What makes this story even tougher to swallow is the fact that this car was legitimately supposed to go on sale. Pontiac promoted a competition to come up with an adequate production name for the G8 ‘ST’ and in its press details, the automaker wrote it was “expected to arrive in dealer’s showrooms in late 2009.” If Pontiac hadn’t disintegrated in 2010, it very well could have arrived. Pity.
So will an El Camino ever ride again? Sadly, it looks doubtful.
Last year, GM announced it will discontinue manufacturing operations in Australia by the close of 2017, which likely means no more Aussie utes and thus no potential American-market versions. But manufacturing is merely a logistical problem, the fate of the ute is an evolution issue.
The car-based ute first gained popularity for its ability to perform light duty work in car-like comfort, a dramatic difference to many of the hard-riding, agricultural pickup trucks of old. Today it still performs that mission, but most every modern pickup truck has evolved and now offers a car-like comfortable ride and significantly more capability. It’s a trend that will leave some buyers thinking, “Why pay the same and end up with less?”
Rational thinking aside, the ute is as cool as a basement freezer, and amongst US ute fanatics, the Pontiac G8 ST will be remembered as the one that got away.