It's official, Holden's Denny Mooney has confirmed that the Commodore is heading to the US to join the Excitement division. To cop a phrase from my mother in law – no kidding, Dick Tracy. Bob Lutz let slip, and then owned up to the fact that the car is coming here as the Pontiac G8 during the Detroit show. Looking at the red G8 that posed with Mooney, our knees are all jiggly – we can hardly wait to get our mitts on one. Hopefully, it'll be outfitted with the 6-liter V8, but even the 3.6-liter V6 would be fine. What we're really interested in sampling is the fit and finish, ride quality, and road manners. We suspect that even the six will have adequate power to pull the G8/Commodore around with authority, and the V8 will be ridiculous icing on the cake, and extremely delicious at that.
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Holden's Mooney has stated that the Commodore is a shoo-in for the Pontiac brand, as both Holden and Pontiac have a history of creating invigorating rides. Holden may not have to mine the past quite as deeply as Pontiac would to get to that strata of cars with soul. If the car can hold its own against the competition, and if the level of fit and finish is up to par, the G8 will be significant for GM. If, that is, the marketing isn't blown. It looks like a badass ride, and the decision to bring it to the US is a vote of confidence in the abilities of Holden to develop and manufacture world-class product.
There have been rumors of the Commodore architecture being assembled elsewhere around the globe, but those are unsubstantiated thus far. Also rumored is further collaboration with Pontiac. Word of the Commodore Ute coming here makes us wonder, though. Chevy and GMC had the El Camino and the Caballero, no such tomfoolery took place at Pontiac. We'd be curious to see how a revival of the not-a-truck, not-a-car, not-terribly-useful El Camino form-factor would do these days. Our conjecture is that it wouldn't be a sales scorcher. Nevertheless, Mooney alluded to a last-generation Ute tooling around the US already, and generating interest. In a lot of ways, a Ute kind of makes sense. It may be a hard sell, but it'd certainly be adequate for the way a lot of folks use their trucks. No need to haul around that full-frame, tough enough to pull 30-foot Airstreams, when the biggest thing you'll ever haul is an antique sideboard. Of course, if the Ute is also available with the 6.0-liter V8, the sideboard may go flying out of the bed as your inner Rat Fink emerges.
Thanks for the tip, Ben!