More than twenty years after the death of Chevrolet's El Camino, General Motors is giving the U.S. market another shot at a car-based pickup. And it won't get the El Camino badge.
Previewed at the New York auto show in March, the 2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck - the name is still undecided - is essentially a six-inch-longer Pontiac G8 sedan sans a back seat and a trunk. Power comes from the same 6.0-liter, 361-hp V-8 that lives under the hood of the G8 GT, and grunt is routed to the ground by the G8's six-speed automatic. Pontiac claims that the trucklet can blast from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, just a hair slower than the G8 GT sedan. Towing capacity is a respectable-for-a-car 3500 pounds, and the bed can carry more than half a ton of cargo.
WHO'S GOING TO BUY IT? THE SAME PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT THE CHEVY SSR, OF COURSE! OH, WAIT . . . It may look cool on paper, but something tells us that the G8-amino will meet an early, slow-selling death. The car/truck market has never been as strong as it was in the 1970s (witness the early, sales-driven demise of the SSR). And with fuel prices on the rise, we don't see that changing soon - even though we love a good cruck.