With lyrics that don’t pull punches and themes that are brutally honest, rapper 50 Cent (a.k.a. Curtis Jackson) has risen to the top of the hip hop scene. He’s also a passionate car enthusiast with a penchant for Pontiacs – his video for the song “Amusement Park” featured the G6 GXP and G8 concept cars.
Now, 50 Cent has teamed up with Pontiac and New York-based tuner to the stars, Will Castro, and his shop, Unique Autosports (the same shop featured on the television show “Unique Whips”), to build a one-of-a-kind G8 performance sedan. It debuted at the 2007 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
“Partnering with Pontiac has given me the opportunity to create something truly unique – a customized performance vehicle I am really proud of,” said 50. “The G8 is like none other and it pushes the boundaries of what people think a car has to be.”
The new G8 – which goes on sale nationally in early 2008 – is totally customized, with custom paint and exterior appointments, as well as a re-trimmed interior outfitted with an audio system that shakes the ground as much as 50 Cent’s three albums shook up the charts. The car is powered by an LSX 427 engine dyno-tested to more than 500 horsepower and assembled only with components available from the GM Performance Parts catalog or GM Parts.
Rockin’ the spot
The LSX 427 engine uses GM Performance Parts’ affordable, durable LSX cylinder block as its foundation. The engine assembly was filled out with a variety of production-based components used on the Corvette Z06’s 7.0L LS7 engine, including a forged steel crankshaft, lightweight titanium connecting rods, racing-derived aluminum cylinder heads and a complete LS7 intake/throttle body/fuel injection system. Engine operation is handled with GM Performance Parts’ new stand-alone LS7 crate engine controller.
Detroit-area Thomson Automotive oversaw the assembly, dyno testing and installation of the engine. From there, the car was shipped to Unique Autosports, on New York’s Long Island, for the rest of its transformation, which included:
- An all-new Spies Hecker Torch Red exterior paint job accented with a bold Ebony graphic that mimics the shape of Pontiac’s “dart” insignia; the graphic runs over the top of the car, starting at a point on the front fascia
- Twenty-two-inch chrome wheels from NC Forged that have a deep-dish, seven-spoke design
- Low-profile Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires
- Dark-tinted taillamps
- Tinted glass with Llumar film
- Custom “50 Cent Unique Autosports Edition” exterior badging
- Borla stainless steel exhaust system
“The most interesting aspect of the project is what we didn’t do to the exterior,” said Will Castro. “We didn’t add a body kit, spoilers or lower the car. The G8 has the right stance and appearance, so we only accented the original form with details that made it unique to 50 Cent.”
Inside, the G8’s black, leather-covered seats were re-trimmed with perforated red leather inserts – with similar trim used on the armrests. The 50 Cent/Unique Autosports logo was embroidered into the seat headrests and custom floor mats. The finishing touch for the G8 is an 800-watt JBL audio system, with complementing amps and a subwoofer.
“A first-class audio system was a must for 50 Cent, and this one rocks the spot,” said Castro. “In fact, the G8 itself just-plain rocks and makes a great platform to build a custom, high-performance street car.”