Confirming its commitment to style and performance, Pontiac introduced a show car version of an all-new, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2008 Pontiac G8 will be available in dealerships early next year.
“With the balance of rear-wheel drive and the availability of V-8 power, the G8 represents another step in Pontiac ’s commitment to its performance DNA,” said John Larson, Pontiac general manager. “Added to the Solstice and the recently announced additions of the G6 and Torrent to the GXP series, the G8 demonstrates that Pontiac has never been more serious about the business of performance – and we expect this vehicle to be very competitive in the segment, even against cars that cost far more.”
The G8 is the first North American application of GM’s new global rear-wheel-drive architecture developed by Holden, GM’s Australian subsidiary.
G8 GT show car details
The G8 show car unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show is representative of the production GT model, including use of the 362-horsepower (270 kW) 6.0L V-8 engine and optional six-speed manual transmission. The show car also features some unique items not found on the production model, including:
- Twenty-inch “shadow chrome” wheels and performance tires
- Ride height lowered approximately half-inch
- High-performance brake rotors with painted brake calipers
- Custom interior trim color, including a leather-wrapped dash
- Exclusive exterior paint color: Phantom Grey
- Concept of “modernized” Pontiac badge, to gauge public opinion.
Production model details
The 2008 Pontiac G8 lineup will offer two models: G8 and G8 GT. Each will come with a host of standard performance, convenience and safety features, including:
- Four-wheel independent suspension
- Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control
- Electronic stability control
- 18-inch aluminum wheels (19-inch wheels available with sport package)
- Seat-mounted thorax air bags and dual-stage frontal air bags for front passengers, with automatic passenger sensing system
- Roof rail side-impact air bags for both seating rows
- XM Satellite Radio
- Power-adjustable front seats
- Fog lamps
- Chrome exhaust tips
- Rear lip spoiler
A sport package will be available for both models and adds features such as specific wheels – including 19-inch aluminum wheels and performance tires on GT – a rear wing spoiler, leather shift knob, leather-wrapped steering wheel and alloy pedals.
The G8 has a progressive styling package highlighted by strong Pontiac design cues, such as a dual-port grille, fog lamps, bold wheels and a confident, wheels-at-the-corners stance. The design accents the car’s performance lineage, with fenders that flare over the wheels, seemingly hugging the wide tires and enhancing the sporting stance.
Distinctive elements include hood scoops and front fender vents, as well as projector-beam headlamps housed in crystal-clear lenses. At the rear, jewel-like taillamps also are mounted in housings and feature bright detail work surrounding the red lighting elements. G8 models have red taillamp lenses and twin chrome exhaust outlets, while G8 GT models feature clear taillamp lenses and quad chrome exhaust tips. All models have an antenna mounted at the rear of the roof.
The base G8 model receives a 3.6L DOHC V-6 with variable valve timing, rated at 261 horsepower (194 kW). It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
A 114.8-inch (2915 mm) wheelbase, wide front ( 62.7 inches / 1592 mm) and rear ( 63.3 inches / 1608 mm) tracks, and a fully adjustable, four-wheel independent suspension system combine to give the G8 a confident, sharp driving experience.
The four-wheel independent suspension system employs a MacPherson strut design in the front and a four-link coil-over-shock design in the rear. Tuning is specific between the base and GT models, but both models use a direct-acting front stabilizer bar, decoupled rear stabilizer bar and lateral ball joints on the rear suspension. This system delivers increased lateral stiffness for enhanced handling.
A four-wheel disc brake system includes standard anti-lock and traction control features and is partnered with a standard electronic stability control system. Both the base and GT models feature vented front and rear disc rotors, with twin-piston alloy calipers in front; the rear brakes feature alloy calipers with single-piston actuation. The brakes are approximately one-inch larger on the higher-performance GT model.
Designed to meld form and function with world-class fit and finish, the G8’s interior delivers both comfort and convenience, packaged in a level of sophistication not often found in its price range. A driver-oriented instrument cluster positions the gauges for easy, direct line of sight; an electronic driver information center is located between the large, round tachometer and speedometer.
Attention to detail includes jewel-like instruments, selective use of satin and chrome trim and rich-feeling, grained textures throughout. The instrument cluster glows with crisp, white light on the primary instruments and Pontiac ’s signature red lighting illuminates the rest of the instrument panel cluster.
For the first time in more than 20 years, a rear-wheel-drive Pontiac performance sedan will be seen on the streets of North America, as the all-new 2008 G8 arrives in dealerships. With bold styling and an available V-8 engine, the G8 is the most powerful sedan available for less than $30,000.
