NYT: New Pontiac G8 Ute is "Hell Camino"
One of TTAC's Best and Brightest asked the obvious question: "is Lawrence Ulrich working for you secretly?" Nope. It's just that love is breaking out all over for the new Pontiac G8 pickup ute sport truck thingie. More specifically, The New York Times car hack asks "Who exactly was clamoring for a two-seat, gas-guzzling pickup with the cheapest-looking interior this side of a Motel 6?" [NB: TTAC would have said "Who the Hell…"] The Wheels' description of the G8 without the rear seats is plenty pithy: "The 6-liter V-8 from the G8 sport sedan, good for 361 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds. The 74-inch cargo bed can handle just under 1,100 pounds, and there’s a 3,500-pound towing capacity. Now, if it could only tow itself away." Ulrich describes the "we don't know what to call it so you do it" Aussie import as "Like Hell Camino: a pointless hodgepodge that’s worthy of an expletive-filled diss from 50 Cent himself." [thanks to Nicholas Weaver for the link]
TriShield: Is this thing really going to use much less fuel than a truck? The G8 is rated at 17/25 with the 3.6 and 15/24 with the 6.0; I'm not sure if the G8 ST is going to be any different. A 2WD Chevy Colorado, on the other hand, gets between 18/24 and 16/22. Seems like a pretty negligible difference.
its a cool performance car with a truck bed. i like it, given the bed is large enough to carry more than what a backseat and trunk will hold. most people who buy trucks don't use them for their intended purpose. hell, i see 20 feet tall trucks that have never been offroad in their life. trucks somehow gained a "cool factor". the popularity of the SUV is because its a "cool" (although poor) replacement for the Minivan. its not about function, people. if it can create hype and people like it, then it will sell. people are stupid that way. i just wonder how many people rushed out to get minivans since Brad Pitt was seen driving one...
OK... these Aussie Utes have one very important distinction.... the Japanese and the Europeans have NOTHING like it (Brat doesn't count.. not even close). The bed, although smaller than a full sized picked up, is fine for most people's need. The Aussies don't seem to have a problem with it. I see then all over being used. And I also noticed that if an Aussie needs some extra load room, they haul a utility trailer behind it. Almost every fuel station rents trailers there. Rather than compare it to a full size truck, compare it to the smaller pickups, such as the Toyota Tacoma. I've taken from long road trips in these performance utes (and in Western Australia, they are looooong trips). And they are very comfortable. Fuel wise, they aren't bad. Not as good as a compact sedan. But better than a full size truck. The question that keeps getting banted about is "Who is going to buy it?"". In Australia, it is CUBs, slang for "Cashed Up Bogans". What we used to call in the US "Oil Field Trash". Blue collar, hard working males in their late 20's and 30's who have lucked in to some good paying jobs. They have earned some cash, don't have a wife and kids to worry about, and they don't want a snobby BMW or a boring Toyota. They have enough money for fuel. Hell... They spend more on beer on one night than they will spend on fuel for week. The NY Times would of course dismiss this ute. It is not something that would go over there. But it would go over very well in parts of California, the South, and the Midwest. This car is for the same people that like NASCAR, like their cars to roars, and can't stand pretentious posers in BMWs. Unfortunately, I think the pool of Yank CUBs is getter smaller every day. The key to being a CUB is to have money left over on Monday after being paid Friday and drinking all day Saturday.
This the perfect urban truck. Compare to trucks, it get great gas milage. I would venture a guess that 75% of truck owners only use 50% of their trucks capabilities. Trucks are more of a status symbol here in the midwest. There are plenty of actual people that need their trucks for work they do, but most are posing as if they are the hard-working, salt of the earth types. This thing is perfect for the posers and for its light truck capabilities.