritage, it's not surprising that the G8 sport truck offers many of the same creature comforts as the G8 GT, such as:

• Air conditioning with electronic dual-zone climate control

• Cruise control

• Driver Information Center

• Bluetooth connectivity

• Tilt/telescoping steering wheel with DIC and radio controls

• Power windows/locks/mirrors

• Remote keyless entry and remote start

• Theft-deterrent alarm system

Fully-bolstered, four-way adjustable cloth seats are standard. Heated, six-way leather seats are available. They can be customized with two-tone, black-and-red inserts and a coordinating gauge cluster.

Behind the seats is a surprisingly large interior cargo area with more than 8.5 cubic feet (245 liters) of storage space. There are two covered storage compartments beneath the load floor and a pair of cargo nets.

Sound system

The G8 sport truck's 230-watt Blaupunkt AM/FM/six-disc CD changer has an MP3 input and five speakers. The 6.5-inch audio display controls both the sound and climate control systems.

Safety

A full list of safety features are standard, including:

• StabiliTrak electronic vehicle stability system

• Tire pressure monitoring system

• Dual-stage frontal air bags with a passenger sensing system

• Head-curtain side air bags

• Side thorax air bags

• Three-point safety belts in all seating positions

• Safety belt pretensioners

• OnStar

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