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Pontiac G8 may get a second life as the Chevrolet Caprice, Lutz says

Mon, 13 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0700

The Pontiac G8 may get a new life as the Chevrolet Caprice.

General Motors is studying the feasibility of reusing the rear-wheel-drive performance sedan for law enforcement and the general public, vice chairman Bob Lutz said in an online chat Monday.

“The G8 has finally been discovered by a broader percentage of the buying public,” Lutz said on GM's FastLane blog. “The owners are ecstatic about them, many calling it the best sedan they've ever driven. We consider it too good to waste. So we're studying the feasibility of bringing it in as a Caprice for both law enforcement and the public.”

The G8 was set to die with the rest of Pontiac, and GM CEO Fritz Henderson has gone on record as not being in favor of rebadging. But the G8 has garnered critical praise for its power and performance, drawing comparisons with BMWs--at a much lower sticker price.

The G8 offers a base-level V6 that makes 256 hp and two V8s, including a top-shelf 415-hp version that GM brass says is the most powerful Pontiac ever. The G8 starts at $29,000.

The Caprice was a long-running nameplate used by Chevrolet from the 1960s to the 1990s on large sedans.

Lutz also reaffirmed that the Camaro convertible is due in 2011, after being pushed back from 2010.

“It's definitely in the plan and in the process of being developed,” he said.

On the luxury front, Lutz said the CTS Sport Wagon could get a V-Series model, but it's not in the plans right now.

“However, should sufficient demand materialize, there is no reason why we couldn't do a V-Series wagon,” he said.

The Chevrolet Volt also came up in the chat, and Lutz said there are several potential future applications for its technology, including the Cadillac Converj concept revealed at the Detroit auto show.

Lutz said he would remain involved with design and styling in his new role in charge of creative elements of GM, which includes advertising, marketing and communications. He also said his personal feelings on global warning don't impact his professional duties, noting that he's committed to reducing petroleum consumption and has championed the Volt's journey to production.

By Greg Migliore