When not salivating over the prospect of the forthcoming C7 Corvette, GM Performance enthusiasts are busy speculating over the Chevrolet SS. The Holden Commodore-based performance sedan recently made its debut in NASCAR form, with the production model slated to launch on the weekend of the 2013 Daytona 500. Part of the rumor-mongering for this rear-wheel-drive V8 sedan was talks of US-bound translation of the Holden Ute – also the artist formerly know as the Pontiac G8 ST (pictured).
With the Holden Commodore sedan on its way back to the States as the Chevrolet SS, we were hoping that the El Camino-like, two-seat Ute wouldn't be far behind (after all, the halfbreed was supposed to be offered here as the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck before General Motors offed the brand altogether). Unfortunately, however, the Aussies have been informed that the Ute falls under our light commercial tariff rate of 35 percent – roughly three times the rate on passenger vehicle imports.
Pontiac's G8 ST will likely not be used much for hauling joists and sonotubes, and General Motors took note of that before preparing one for SEMA. Instead, the concept has been dolled up with goodies that may make it to the GM Accessories catalog once the G8 ST goes on sale in late 2009. The most visible enhancements are on the outside. The paint is called Liquid Hot, and custom 20-inch wheels handsomely stuff the fenders. Making the car look more menacing is a reduced ride height, too. Inside,
For those of you interested in picking up one of the new Pontiac G8 ST utes when they come to the US next year there's good news. In a recent round of ute/pickup crash testing in Australia, the Holden Commodore Ute beat all comers to score five stars. No competitor matched the lofty score. The Ford Ranger-based Mazda BT50 got three stars while the Indian Mahindra pickup only managed two. The Mahindra currently doesn't have airbags, which hurt its scores. Look for that to change before Mahindra l
Mike Levine over at Pickuptruck.com has managed to scoop a tasty nugget of info about the Pontiac-branded ute that will soon be for sale in the U.S. The Aussie-import based on the same platform as the rear-wheel-drive G8 sedan will be called the G8 ST, as in "Sport Truck".