“With Pontiac’s commitment to producing vehicles with both style and performance, the G8 is the ideal flagship for the brand,” said Craig Bierley, Pontiac marketing director. “But, more importantly, the G8 provides a level of sophisticated power and handling normally reserved for those paying far more.”
The V-6-equipped G8 performance sedan will start at $27,595, including a $695 destination and freight charge (DFC). The V-8-powered G8 GT starts at $29,995.
One hot design…
Regardless of which model customers choose, they’ll get a vehicle designed with modern performance styling cues, both inside and out, blended with a unique Pontiac attitude. A strong wheels-to-the-corners stance is highlighted with bold wheel flares and a rising beltline, giving the impression of barely contained power.
Pontiac design cues on both models include an inset dual port grille, twin hood scoops, projector head lamps, vented front fenders, 18-inch wheels, and chrome-tipped dual exhaust. The G8 GT sports crystal-clear rear lamp elements and chromed quad exhaust tips.
…Two hot powertrains
The G8 sedan comes equipped with a 3.6L DOHC V-6, generating 256 horsepower (190 kW) and 248 lb.-ft. of torque in a wide power band beginning at a very low 2,100 rpm. Linked to a five-speed Hydra-Matic 5L40E automatic transmission, the V-6-powered G8 is capable of zero-to-60 times of approximately seven seconds.
The GT model ups the ante with the introduction of the 6.0L small-block V-8, producing 361 horsepower (268 kW) and 385 lb.-ft. of torque. Zero-to-60 times of 5.3 seconds are possible with the six-speed Hydra-Matic 6L80E automatic transmission linked to a standard limited-slip differential.
The final drive ratio on both G8 models is 2.92:1.
Driver Shift Control
Both transmissions feature a uniquely tuned Driver Shift Control, allowing the driver to select three distinct shifting styles. In normal automatic mode, the transmission is geared to provide an optimal blend of performance and fuel economy. Sliding the shifter right into the manual shift gate selects a “Sport Mode,” altering the automatic shift points to maintain higher torque and greater engine control.
For driving enthusiasts who want ultimate control, moving the shifter up or down in the manual shift gate provides complete control over each shift point. In this mode, the transmission will not automatically up-shift at any time, although a rev limiter will prevent the engine from exceeding the red line. For safety reasons, the transmission will down-shift if engine rpm drops to a point where a stall is possible.
Designed for rear-wheel drive
The power and handling capabilities of the G8 were developed by a team of General Motors engineers in Australia with input from other GM engineering centers around the world.
“When we were designing the underpinnings of the G8, we wanted to create a vehicle that could compete with some of the best European performance sedans in every way,” said Doug Houlihan, vehicle chief engineer. “From chassis stiffness to suspension response to overall vehicle balance, we believe the G8 can perform as well as vehicles typically costing thousands of dollars more.”
The G8 can handle a wide variety of driving conditions. It features a robust, protected electrical system, a climate control system designed for weather extremes and noise/vibration-isolating suspension systems. A near 50/50 vehicle balance is achieved through design features that include a steering rack mounted ahead of the front axle, engines that are mounted low and rearward in the front chassis cradle and a rear-mounted battery.
Stiff chassis structure
The G8 has an exceptionally strong unitized chassis/body structure, including the use of advanced-strength steel in more than 80 percent of its construction. This strong foundation enables several factors that benefit the G8’s driving experience, including smoother, more solid ride characteristics and more precise suspension tuning, as the stiffer structure allows engineers to tune the suspension without having to account for chassis flex. Torsion and bending modes on the chassis are 55 hertz.
The stiff structure also enhances safety, as it helps absorb crash energy through a multiple load path strategy that includes optimized front-end and rear-end deformation zones.
Optimized performance suspension
A unique, four-wheel independent suspension system uses the strength of the G8’s body structure to enhance the driving experience through optimized steering, handling and driving control. Both the G8 sedan and G8 GT use the same performance-tuned suspension.
The G8 rides on a long, 114.8-inch (2,915 mm) wheelbase, with the wheels set wide on 62.7-inch (1,592 mm) front and 63.3-inch (1,608 mm) rear tracks. The front suspension features a multi-link, MacPherson strut-type design that incorporates a direct-acting stabilizer bar and a hydraulically damped bushing on the forward end of the tension link for improved ride isolation. The lateral link features a rubber spherical joint that enhances lateral stiffness. Camber, caster and toe are fully adjustable.
