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Holdens become Pontiacs

 

Muscle car fans in America will be able to buy high-performance, Pontiac versions of the Holden Commodore sedan and ute from next year.

GM Holden will export the two new vehicles to join the established Commodore-based Pontiac G8 and G8 GT. The new models are the Pontiac G8 sport truck and the brand’s new flagship, the G8 GXP. The sport truck will be specified to the same level as the G8 GT sedan which went on sale in America earlier this year. It will have electronic dual-zone climate control, cruise control and remote start. Safety gear will include ESP, driver and passenger front, curtain and side impact airbags. It will run a 6.0-litre V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission and has Active Fuel Management technology to improve economy. Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager, Jim Bunnell, says there’s “simply nothing else like the G8 sport truck on (American roads) today, and we definitely believe that there are customers who will be excited by its distinctive design, performance and cargo capabilities.” Holden starts building the sport truck at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia, in the second half of 2009. Production of the G8 GXP will start in Adelaide later this year.


The GXP is also the first Holden-built Pontiac to offer a manual variant with both six-speed manual and six-speed automatics available. It runs the new 6.2-litre LS3 small-block V8, currently rated at 300kW and 546Nm of peak torque. The car gets a unique front fascia with a lower splitter. It also has a distinctive rear fascia diffuser, a dual-port grille, foglights, and bold wheels. GM Holden boss, Mark Reuss, says the G8 sport truck, the first ute export to North America, creates a whole new market segment. “The addition of the new G8s to our export programme further enhances GM Holden’s position as the centre of global rear-wheel drive expertise in the GM organisation and reinforces that the cars we’re building are truly world class. “The design, engineering and performance of the G8 sedan is already drawing praise from US media and Pontiac fans alike and we’re confident that the sport truck and the GXP sedan will be as warmly received.”


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