The Pontiac brand is headed toward oblivion, but that doesn't mean that its flagship G8 sedan will bite the dust - at least completely. General Motors has announced that the G8, which is made by the company's Holden operation in Australia, will live on in the form of a Chevrolet model, likely the Caprice. Yes, authentic full sized rear wheel drive motoring is alive and well thanks to a recent reversal made by GM management.
Short Lifespan For The Pontiac G8
Introduced as a 2008 model, the Pontiac G8 has proven to be one of the most exciting big sedans sold by GM this generation. Seating five passengers and powered by a beefy V8 engine, the G8 has been compared with the BMW 5-Series in a number of categories including speed, handling, braking and comfort. All this while being priced tens of thousands of dollars less than its German competitor.
When GM announced that Pontiac would bite the dust, it also canceled importing the G8 from Australia where the car is sold as the Holden Commodore. This decision was made despite an outcry from GM faithful who still wanted to see the car sold in North America either as a Buick or Chevrolet model. Indeed, the sedan is sold in some markets as the Chevrolet Lumina, bringing the right car to those markets which crave a powerful full sized sedan.
Keeping Bob Lutz On
Bob Lutz, who has been the product lead for GM for most of the past decade, was recently asked by management to delay his pending retirement scheduled for year end. As part of that move, Lutz has been given the authority to decide the fate of several current, pending and future models including the G8. Lutz decided that the G8 would become the Chevrolet Caprice, slotting just above the Impala as Chevrolet's new flagship sedan. Likely, the Impala will continue to lead in sales, with the all new Caprice sold as more of a niche vehicle.
The Chevrolet Caprice could be quickly readied for sale once a new nose is designed for the sedan. That move could be completed within months, bringing the Holden model to North American Chevrolet showrooms before the year is out. Thus, along with all of the other 2010 Chevrolet models the Caprice may once again be offered to Chevy faithful.
Lastly, if the Caprice returns as planned it could also mean the return of the El Camino, a sport truck based on the Holden Ute platform. That model was slated for Pontiac as the G8 ST, but was canceled earlier in the year when GM was mulling Pontiac's future.