• May 1, 2009
Pontiac G8 ST - Click above for a high-res image gallery

With Pontiac's death official, Holden stands to lose around $1 billion annually with the demise of the Pontiac G8. However, Holden doesn't plan to go quiet into night. The Aussie automaker has drawn up plans to offer the rear-wheel drive Commodore platform to Cadillac and GMC.

Although GM's CEO, Fritz Henderson, has confirmed that the G8 won't live on, there's a chance it could be used by law enforcement in the States, and with Cadillac's recent attempts to inject more RWD models into the mix (save the Epsilon II-based sub-CTS), the Zeta architecture could be used for a new line of Caddies.

More interestingly, with GMC safe – for now – from sharing a grave with Pontiac (not to mention the inevitable liquidation of Hummer, Saab and Saturn), Holden could make a case for importing the stillborn G8 ST 'ute to the U.S. as a fuel-efficient alternative to GMC's otherwise big and thirsty pick-ups. Where there's a niche, GM normally likes to fill it, and while the case for the Zeta-based Cadillacs could be made -- particularly as GM seeks to downsize the platform to aid its survival -- the G8 ST's revival seems far less plausible.



[Source: GoAuto]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess it makes sense. They probably have quite a bit of investment in the platform need to find a way to increase ROI any way they can...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see where Cadillac would use Zeta. They've already got Sigma II as a C/D size RWD platform, and its only partway into its life cycle, with new models still being developed from it. I don't think that Zeta is large enough to replace the DTS, which is the only area that strikes me as open for replacement at Cadillac...

      I could see where GM would look into streamlining/combining future Sigma and Zeta applications to a common platform though, assuming they felt inclined to do so. But I don't see where that would necessarily benefit Holden...
      • 5 Years Ago
      as long is theres still trucks out there this would always be a niche vehicle. I
      know its better looking and better powered then the old el camino but they are gone for a reason nobody wanted them. if they made police cars would Holden be able to produce them cheap enough? just use crown vics talk to any cop and they will tell you thats what they want. Ford has been making them for ever wouldnt have to re-design anything.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not sure if anyone already mentioned it, but why not rebadge the G8 as a Chevy and sell it as the Lumina SS as they already do in other markets? They have been spotted in Detroit before...

      And why again hasn't GMC been killed off?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Give us the next Commadore with Malibu-esque styling and brimming with interior quality. Call it the Chevy Impala. Offer the 3.0DI for 23K, the 3.6DI for 26K, and the 6.0L, 6.2L even if possible.

      Easy, and you scoop up repeat Impala owners with the cheaper V-6s, especially the small V-6, and pick up enthusiasts. That's why the Charger was so successful, for example.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a G8 so I feel qualified to speak about it. It is big and roomy inside (good for a caddy) and handles great, has great balance and a smooth ride (although 19 inch wheels and 40 series tires are a bit stiff.
      Other than that, and the interior materials which are obviously less expensive than they would be in a car that is 10k more expensive, I don't see a big deficit between the CTS and the G. The G8 definitely has A LOT more room in it and is faster.
      I still think it would be a better Impala and in the long run a turbocharged version of the V6 will be more viable than a V8.
      • 5 Years Ago
      SWEET! I look forward to a new Cadillac Zeta-based flagship and a Chevrolet Impala SS Police Interceptor!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Make it into two cars in the US. A low cost Chevy Caprice available with the SIDI 3.6 or L76 V8 in it starting at $26k. Caprice SS with the LS3. Then offer a Buick Park Avenue (Lucerne?) with all the bells and whistles available and V8 only with upscale interior starting at $33k. This platform is too good, dammit!! It needs to live on in the US!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      they should continue selling the commodore and import it into the states as a chevy, alot of the cars holden use match those of chevy anyways. the other thing is that from what i understand, americans won't buy a cadillac if its built in australia, coz its all about america
        • 5 Years Ago
        inline6, the point of importing the commodore ure way is to keep the deal alive with holden, they could make it cheap these days as the australian dollar has dropped 30 cents since the g8 deal. also even if the commodore is slightly smaller than the impala im sure you'll find theres probably more interior space and fit from wat i understand as its old sporty image and rwd basis. the problem with making the cars a buick is that gm are trying to do up the image of buick and this includes development of a specific design language
        • 5 Years Ago
        @inline6

        WTH are you talking about the Commodore is not much bigger than the Malibu? While the new Malibu IS larger than the previous generation, the car is still tiny comparative to the Commodore/G8.

        The G6 is the car that spawned the Malibu, they're based off the same platform. The G8 is based off of Zeta, which is a much larger platform than what the Malibu/Aura/G6 are based on. Take a look at the Camaro, that's based on a shortened Zeta platform, and even that car is much larger than a Malibu.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Look it up youself, folks:

        2009 Malibu: 191.8" overall
        2009 G8: 196.1 " overall
        2009 Impala: 200.4" overall
        2009 Holden Statesman: 203.1" overall

        The Impala is bigger than the Malibu AND it sold 300,000 units annually until the new Malibu started stealing sales away. They're about equal now. But there's NO WAY a Commodore-based Impala would sell as well as the current Impala. It'd be too close in size to the Malibu.

