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Pontiac G8 ST: officially cancelled

by Nick Aziz

In a broadcast to dealers Tuesday morning, General Motors officially announced its G8 ST has been cancelled. The news comes less than a month after Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac- GMC, publicly stated the program was under review.

The low-volume two-door pickup model had projected U.S. sales of just 5,000 units a year, making the business case difficult to justify. On the surface, turning the Holden Ute into a G8 ST seems like a pretty simple case of badge-engineering, but when you take the left-hand-drive retooling and other U.S.-specific modifications into account, it's easy to see why it was a hard sell for GM management given current economic conditions.

The sport truck was to be powered by the same 6.0-liter V8 used in the G8 GT sedan. The motor puts out 361 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. Combined with a six-speed automatic it promised a zero to 60 mph time of 5.4 seconds.

Like the Ute, the ST would seat only two occupants. Behind the seats a large interior cargo area was expected to offer more than 8.5 cubic feet (245 liters) of storage space. A 73.9-inch cargo bed promised 42.7 cubic feet of space and a payload capacity of more than 1,074 pounds, plus the ability to tow a 3,500-pound trailer.

The termination of the G8 ST dashes hopes for a modern-day El Camino indefinitely, though it's clear such a vehicle would only appeal to a very small demographic. It's possible GMC's Denali XT -- also based on the Holden Ute -- could one day see production, but at the moment there's nothing to indicate that will ever happen.