• Jul 14, 2009

2009 Chevy Caprice SS (Middle East) - Click above for high-res photo gallery


When General Motors' Bob Lutz talks, we listen. The reason, of course, is that he always gives us something good to write. Over the weekend, we told you about an interview Lutz had with Automobile Magazine where the Maximum One said that the G8 will live on as a Chevrolet Caprice. Lutz's comments looked like a sure thing to us, as it's hard to misinterpret these words.
"The last time we looked at [the G8], we decided that we would continue to import it as a Chevrolet. It is kind of too good to waste."
Just a few days later, Blogger Bob sounded a bit less certain about the future of the G8 as Chevrolet. On the company's Fast Lane Blog, Lutz simply said "we're studying the feasibility of bringing (the G8) in as a Caprice for both law enforcement and the public." That doesn't sound nearly as certain as the Automobile interview.

Kicking Tires reportedly received a similar statement from GM brass, saying "As part of its reinvention, General Motors is exploring every opportunity of effectively utilizing its global portfolio of vehicles, facilities and talent. While this exploration includes the possibility of extending imports of Holden vehicles (such as the recent Pontiac G8) to North America, no decision has been made at this time."

We're hoping this is corporate speak for 'We're going to do what Bob says, but we just don't want to promise anything just yet.' Turning the G8 into a Chevrolet model looks to us like the cheapest possible way to keep a terrific vehicle available in the States, and with the Bowtie's significantly larger dealer network, maybe GM can finally figure out how to turn a profit with with the awesome Aussie.



[Sources: Automobile Magazine; Kicking Tires; Auto Observer]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      i just now noticed how much those headlights are C class like
      • 5 Years Ago
      scrap the chinese powered Impala & G eight the badge
      • 5 Years Ago
      Same old, same old from GM. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, and doesn't care.
      • 5 Years Ago
      LMBVette, the Holden Commodore (aka G8 ) and Camaro share a common structure (Zeta) but they are not literally the same car.

      The Camaro uses a highly modified version of the Commodore's structure and they are different enough that they cannot be assembled in the same plants. The Camaro was always intended for North American assembly using GM's NA suppliers. Holden has it's own plant process and unique suppliers they use. They couldn't literally assemble a Camaro in Australia nor could Oshawa build a Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8 as it.

      GM's plan was to use the Camaro's version of Zeta to underpin a redesigned Impala they were working on to be made in Oshawa along side of it, basically it was a completely different sedan than the Commodore/G8. Then GM abandoned the project when fuel prices spiked. The "next gen" G8 was also supposed to be American and use the same structure as the Camaro and new Impala.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Blah...
      Just call it the Celebrity, slap a redo "Eurosport" on the rump and be done with it. The Taurus is back as a bigger car, no reason why its Chevy rival can't be either!
      • 5 Years Ago
      which do you think we'll see at dealers first? the toyobaru or a chevy g8?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I say Caprice. Toyobaru is like.....on the verge of becoming a myth.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait a sec...
      Given that the G8 is ALREADY HERE, what further reengineering (other than swapping out badges) needs to be done?
      Anyway, PLEASE LET IT HAPPEN ALREADY!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      How come the Pontiac version was allowed to get an all-new name (G8) while the Chevrolet version seems to be saddled with an existing, not-so-flattering name (Caprice)? Can't they just pick a new name for the Chevrolet version in the US? Just because its called a Caprice(LWB)/Lumina(SWB) in the Middle East, doesn't mean that either of those names work here.

      However, if they have to choose one, I like Lumina better than Caprice. I always thought it was kinda cool that Lumina spelled backwards in "animuL", which although not spelled correctly, is still pronounced "animal". Not that that's really relevant to anything at all as far as the car itself, but kinda cool nevertheless. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I completely agree. Caprice to me means Big, Heavy, Floaty, and Slow, just like all of the other Caprice predecessors.

        I have always like the name Lumina, even though my Lumina Z34 in the past gave me so much mechanical trouble, it was still kind of a cool car that had a cool name. This car will do the Lumina model name a great justice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This Middle East car looks like it would be a great addition to the Chevrolet lineup. Holden knows how to make great vehicles and it would be a real shame to see the U.S. pass this up. Furthermore, the platform could be used to make a full-size Cadillac in the near future - something they really need and will be without for awhile...

      Sal Collaziano
      http://www.chevyforum.org/
      • 5 Years Ago
      When is the Pontiac brand finally finished off? Until them the G8 will likely be sold "as is" in its imported from Australia iteration. At the time the imports began the Aussie dollar was around 1 for 1 with the USDollar. So thjt could be why GM never made money on the G8. Now the exchange rate is around 1.30 Aussie per US dollar so "new" imports would likely be profitable.

      IF Lutz plans to make a new Chevy Caprice from this platform, for late 2010 say, the main question is: Will it still be an import based on the Holden (G8) or will the new GM take the big risk of creating a production line in the USA and invest a lot of money into a car which has NOT sold in large volumes as a Pontiac...??

      IMHO a certain amount of product change would have to take place to create a succesful "new" Chevy Caprice. First between the 260HP V6 and the 360HP V8 there would be an absolute necessity for new mainstream 305HP V6. Previously I suspect that GM was concerned such an engine (in the G8) would undercut the nicely selling CTS V6 with the same engine. But we saw with the G8 buyers did not flock to what is basically a great car. I believe it's because the 305HP V6 engined car is the realistic sweet spot and this was missing. i.e. a great mixture of relative performance and economy.

      One other thought. IF (I don't know for sure) the Chevy Caprice sold in the Middle East is an even longer wheel based version of this car this "new" model could be introduced also into the USA. GM lacks a good new LARGE RWD sedan these days. Buick has gone midrange with their new models and the DTS Cadillac platform is getting real long in the tooth. Cadillac previosly refused to look at the ZETA platform as it wasn't "worthy/sophisticated enough" for the Cadillac name plate.
      So will Chevy now get such a long wheelbased car? Why not?

      Anyway we would be looking at late 2010 or ealy 2011 for the Caprice as the Pontiac G8 inventory needs to be sold down.
      Christopher
      • 5 Years Ago
      alas, it would take probably 3 or 4 generations of unadulterated crap to dent the premium armor. and that perception works the other way as we all know. GM could build a fully functioning starship with warp drive and transporters and all that happy gee wiz sci-fi tech.... and because it came from them, it could be golden and usher in a completely new age for humanity but most of the American public and especially the American media outlets would label such a marvel of technology a big steaming pile of crap because it wasn't built by the right manufacturer
      • 5 Years Ago
      If this does not happen I won't be surprised. it won't be the first time that GM back pedals any positive news that could potentially help them grow or improve and at the same time interest more buyers.

      Not to sound negative or anti GM but GM has broken so many promises over several years so I will not be shocked, nor surprised if this does not happen. In fact I am almost expecting this to not happen. I do hope I'm wrong about this but with all of the years of broken and empty promises you can't blame me for how I feel.
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