New Rumors of the Pontiac G8 Returning to North America as a Chevrolet


The demise of the Pontiac brand in 2009 also brought about the death of the G8, the Americanized derivative of the Australian-built Holden Commodore SS. It was a sad day for Pontiac and Holden fans alike, the loss of the G8 export contract costing Holden millions of dollars and putting the future of its Elizabeth, South Australia plant - and the brand itself - in jeopardy.

When the Holden-derived Chevy Caprice Police Car was revealed for the North American market twelve months ago, rumors of a reborn G8 in the form of a Chevrolet were rife. Now, Aussie motoring website Drive is reporting that U.S. exports of the Holden Commodore SS are "imminent", with a launch expected before the end of the current model's lifespan.

At the LA Auto Show, Al Oppenheiser, a senior engineer at General Motors and the chief engineer on the Camaro project, told Drive that negotiations were underway to sell the Commodore in North America as a Chevrolet:

"Although we have made no official announcement as yet, we are definitely looking at doing something with Holden for the retail market. What we are looking at is bridging a gap in the performance sedan market that was vacated by the Pontiac G8. With no Pontiac, the obvious performance brand is Chevrolet."

An unnamed source at GM has even gone so far as to suggest that the export deal has already been finalized and approved. As the LHD development work is already done, the biggest hurdle facing Holden's relaunch of North American exports is the high Australian dollar.

Jonathan Rose, a spokesman for Holden, is less optimistic: "At this point in time our focus is on exporting the Caprice to North America as a law enforcement vehicle ... beyond that we don't have anything to add right now."

The unnamed Chevrolet, if it does become a reality, will mostly likely be based on the short wheelbase Zeta platform, not the long wheelbase one like the Chevy Caprice Police Car.

By Tristan Hankins

*Opening photos: South African Chevrolet Lumina

Source: Drive

__________________2011 HOLDEN COMMODORE SERIES II________________


Anonymous said... »November 22, 2010

Seriously, why? Unless it can get 30mpg city/ 38mpg highway what's the use? GM is so damn stupid; they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Don't they now state they are the "New" GM. (This after being granted over $45B in tax credits, and paying their installment of $5B with interest earned off the taxpayers money we loaned them.) What's not to hate about GM?

Anonymous said... »November 22, 2010

"Seriously, why? Unless it can get 30mpg city/ 38mpg highway what's the use?"

One word: Demand.

See ya!

Anonymous said... »November 22, 2010

This should be the new Impala SS

Anonymous said... »November 22, 2010

There will always be a market for cars like this! Last time I checked, the good ol' USA wasn't founded on boring, fuel-efficient cars. That being said, GM needs to hurry up and bring this Holden back stateside!

Anonymous said... »November 22, 2010

NB. This vehicle now has new engines, a subtle face lift and other upgrades. The photos above are of the old model. Go the the Holden website for a look.

Anonymous said... »November 22, 2010

these cars are already badged as chevrolet in the desert regions of the world and as a buick in china. if you don't believe me check chevrolet arabia site and buick china site. they badge them as chevrolet lumina/caprice(aka short and long wheelbase) and buick park avenue.

john m said... »November 23, 2010

I'll believe it when I see it. I think the Impala name would work well for this car. If they do bring it here, I hope they do it right this time and not do the rush job they did with the G8. Hopfully this time they'll put full power seats in it, take out the stupid "passenger airbag on/off" light on the rear view mirror, don't put in Atari 2600 digital guages or a rediculous, useless cheesey storage cubby, and hopefully they'll throw in a nav system. I think, according to the pics, there will be vents in place of the guages/crap cubby and it'll have a nav system option. It looks like the interior will be of better quality too. I also hope they made it lighter and used more high strength steel. It would be nice if they could get the weight down to 3700 - 3800 pounds... I would'nt hold my breath on that one though. It'll be a great car but again, I'll believe it when I see it.

Anonymous said... »November 23, 2010

check the specs on chevrolet arabia site for the lumina ss. it weighs in at 1668kg or 3669.9lbs, the heaviest of the bunch.

Anonymous said... »November 23, 2010

Reminds of Opel Vectra. Outdated design...

Anonymous said... »November 23, 2010

Its not that our dollar is strong, its that the US is weak.

Anonymous said... »November 23, 2010

Bring the Ute version also.

Anonymous said... »November 23, 2010

Should be the new Buick Skylark!!!

john m said... »November 23, 2010

"check the specs on chevrolet arabia site for the lumina ss. it weighs in at 1668kg or 3669.9lbs, the heaviest of the bunch."

That would be great if that was the US weights. I remember the G8 v6 weighed in around 3900# and the v8 was around 4000# if my memory serves me correctly. I wonder if the Lumina (middle east version) might have less safety equipment and different crash safety requirments than the USA?

Anonymous said... »November 23, 2010

too little too late. a reheated holden turned pontiac, turned into a caprice squad car, now this? chevrolet needs totally new designs and image to compete. this dated car with an aging design looks horrid as a chevrolet. a new design from the ground up is what lame chevy needs asap!

Anonymous said... »November 23, 2010

In spite of being starved of promotional dollars, the G8 was loved by the media and anyone with an open mind who drove it. When people realized it was to be withdrawn, it sold in a flash and retains very strong residuals on the used market. Ignore the anti GM types and put a horizontal band across the nose of the G8 and bring it back as fast as you can.

Anonymous said... »November 27, 2010

Don't touch my Junk.

Anonymous said... »November 28, 2010

Only thing I can say - OH HELL YES!

Anonymous said... »November 29, 2010

A performance sedan with out the high entry cost of a Euro V-8 sedan or coupe...bring it on!!! But make mine a 'Coupe' and bring back the GTO as and SS Chevelle or Monte Carlo.

Anonymous said... »November 29, 2010

the gto was a huge sales disappointment and quickly discontinued, remember? my dealers offered me $10,000.00 off on a new gto as he could not give them away. i later bought a dodge challenger years later.

the g8 was sweet, though and not given a chance with the demise of pontiac. sadly. i love that car!

huppidupp said... »September 05, 2012

If GM relaunch the awesome cars Chevelle SS and Pontiac GTO they must design the new cars that start out from the fabulous design from the -60th-70th. There are already so many sports car designs of new cars. It is better to design these new cars as city cars, sedans. But with a design that also filmstars wants to step out from when there is a new "opening" of a new movie. But also with normal engines inside - and also with a version of a powerful engine that blow other cars off the road. Do not look at European design, look at all American car design as it was at that time. I didn't like the last BMW copy of Pontiac. The customers wants a REAL Pontiac or a REAL Chevelle!

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