        So unless Chevy decided to make the investment in the Zeta and offer a North American-made Statesman as the next Impala, with the Commodore as a Biscayne or Chevelle performance model, Chevy should just stick to its plan of replacing the current W-body Impala with an Epsilon II+.

        In my opinion, if Chevy can't see fit to make the investment in NA production to bring costs down, they should just keep importing the G8 as a Buick Wildcat (Buick's higher transaction prices would support the imported G8's cost structure better) and bring in the G8 ST as a GMC Caballero. Maybe hand Buick the AWD Commodore wagon and the Statesman, while they're at it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If GM could get the price of the Commodore down to the Impala's level and make a profit, they'd figure it out.

        They should build it at Oshawa, IMO. But it shouldn't replace the Impala. There's no way the Commodore will sell as well as the current Impala does. The Commodore is also too close in size to the Malibu to be a real 'large car' replacement for the Impala.

        What they SHOULD do is replace the Impala with an Epsilon+ and bring a Chvey-badged Holden Statesman over. If they really want, they can offer the Commodore in Chevy dealers, too. But it shouldn't replace the Impala...it should be called Chevelle or Biscayne and be offered alongside the (next) Impala.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If I'm not mistaken, the G8/commodore is already sold as the Chevrolet Lumina in the muddle east. Why not bring it to the US as the Impala?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @inline6: the current Impala sells well and is a "large car"? since when? It's only marginally bigger than the Malibu, or it looks it anyway. The current Impala is an insult to the Impala name. FWD... boring styling... come on. A Zeta-based Impala would bring back the badassness that was the 1994-1996 Impala (albeit in a slightly smaller package).

        I DEFINITELY agree they should bring the Statesman over though, bring back the Nomad nameplate or something.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like these ideas, I don't know if the platform would be better suited for Cadillac new large car or maybe should go to a Buick but a 'Ute based pickup/car (what was the GMC version of the El Camino called back in the day?) could help GMCs CAFE ratings and also give them a unique model to help better justify their existence.

      Also, giving the police a dedicated patrol car that looks nothing like anything else on the road is appealing to the miscreant in me. That and it can be designed from the start with design features that police would find appealing like an interior that better fits the equipment they need to run, door inserts that would provide some light ballistic protections, and a front end that can be more effectively used to end pursuits.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Now I remember, it was called the GMC Caballero.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or the GMC Sprint, in Canada.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Zeta is now GM's problem child.

      With only the Camaro under-utilizing the platform in NA, something has to happen soon. GM has said that Zeta is dead. The Land of Oz even says goodbye to the old ways.

      Zeta lives (for now) down under, and it makes no sense to replicate in NA what it already readily available elsewhere, especially if it demise is fairly certain. G8, Park Avenue, Caprice, police car and now Caddy? Sorry. The future of Zeta is the boneyard. None of those plans are viable anymore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cadillac has used the same platform as other GM stablemates in the past but with horrific results:
        1. Opel Omega / Cadillac Catera
        2. Chevrolet Cavalier / Cadillac Cimmaron
        3. Chevrolet Corvette / Cadillac XLR

        Some have not been too bad though:
        1. Chevrolet Tahoe / Cadillac Escalade
        2. Chevrolet Avalanche / Cadillac Escalade EXT
        3. Chevrolet Suburban / Cadillac Escalade ESV

        I don't think you will be able to pull the wool over the discerning eyes of any Cadillac buyers in the near future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, Cadillac sounds like a perfect spot for Zeta to me. Its certain to be a cheaper platform to produce than Sigma, and what exactly does Sigma offer than Zeta doesn't? Not much. I can't believe that any weight, packaging, performance or other advantages Sigma might theoretically have could not be engineered away in an updated version of Zeta.

        If not then, wow, its really too bad. I mean if GM can only afford to have two RWD passenger car platforms (excluding Corvette, nitpickers), the fact that they must inexplicably cover vehicles that are *exactly the same freakin size* is really a shame. I mean WTH? - hello blown platform sharing opportunity. Oh and since someone is reading this and really wants to insist you cannot use the same RWD platform for a luxury car and non-luxury car, I suggest you look at Nissan and Infiniti. And, heck, that one even takes it one step further in that it can be used for the smaller 350Z/G/EX and the larger M/FX.

        Come on now, why can't GM do that? Or at the very least, if you are going to have two RWD platforms, at least make them usable for different sized cars. Skip the poor (and, yes, still uncomfirmed) idea to try and build a 3-series/C-class/G/IS competitor on the FWD Epsilon platform. Maybe this new improved reduced-sized Zeta that is supposedly coming next generation will be useful in that regard. But I am skeptical to say the least. Its still gotta underpin an Australian family car after all. I dare *someone* to build me an small, RWD, *American* sedan. Doesn't have to be inexpensive, just has to be as good as the German and Japanese competition. Please? Anyone? No? Yeah, that's what I thought.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I disagree. The Zeta platform (Commodore/Statesman/Caprice) is still popular in the Middle East, there's no way GM will attempt to sell FWDs over there and lose a potential money market. Zeta and future RWD platforms are here for awile longer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GMC G8 ST? Ain't that the same as a 2-door GMC Denali XT concept? o_O
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the Denali XT came out looking even remotely like the concept, I would seriously consider getting one.
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