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Pontiac names our ute

Instead of going for something wild or wacky - like Utenator or Kangaroo - it has quietly added it to the G8 family of imports with an ST name and badge.

It also rejected the sentimental favourite, El Camino, after sifting through 18,000 entries in the 'Tame the Name' contest which followed the unveiling of the Americanised ute in the USA.

“Frankly, we were blown away by both the volume and quality of the names that were submitted,” says Craig Bierley, Pontiac's product marketing director for cars and crossovers.

“G8 ST was one of the most popular suggestions, plus we noticed a far broader trend toward simple, easy-to-remember names.”

The reaction to the naming competition reflects the interest in the Aussie ute, which could become a huge winner as Americans downsize out of larger, gas-guzzler pickups in the Ford F150 class. It also shows the impact the Commodore has had since the start of exports as the Pontiac G8.

Pontiac has taken months to announce the results of its name game as it had to clear each possibility for potential trademark use.

It hints that El Camino - previously used on a Chevrolet pick-up - was the runner-up, but without admitting it.

“We actually thought very long about El Camino. In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino’s unique place as part of Chevy’s heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac," says Bierley.

The G8 ST will not go on sale until late next year, when it will be included in Pontiac's 2010 model lineup.

Pontiac says prices and specifications will be confirmed closer to its arrival in showrooms but it will definitely only come with the Commodore's V8 engine, complete with a six-speed automatic gearbox and the Active Fuel Management system which Australians are still waiting to see in their Holdens.