The rear suspension uses a four-link independent design, with coil springs over shocks and a decoupled stabilizer bar. With the rear suspension, a high degree of lateral stiffness is achieved with the use of two lateral ball joints per side. A rubber-damped suspension frame further isolates the body structure from noise, vibration and road harshness.
Turning and stopping
The G8’s steering rack is mounted forward of the front axle centerline – with dual lower links and individual ball joints at the outer ends – which enhances the balanced feel of the car while also contributing to a more direct steering feel. Steering rates for the variable-ratio rack-and-pinion system are tuned specifically for the V-6-powered base and V-8-powered GT models. The G8’s turning circle diameter is 37.4 feet (11.4 meters).
Matching the vehicle’s handling and steering agility is a carefully tailored brake system that uses four-wheel discs sized to match each model’s performance. The G8 sedan features 11.73-inch front rotors and 11.89-inch rear rotors. The higher-powered GT upgrades to 12.64-inch front rotors and 12.76-inch rear rotors. Front rotor thickness on both models is 1-inch while the rear rotors are 0.87-inch-thick.
Both models feature twin-piston front alloy calipers and vented rotors, and single-piston, alloy rear calipers with vented rotors. ABS is standard and the brake system is fully integrated into the vehicle’s electronic stability control system.
Rubber meets the road
The G8 sedan comes standard with 18-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels sporting P245/45R18 all-season tires. High-performance summer-only tires are optional.
The G8 GT is equipped with 18-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels with a P245/45R18 summer performance tire standard. All-season tires are available.
GT owners can also option up to the Sports Package, which includes 19-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels with P245/40R19 summer performance tires, as well as sport metallic pedals and a unique leather-wrapped sport steering wheel.
An electronic tire pressure monitoring system is standard and displays the exact tire pressure for each tire in the driver information center.
Comfort and convenience
Even though designed for performance, the G8 doesn’t forget it’s a five-passenger sedan and features a long list of standard equipment, including:
- Air conditioning, with optional electronic dual zone climate control system (standard on GT model)
- Cruise control
- Driver Information Center
- Tilt/telescoping steering wheel with DIC and radio controls
- Power windows/locks/mirrors with remote keyless entry and remote start
- Theft-deterrent alarm system
Fully-bolstered four-way adjustable cloth seats are standard. Heated, six-way leather seats are available on both models. GT owners also have the opportunity to personalize their vehicle with two-tone (black and red) leather seats and a coordinating gauge cluster.
Making full use of the G8’s 114.8-inch (2,915 mm) wheelbase and exterior design, interior room has been maximized. In particular, passenger room in the rear seat attains near best-in-class status with nearly 40 inches of legroom.
A two-tier glove compartment and center storage bin highlight some of the vehicle’s functionality. The G8 also boasts 17.5 cubic feet of trunk space and one of the largest trunk pass-throughs in the industry.
Bring on the sun and sounds
No true performance car is complete without a sound system and the G8 offers a seven-speaker Blaupunkt AM/FM/CD radio with iPod/MP3 input jack. Owners can step up to a 230-watt Blaupunkt AM/FM/6-disc CD Changer with 11-speakers, standard on the G8 GT and optional on V6-powered sedan.
The up-level radio also includes a 6.5-inch display that integrates sound system features with an electronic dual-zone climate control system.
A power sunroof is available on both G8 models.
Safety and security
Backed by a sturdy, crash-absorbing body structure and state-of-the-art passenger protection technology, the G8 is designed to offer superior passenger safety before, during and after an incident with an extensive list of safety features:
- StabiliTrak electronic vehicle stability system
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Dual-stage frontal air bags with a passenger sensing system
- Head curtain side air bags for front and rear occupants
- Side thorax air bags for the front passengers
- Three-point safety belts in all seating positions
- Front safety belt pre-tensioners
- Rear-seat LATCH child safety seat provisions in all three seating positions
OnStar navigation and calling convenience
The G8’s also benefits from OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation function. With the touch of a button, an OnStar advisor will route the driver to a destination and download the directions directly to the vehicle, where a combination of voice-guided and DIC-displayed instructions provide guidance. If the driver misses a turn, the system automatically updates itself to revise the directions.
