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Chevrolet plans to unveil rear-drive police car

Chevrolet plans to unveil rear-drive police car

Rick Kranz
Automotive News | October 2, 2009 – 2:02 pm EST


Chevrolet plans to announce Monday that it will offer a rear-drive police car that appears likely to be based on the Pontiac G8 sedan.

Chevrolet will outline the strategy at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Denver, the division said in an e-mail today.

In an interview with an Australian newspaper last month, General Motors Co. CEO Fritz Henderson said the automaker is working on a car for U.S. police agencies, using a rear-drive sedan developed by Holden, GM’s Australian subsidiary. Holden developed and assembled the Pontiac G8 and developed the new Chevrolet Camaro.

“We’ve been working on a package for (U.S.) police applications. I think that’s going to work,” Henderson told The Sydney Morning Herald. “We’re pretty optimistic about it.” His comments were posted on the Web site.

Chevrolet spokesman Brian Goebel declined to say today if the car would be based on the G8. GM plans to drop the Pontiac brand in 2010, making the 2009 model year the last for the car.

Lutz’s role

Vice Chairman Bob Lutz was the force behind a family of V-8-powered, rear-wheel-drive cars, including the G8 and Camaro. Insiders said GM, spurred by the demise of Pontiac and favorable press reviews for the G8, was looking for opportunities for a rebadged G8.

Five months ago, reports circulated that GM might revive the G8 as a Chevrolet, possibly as a dedicated police car with the resurrected Caprice name. GM denied that story.

Then in early July, as GM emerged from bankruptcy, a GM source said the G8 would become a Chevrolet positioned above the Impala and sold as a pricey, V-8-powered, low-volume retail sedan.

A week or so later, Lutz wrote on GM’s FastLane blog that the plan was dead.

“The G8 will not be a Caprice after all,” Lutz wrote. “Upon further review and careful study, we simply cannot make a business case for such a program. Not in today’s market, in this economy, and with fuel regulations what they are and will be.”

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