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Next-Gen GTO Aborted

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  • Founders

Love it or hate it, the 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO was the only muscle car GM offered at the time. It was an important stopgap between the fourth-generation F-body and the fifth-gen. It also played a crucial role in restoring confidence in GM’s build quality, and marked the resurgence of rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered performance cars. And had it been more successful, Bob Lutz (former GM president) said there would have been a new generation GTO. In fact, Lutz says they had a “full-size clay model” of it, which “used the same architecture as the Pontiac G8 sedan.” [This was one of many recent admissions since Lutz has left GM.]

Speculation is that had GM went ahead with the next-gen GTO, it would have looked like the Holden Coupe 60 Concept from 2008 (pictured). Considering both the previous generation, as well as the G8, is largely based upon Holden models, this seems very likely. Anyone familiar with the sultry lines of the 2009 G8 GXP will recognize those exaggerated wheel arches in addition to the roofline, belt line, and rear end. However, it is obvious that among the necessary additions to make the Holden a GTO, it would once again have to adorn some familiar hood scoops and split grille. And of course it would most likely be powered by a 420+ horsepower 6.2L LS3 with 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

Sadly, though, we never got to see this next-gen GTO, and will forever be left to wonder of what might have been as we gaze at pictures of the Coupe 60 – a sleek two-door, just begging to be driven hard like any good Goat.

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  • 4 months later...

Looks like Chaos was right. That is the only way it is going to happen now. The Chevy SS and Caprice PPV will be built somewhere else by 2017. Hopefully somewhere here in North America.

In case anyone missed GM's big news about Holden just before Christmas.....


GM, Holden Ending Australian Manufacturing by 2017

Due to concerns such as high costs and the highly-valued Australian dollar, General Motors confirmed earlier rumors this morning that it will close its manufacturing operations in Australia by 2017. Although the Holden brand will continue to exist in the form of rebadged imports, all vehicle and engine production will stop, signaling the end of Australian-made models like the Holden Commodore and Caprice.

“The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world,” said GM CEO Dan Akerson in a prepared statement.

The Australian new-car market totals 65 different car manufacturers vying for about 1.1 million in annual vehicle sales. The strong Australian dollar makes imports from places like South Korea more affordable options for buyers, leading to sliding local sales over the last few years.

Following in the footsteps of Ford, which announced last May that it would halt manufacturing in Australia by 2016, GM could no longer keep its Holden plants running due to hundreds of million in losses and insurmountable obstacles that could not be rectified even after billions of dollars in aid from the Australian government.

"No matter which way we apply the numbers, our long term business case to make and assemble cars in this country is simply not viable," reflected Holden chairman Mike Devereux, speaking to reporters at GM’s Adelaide facility.

GM’s inability to profitably continue Australian manufacturing could have far-reaching effects well beyond the loss of 2900 jobs over the next four years. A new Reuters report speculates that the entire Australian industry could be thrown into turmoil if Toyota, which runs the last remaining domestic manufacturing operation, follows suit. Tensions are high, with more than 40,000 employees of parts and supply companies anxious that their jobs might be in jeopardy.

The decision will also have a palpable effect on the U.S. automotive market.

GM spokesperson Greg Martin confirmed that the U.S.-spec rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet SS will continue production in Australia until the Holden plants shut down in 2017, but stressed that it’s still only December of 2013 and that eventuality is still a few years down the line. He would not comment on the model’s future – if any – after that point.

After jumping through a host of various import and emissions hoops just to be viable for U.S. sale, it seems sadly ill-fated that the Chevrolet SS is already doomed before it even finished its first year stateside. We can’t help but see shades of the Australian-made, rear-wheel-drive Pontiac G8, which bit the dust after just two model years once the Pontiac brand was discontinued in 2010. Depending on when exactly GM shutters Holden manufacturing plants, the SS might see only four model years of production.

This decision may also impact GM’s fleet-oriented lineup in North America around the same time. The Chevrolet Caprice PPV is currently manufactured in Australia and will presumably follow the SS to the grave, although GM would not comment on the Caprice's future. While GM also offers police fleets the aging Chevrolet Impala Limited, that model will be discontinued in 2016. Should both models be discontinued, the Chevrolet Tahoe PPV may be the only police-oriented model remaining in GM’s portfolio.

Read more: http://www.automobilemag.com/features/news/gm-holden-ending-australian-manufacturing-by-2017-258669/#ixzz2q0AutftH

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Why yes, yes I did Chaos. When I cut and pasted it from the original article it pasted black text. Then I re-edited and pasted into the editor as "automatic", it stayed black too. That's when I changed it to white.

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  • Founders

Holden NEVER should have been called a GTO or any Pontiac namesake in my opinion.Maybe they could'ev called it the "Banchee" but thats my 2cents.Nothing like a GTO to me.

Think a lot of people discredit the modern day GTO for this reason. The Holden Monaroo is an amazing car, especially with some of the rebadge crap that Pontiac was getting at the time, its nice to see something great. Was it a modern day muscle car? Yes. Was the GM crowd ready for the name? No. Not saying you should accept it just saying there could be a LOT WORSE things carrying the GTO nameplate :lol:

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Holden NEVER should have been called a GTO or any Pontiac namesake in my opinion.Maybe they could'ev called it the "Banchee" but thats my 2cents.Nothing like a GTO to me.

Joe, you will have to explain that to me over a beer sometime soon and I will tell you the story of its development that Jim Wangers and the late John Sawruk said about the the 04-06 GTO. Bottom line, it was the fastest production GTO built. Best power-to-weight, best handling and best braking GTO ever made. Sure it didn't appeal to the the traditionalists - but for several reasons.

I think that is an excuse for you, me, JUSTA, and notallthere to get together. Wadda' think?

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I thought the modern GTO was and awesome car.Unlike the USA Australia never stop making muscle cars so there decades ahead of us and we could take lessons from them making modern muscle

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