OnStar’s digital equipment includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities, including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy, making hand-free, voice-activated calling safer and more convenient.
|Models:||Pontiac G8 and G8 GT|
|Body style / driveline:||5-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive sedan|
|Construction:||unitized body frame, 1- and 2-sided galvanized steel|
|EPA vehicle class:||midsize sedan|
|Manufacturing location:||Adelaide, Australia|
|Key competitors:||Nissan Maxima, Dodge Charger|
|3.6L V-6 (LY7)||6.0L V-8 (L76)|
|Type:||3.6L V-6||6.0L V-8|
|Displacement (cu in / cc):||217 / 3564||364 / 5967|
|Bore & stroke (in / mm):||3.70 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6||3.99 x 3.62 / 101.3 x 92|
|Block material:||cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners||cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners|
|Cylinder head material:||aluminum||aluminum|
|Valvetrain:||dual overhead camshafts, 4 valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing||valve-in-head; 2 valves per cylinder; roller lifters|
|Ignition system:||electronic individual coil-on-plug; individual cylinder knock control and extended-life extended-life spark plugs||high-energy distributorless ignition; solid state direct-fire ignition w/ coil near plug and integrated ignition; extended-life spark plugs|
|Fuel delivery:||returnless, sequential fuel injection||returnless, sequential fuel injection; Active Fuel Management system|
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):||256 / 190 @ 6300 rpm||361 / 268 @ 5300|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):||248 / 335 @ 2100 rpm||385 / 520 @ 4400|
|Recommended fuel:||regular unleaded (premium maximizes performance)||regular unleaded (premium maximizes performance)|
|Maximum engine speed (rpm):||6900||6000|
|Emissions controls:||evaporative system, single close-coupled catalytic converter, equal-length exhaust, single underfloor catalytic converter, positive crankcase ventilation, intake and exhaust cam phasers, electronic throttle control||evaporative system, close-coupled catalytic converters, positive crankcase ventilation, electronic throttle control|
|Estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):||17 / 25||15 / 24|
|Type:||Hydra-Matic 5L40 5-spd automatic (M82)||Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed automatic (MYC)|
|Gear ratios (:1):||&npsp;||&npsp;|
|Final drive ratio:||2.92||2.92|
|Front:||Multi-Link MacPherson strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar; progressive-rate coil springs; fully adjustable camber, caster and toe|
|Rear:||Four-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; decoupled stabilizer bar; fully adjustable camber and toe|
|Steering type:||variable-ratio rack-and-pinion|
|Steering ratio:||46-53 mm per revolution|
|Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:||2.8|
|Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m):||37.4 / 11.4|
|Type:||four-wheel disc w/ ABS; ventilated front and rear rotors; twin-piston front calipers; single piston alloy rear calipers|
|Rotor diameter (in / mm):||G8 front: 11.73 / 298|
G8 rear: 11.89 / 302
G8 GT front: 12.64 / 321
G8 GT rear: 12.76 / 324
|Rotor thickness (in / mm)||G8: 1.0 / 30 mm|
G8 GT: 0.87 / 22
|Wheel size and type:||18 x 8-inch painted aluminum||18 x 8-inch machine-faced aluminum (std); 19 x 8-inch machine-faced aluminum (optional in Sports Package)|
|Tires:||P245/45R18 All-Season; summer tire optional||P245/45R18 summer tire (std); all-season tire optional; Optional Sports Package includes P245/40R/19 summer tire|
|Wheelbase (in / mm):||114.8 / 2915|
|Overall length (in / mm):||196.1 / 4982|
|Overall width (in / mm):||74.8 / 1899|
|Overall height (in / mm):||57.7 / 1465|
|Track (in / mm):||front: 62.7 / 1592|
rear: 63.3 / 1608
|Curb weight (lb / kg): (estimated)||Base: 3885 / 1762 GT: 3995 / 1812|
|Seating capacity (front / rear):||2 / 3|
|Headroom (in / mm):||front: 38.7 / 989|
rear: 38 / 965
|Legroom (in / mm):||front: 42.2 / 1071|
rear: 39.4 / 1001
|Shoulder room (in / mm):||front: 59.1 / 1501|
rear: 59.1 / 1500
|Hip room (in / mm):||front: 56.7 / 1439|
rear: 58 / 1472
|EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):||124.5 / 3528|
|Cargo volume (cu ft / L):||17.5 / 496|
|Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg):||2000 / 907|
|Fuel tank (gal / L):||19.2 / 72.6|
|Engine oil (qt / L):||3.6L: 7.6 / 7.2|
6.0L: 8.9 / 8.5
|Cooling system (qt / L):||3.6L: 10.8 / 10.2|
6.0L: 11.4 / 10.8