Bob Lutz is back, and after what seems like five minutes into his job as GM's new marketing kingpin, he's doing what he does best: making headlines. Rest assured that this is a good thing, as El Generalissimo Roberto Maximo told Automobile Magazine that yes, the Pontiac G8 will live on in the United States as the Chevy Caprice. So much for Fritz "I'm not a fan of rebadging" Henderson's statement to the contrary a couple of weeks ago.
"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," Lutz told the mag. As for the G8 being "too good to waste": Amen to that, Bob. This also makes us wonder if law enforcement-grade models will be part of the deal with Holden to continue production. Chevy Caprice police cars? That's got a very familiar ring to it. The next question is whether a U.S. Caprice would mimic the Middle East-market Caprice, which is based on the long-wheelbase Holden Caprice/Statesman, or whether it will simply be a Chevy-badged version of the standard-wheelbase Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8/ Chevrolet Lumina. Frankly, as long as there's ultimately a Caprice SS that is identical to the Pontiac G8 GXP in every critical way, we don't care.
In his conversation with Automobile, Lutz also essentially confirms that next year's Cadillac CTS coupe will be joined by a V-series variant, saying that the CTS-V coupe was the car that had most of the Presidential Task Force members' tongues wagging during the product-pipeline tour they were given by GM. Lutz even hints that a CTS-V wagon is not completely out of the question. (We'll take the wagon in brown, with the stick, Bob.)
On the bad news side, in a separate blog post, Automobile reports that Lutz kind of throws dirt on the idea of an LSA-powered Camaro Z28 (though he doesn't specifically state that the program's toast). He says that for "mainstream" sports models like the Camaro, powerful sixes (like the one in the Camaro LS and LT) and turbo fours (like the one used in the now-dead Cobalt SS, HHR SS and Solstice GXP) are more indicitive of the automaker's future direction in that regard. Hmmm. Well then, how about bolting a blower to the direct-injected V6?
Welcome back, Bob. This sounds like it could get pretty fun.