It's official — despite Jalopnik and over 80,000 arrowhead fan boys best efforts, Pontiac's decided to officially name the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck the unimaginative name of "Pontiac G8 ST." Frankly, we were as disappointed as you are. So we did what all fan boys of what could have been the new "El Camino" do when they're disappointed — we broke open a case of PBR. After a few beers we decided to get fellow El Camino fan boy Mike Levine from PickupTrucks.com to help us set up a conference call with Pontiac marketing director Craig Bierley. Our purpose was to get to the bottom of how a process that seemed to encourage the type of fan movements like our "Vote El Camino" campaign would seemingly result in Pontiac choosing the original name of the vehicle. Interestingly, when we asked the question — Bierley told us Pontiac "didn't really have ST as the name when we engaged in the process, we were just calling it a sport truck." But, if you look at the pictures we originally took of the car in our exclusive first look, it had the "ST" letters. Go ahead, take a look at the liftgate in the picture up top as well as in this original picture of the "Sport Truck." We'll have more on the "NameG8" story tomorrow, but for the moment hit the jump for the press release. We're going to go and finish up the rest of this case of PBR.
PONTIAC NAMES ALL NEW SPORT TRUCK THE "G8 ST"
Segment-Defining Vehicle on Target for Late 2009 Launch
Detroit - After sifting through more than 18,000 possibilities, Pontiac has chosen to keep it simple, naming the recently revealed G8 sport truck the "G8 ST."
Thousands of fans submitted suggestions during a "Tame the Name" promotion, which delayed a final announcement until each possibility was considered and cleared for possible trademark use.
"Frankly, we were blown away by both the volume and quality of the names that were submitted," said Craig Bierley, BPG product marketing director for cars and crossovers. "'G8 ST' was one of the most popular suggestions, plus we noticed a far broader trend toward simple, easy-to-remember names."
"El Camino" was also a sentimental favorite, given the G8 ST's resemblance to the classic Chevy.
"We actually thought very long about El Camino," said Bierley. "In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino's unique place as part of Chevy's heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac."
Perhaps the ultimate reflection of the blurring line between cars and trucks, the G8 ST will create a unique niche segment in the marketplace: a sports car with truck-like cargo and towing capabilities. Sharing the basic architecture and 361 hp V8 engine as the G8 GT performance sedan, it will offer a 73.9-inch cargo bed that has 42.7 cubic feet of cargo space and can carry a payload of 1,000 pounds (453 kg) or tow a 3,500-pound (1,587 kg) trailer.
Thanks to its six-speed automatic transmission and Active Fuel Management system, the G8 ST should offer some of the best fuel economy numbers for V8-powered vehicles with similar cargo/towing ratings while still turning in zero-to-60 times of 5.4 seconds.
The G8 ST will be available in late 2009 as a 2010 model and will be backed by GM's industry best 100,000 mile, 5-year powertrain warranty. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.
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