We Ask GM's Rick Wagoner About a New El Camino...Back-Asswardly

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As we hinted at yesterday — we had the opportunity to sit down (with a group of other auto journos — but it totally felt like it was just the two of us in that room. Or maybe it's just because I could care less about the fuel economy and economic issues surrounding the General, the direction most of the auto hacks were beating their chests to) and talk with GM's big chief exec, Rick Wagoner, yesterday before his keynote address at CES. So what did we talk about? How about future Zeta products hitting US shores — like the reports we've heard of GM greenlighting an El Camino ute and a wagon for Pontiac under the G8 nameplate. Namely we were wondering about the rumors we've heard that if Pontiac builds both the wagon and the ute, the wagon will only come with a V6 engine while the ute would come in both V6 and V8 flavors. Our back-and-forth with His Slickness after the jump.

Rick, you've got the G8 coming and hitting shores now, Camaro coming next year — what other options are being discussed for the Commodore — excuse me — Zeta platform?

I can think of at least two other potential products that have been and remain on the table. One has a reasonably high likelihood, and one maybe not as high likelihood...due to fuel economy concerns.

Any discussions on whether one may be a V6 only and one may be a V6/V8?

Not at this time. I think the general discussion going forward...as we look at these products will be challenging ourselves whether we need an eight in these products going forward. Hey, when you develop products...we've got to hold ourselves to a higher standard on these. I saw some early data...not sure if it was just a region of the country...but it definitely skewed towards the four's. That's a big change from the old generation.

That's not to say the Camaro...for younger buyers maybe a six or a turbo-charged six may hold a higher cache...


There you have it. Absolutely no answer to the question whatsoever. But now we're worried whether we'll even end up getting both a wagon and a ute. That sound you hear? That's the knot tightening in our stomachs. Yes, it makes a weird sound. Don't make fun of us, it's not very nice.

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