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"highly unlikely" there would be a new version of the Monaro despite Holden unveiling

US rapper Fifty Cent reckons Americans will embrace the Holden ute when it goes on sale there next year - even though at the moment they don't know what to call it.

As the car was unveiled to the public at the New York motor show, the music artist, who is sponsored by General Motors, said: "There's a lot of people who want a pick up and a sports car, well this thing does both."

He said he was yet to drive the ute, but has driven a sedan version of the Holden Commodore, which has just gone on sale in the US as a Pontiac.

General Motors dressed up a Commodore-based Pontiac sedan on behalf of Fifty Cent for a recent modified car show, and the rapper said he wants to "add some chrome" to a ute.

"Absolutely, I can't wait to add some bling to this thing," he told a media scrum on General Motors' centre stage.

Fifty Cent has a multi-million dollar garage including Ferraris and Rolls-Royces but the New Yorker reportedly shuns his more lavish transport for a relatively anonymous medium-sized Pontiac as a daily driver.

"The reason he wants to be partnered with us, he wants to be associated with brands and things that are attainable to his fans," said the marketing manager for Pontiac, Craig Bierley. "Most people can't buy a $400,000 sports car."

Bierley said it was hard to make a direct connection between Fifty Cent's endorsement of the brand and any increase in sales, but "it helps us break through the clutter and get awareness".

Pontiac is asking Americans to give the ute a new name via an online competition. The winner, announced next month, takes home one of the new utes.

It can't be called a ute because that is also the name of a native Indian tribe in America's south west.

Fifty Cent joked that the Pontiac version of the ute should be called Curtis, his given name.

"My mother thought my name should be Curtis, so I think this should be Curtis, at least just for today," he said.

Meanwhile the vice president of General Motors, Bob Lutz, who is also in charge of future models, said it was "highly unlikely" there would be a new version of the Monaro despite Holden unveiling a concept car at the recent Melbourne motor show. He confirmed it had been pushed down the queue so General Motors could invest more resources in developing economy cars.

"The coupe has had a sensational reaction ... but that is one of those projects that's got to be put on the back burner while we wrestle with this whole fuel economy issue."

See the Drive liftout in Friday's Herald to read the exclusive first drive of the new Commodore across America.
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