We have just received a real gem into our Top Speed test fleet. The once endangered and now recently saved Pontiac G8 is an excellent performance sedan. The stylish sedan came from the land down under where the Australians prefer their race cars with a V8 up front and four doors all around. It was this rear wheel drive formula that made the G8 such a hit when it originally debuted with either V6 or V8 power. However this is no ordinary G8, this is the high performance GXP version , a model that combines the fun of rear wheel drive, the power of an LS3 and the control of a six speed manual and is said to compete with much higher priced sports cars like the BMW M5.
Our Sport Red Metallic car rides on a set of stylish 19 inch polished aluminum rims that when combined with the oversized Brembo brake calipers, bears a striking resemblance to the Cadillac CTS-V. Aside from the impressive rolling stock the exterior of our G8 GXP looks just like any other of the four door imports from Queensland. The only other features that hint at the outstanding performance under the bonnet are the pair of sport inspired hood scoops and a set of reasonably flared fenders. Apart from the cleared out taillight lenses and the aforementioned details, there is no other way to tell this hot rod G8 apart from any other of Pontiac’s rear wheel drive grocery getters.
The Onyx interior is about the same as a base Pontiac G8 except that the aluminum sport pedals and GXP logos embroidered into the backrests of the leather wrapped front sport buckets hint at something special. That sensation is further reinforced by the Corvette-like shifter. The grip is connected to a six speed manual that sends 402 HP and 402 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2 Liter V8 through a limited slip differential directly to the rear wheels. The G8 GXP should be good for a 0 to 60 MPH time of about 4.7 seconds and a quarter mile time of 13.0 seconds flat.
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You can get a V6 for as little as $27,900, but for only $41,590 you can have something that will compete, from a performance standpoint, with a $100,000 super car. It is nice to see that despite the unstable economy and reluctance from the automotive manufacturer thatthis car will live on past the days of Pontiac . We would hate to see General Motors pull one of the most powerful vehicles you can buy for the money completely off the market.