Naturally, we are big fans of anything powered by an LS engine. The swap projects are always cool and often very unique, or even sort of crazy. But the factory cars are great, too, and after the 1st-gen Cadillac CTS-V, just the second LS-powered four-door sedan available stateside was, of course, the Pontiac G8 GT, sold here for only two short years in 2008 and 2009.
Right on Pontiac’s deathbed, the G8 was ironically probably the best late-model Pontiac of all and came courtesy of GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden and its model the Commodore. It was powered by a 6.0-liter LS2 derivative known as the L76. Rated at 361 horsepower in the ’08 G8s and 355 in the ’09s, it was equipped with Active Fuel Management (AFM) or also known as Displacement on Demand (DOD). Essentially, in AFM mode, the engine would run on four cylinders to improve fuel economy. But in the real world, many G8 enthusiasts aren’t real thrilled with the system and like to eliminate it by installing an LS3 or other aftermarket cam.
But here, we are interested in what we discovered on Auto Trader. Mainly only sold in Australia, the Holden Commodore Ute is something of a modern-day Chevy El Camino. At one point, there was talk of making the Ute available in the states, but that never came to be.
But now, seven years after G8 production ended, we found this Ute in the Phoenix, Arizona area. To paraphrase the ad, it says, “2009 Holden Commodore Ute. Holden is GM in Australia. This car has a 6.0-liter LS2 V-8 and a six-speed automatic trans. The 400-horsepower factory engine is similar to those found in the ’05-’07 C6 Corvette and ’05-’06 Pontiac GTO. It has power windows, power door locks, tilt wheel, and cruise control. The car has been converted to left-hand drive using a 2009 Pontiac G8 as a donor. All drivetrain and suspension is from a Pontiac G8. The dash and wiring is also from a G8 as well as the fuel system. Any GM dealer can work on this car and get parts for it. It’s not a kit car or a custom pickup. It is 100 percent GM and is registered and legal in the U.S.
We were intrigued enough with the car (or is it a truck?) that we called the seller and asked him a few questions. Although he said right-hand drive cars were legal in Arizona, he went on to say that the novelty of driving from the other side wears off pretty quickly, even though we commented that it’s probably quite the conversation piece. Therefore, that is why it was converted to left-hand drive. As for other info on Commodore, er G8 Utes, you can check out the seller’s Website here.