Click above for a high-res gallery of the Pontiac G8 ST

After more than two decades, the ghost of the El Camino has finally risen from the grave, at least for U.S. drivers. It never actually went away in Australia. Now that the Pontiac G8 has ushered in a new era of affordable rear-wheel-drive performance at General Motors, the car-based pickup truck, or Ute as they are called Down Under, is coming back. Rumors have been flying for months about a G8 Ute and GM even showed the GMC Denali XT concept at the Chicago Auto Show last month – a four-door ute with a two-mode hybrid power-train that may or may not see production.

What we will definitely see in showrooms late next year is the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck. The G8 Ute gets a 6-foot 2-inch long cargo bed behind its two-passenger cab. Compared to the sedan, the pickup has a four-inch longer wheelbase plus two more inches hanging behind the rear axle. The box that's unified with the passenger compartment comes with a color matched soft tonneau cover to enclose the 42.7 cubic feet contained within the composite bed. That's nearly double the volume of the late and unlamented Chevy SSR. The G8 can haul almost 1,100 lbs and tow 3,500 lbs, that latter figure also 1,000 lbs more than the SSR.

Related Gallery2010 Pontiac G8 ST


This time around GM isn't skimping on the power in the initial offering, with immediate availability of the 361-hp 6.0L V8 from the G8 GT sedan. That will push the G8 to 60 mph in about 5.4 seconds. No word yet on whether they will offer up the 3.6L V6 as a base engine, although that does seem likely whether its the direct-inject version or not. There's even 8.5 cubic feet of room inside the cab behind the seats to protect valuables.

You might be wondering about that rather lame G8 Sport Truck name. Since so many people were clamoring for GM to bring the Ute to the U.S., the company has decided to let fans name the new vehicle. They've set up a site at www.pontiac.com/namethiscar where you can submit your ideas. The winning name will be announced on April 15. We imagine "El Camino" has a pretty good shot at winning.

If we haven't satisfied your U.S. Ute craving yet, check out Pickuptruck.com for more info and Jalopnik for more exclusive pics like the ones in our high-res gallery below.


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 and security

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

2010 PONTIAC G8 SPORT TRUCK SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Model:

2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck

Body style / driveline:

two-passenger, front engine, rear-wheel drive coupe-based sport truck

Construction:

unitized body frame, 2-side galvanized steel body with high-strength steel in chassis

EPA vehicle class:

truck

Manufacturing location:

Adelaide , Australia

Engine

Type:

6.0L V-8 w / Active Fuel Management (AFM)

Displacement (cu in / cc):

364 / 5967

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

3.99 x 3.62 / 101.3 x 92

Block material:

cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners

Cylinder head material:

aluminum

Valvetrain:

valve-in-head; 2 valves per cylinder; roller lifters

Ignition system:

high-energy distributorless ignition; solid state direct-fire ignition w/ coil near plug and integrated ignition

Fuel delivery:

returnless, multi-port fuel injection

Compression ratio:

10.4:1

Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):

361 / 270 @ 5300*

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

385 / 522 @ 4400*

Recommended fuel:

premium unleaded

Maximum engine speed (rpm):

6000

Emissions controls:

evaporative system, dual exhaust with close-coupled catalytic converters, equal-length exhaust, positive crankcase ventilation, electronic throttle control

Transmission

Type:

Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic

Gear ratios (:1):

First:

4.03

Second:

2.36

Third:

1.53

Fourth:

1.15

Fifth:

0.85

Sixth:

0.67

Reverse:

3.06

Final drive ratio:

2.92

Chassis/Suspension

Front:

multi-link MacPherson strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar (24-mm dia.); progressive-rate coil springs; fully adjustable camber, caster and toe

Rear:

four-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; decoupled stabilizer bar (12-mm dia.); higher lateral stiffness for handling through two lateral ball joints per side; fully adjustable camber and toe

Steering type:

variable-ratio rack-and-pinion; rack forward of front axle centerline

Steering ratio:

46-53 mm per revolution

Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:

2.8

Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m):

38.4 / 11.7

Brakes

Type:

four-wheel disc w/ ABS; ventilated front and rear rotors; twin-piston front calipers; single piston alloy rear calipers

Rotor diameter (in / mm):

front: 12.64 / 321
rear: 12.76 / 324

Wheels/Tires

Wheel size / type:

18 x 8-inch machine-faced aluminum (std); 19 x 8-inch machine-faced aluminum (w / optional Sports Package)

Tires:

P245/45R18 summer tire (std); all-season tire optional; optional Sports Package includes P245/40R/19 summer tire

Dimensions

Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm):

118.5 / 3009

Overall length (in / mm):

201.8 / 5127.8

Overall width (in / mm):

74.8 / 1899

Overall height (in / mm):

58.3 / 1480

Track (in / mm):

front: 62.7 / 1592

rear: 63.3 / 1608

Curb weight (lb / kg):

3995 / 1812

Weight distribution (front / rear)

TBD

Cargo box

Length at floor (in / mm):

73.9 / 1878

Width at floor (in / mm):

TBD

Width between wheelhousings (in / mm):

47.4 / 1206

Tailgate width (in / mm):

TBD

Inside height (in / mm):

TBD

Interior

Seating capacity:

2

Headroom (in / mm):

38.8 / 985

Legroom (in / mm):

42.2 / 1071

Shoulder room (in / mm):

59.0 / 1501

Hip room (in / mm):

56.7 / 1439

Capacities

EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L):

TBD

EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):

TBD

Cargo volume (cu ft / L):

42.7 / 1208

Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg):

3500 / 1600

Payload (lb / kg):

1316 / 597

Fuel tank (gal / L):

19.2 / 73

Engine oil (qt / L):

8.9 / 8.5 (dry)
8.8 / 8.3 (w / filter change)

Cooling system (qt / L):

11.4 / 10.8