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Alexander Haig
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Discussion Starter #1
Nothing really new, except Holden's take and expectations.

MARCH 19, 2008
John Mellor's
GoAuto news
SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net

By JAMES STANFORD in NEW YORK
PONTIAC will present the Australian-built
G8 ute and a high-performance version of the
G8 sedan at the New York Motor Show this
morning (March 19).
The red-hot GXP is due to go on sale in the
US late this year, while the Pontiac G8 “sport
truck” is expected to hit dealerships in the
second half of 2009.
The news that the ute will be exported to the
US represents a massive boost for GM Holden,
which has long tried to have its Commodorebased
hauler take on hulking American pick-ups.
GM Holden chairman and managing
director Mark Reuss also vowed to further
extend the company’s export portfolio when
he announced the deal at Fishermens Bend in
Melbourne on Sunday.
The Ute will be sold as a Pontiac G8 variant
although its actual title is yet to be decided.
Pontiac will ask the public to come up with an
apt title for the car-based ute.
The Pontiac ute, which was styled by Holden
designers in Australia, picks up a similar front
end to the G8 sedan.
Mr Reuss said it was a rare opportunity
as a manufacturer to announce a vehicle that
would create a new segment in a market, as the
ute will achieve, and that the export program
was further evidence of Holden’s strategic
importance in the GM world.
“The two models really enhance Holden’s
global position as the centre of rear-wheel
drive,” he said. “The design, engineering and
performance of the G8 sedan is already drawing
praise from US media and Pontiac fans alike
and we’re confi dent that the sport truck and the
GXP sedan will be as warmly received.
“This is another example of how at
GM Holden we are expanding our export
opportunities and operating globally.”
More than 50 per cent of Holden’s
production capacity at its Elizabeth plant in
South Australia is dedicated to export models.
Announcing the new export contracts, Mr
Reuss reinforced his view that Holden should
chase even more overseas sales. “I have the
personal commitment to expand what we
are doing from an export and engineering
standpoint in Australia,” he said.
The G8 GXP sedan runs a 6.2-litre LS3 V8
from the Corvette rather than the 6.0-litre LS2
that serves the current HSV models. It comes
from a different engine family to the 6.0-litre Gen
IV used in regular Commodore V8 models.
It is expected that the more advanced 6.2-
litre engine will also be used by Holden
Special Vehicles in Australia at some stage,
perhaps within a year. By packaging a 6.2-litre
for the GXP, Holden has already done a lot of
the foundation work for its inclusion in the
Commodore/HSV models.
Pontiac has announced the ute will run a 6.0-
litre Gen IV V8, which, like the G8 V8 sedan,
features displacement-on-demand cylinder deactivating
fuel-saving technology. Australians
could soon expect this feature on V8 engines
in the Commodore range.

The American ute will also be offered with
side and curtain airbags, something that is
not currently available on Australian Holden
models. GoAuto understands the side and curtain
airbags were engineered for, and funded by, the
Pontiac ute project, but the technology will soon
be available for the Holden Ute range.
Car-based utes are not new to the US, with
Ford selling its Ranchero and GM offering the
Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Caballero.
Sales of all variants peaked in the 1970s, but the
segment struggled in the 1980s and the fi nal El
Camino was built in 1987. Nothing like those
vehicles are currently on the market in the US,
with the closest models being pick-up trucks like
the Ford F150 fi tted with high-output engines.
Holden has long attempted to export its Ute
model to the US and hopes were raised that
the previous-generation vehicle would join
the GM garage along with the Monaro-based
Pontiac GTO, which failed to win the hearts
and minds of American customers.
Mr Reuss was not about to nominate a volume
target for the VE-based ute, stating that it was
not clear how well it would sell in the US.
“It went out of production because no-one
wanted to buy it. This one is terrifi c, but I really
don’t know (how it will sell),”
he said. “We don’t know what
something like the ute will
do in the US from a buyer’s
standpoint, but it is defi ning a
new segment and we are very
excited about that.”
When asked if production
capacity at Holden’s Elizabeth
plant could pose a problem if
the G8 ute took off in the US,
Mr Reuss said the company would be able to
handle it. “We hope we will have that problem,
we’ll work out how to deal with it, but that’s a
nice problem to have,” he said.
In the US, the general manager for Buick,
Pontiac and GMC Jim Bunnell said the Pontiac
ute would be a segment-defi ning vehicle.
“There’s simply nothing else like the G8 sport
truck on the road today and we defi nitely
believe that there are customers who will be
excited by its distinctive design, performance
and cargo capabilities,” Mr Bunnell said.
Mr Reuss made it clear what he thought
Pontiac should call the new model. “I had one
suggestion, that they call it the Ute and get on
with it,” he said.
The range-topping GXP model adds even
more muscle to the G8 nameplate that has been
well received by the US motoring media.
The 6.2-litre V8 engine to be slotted into
the GXP generates 300kW and 546Nm. It runs
a larger bore than the 6.0-litre LS2 and has
high-flow cylinder heads, intake manifold and
injectors. There are also new pistons designed
for higher revs, with the engine cut-out raised
to 6600rpm. The LS3 has an aluminium
block, with cast-iron bore liners, and retains
traditional push-rod valve operation. While the
G8 is only currently offered with an automatic
transmission, the GXP will be made available
with a six-speed automatic or six-speed
manual. It will be positioned as a well-specified
premium performance model that will go headto-
head with the Dodge Charger SRT-8.
 

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Cynical A$$hole
Joined
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2,353 Posts
Mr Bunnell said.
Mr Reuss made it clear what he thought
Pontiac should call the new model. “I had one
suggestion, that they call it the Ute and get on
with it,” he said.
I like the way this guys thinks. :thumbsup:

BTW I think we need to get a Mod to move this to the Pontiac News Section.
 
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