Ok this is a big “if” rumor. If Pontiac survives the GM carmageddon that’s on the horizon, we may see a Firebird revival. Spreading the cost of the Camaro over another car, plus giving Pontiac an inexpensive way to boost sales, should be good enough for GM to reconsider a Firebird... but Pontiac has to survive first.
If you are a Pontiac fan, then you should be familiar with the term Firehawk. It was the name given by Street Legal Performance to a series of Firebirds in the early 1990’s. SLP has decided to bring back the name with a new Pontiac Firehawk G8 GT.
The car industry is becoming like playing Russian roulette with five chambers loaded. A lot of cars are winners (dead) with very few losers (survivors). The latest confirmed car to get the big bang is Pontiac’s G8 ST (the El Camino.)
Although disappointed, we are not surprised. The car was too late in the game to be effective. Had it arrived a few years earlier, when everyone had the credit to buy whatever car they wanted, a unique V8 powered truck/car would have netted a handsome sum. But then gas prices and unemployment rates went up. The public is not buying cars, especially novelty ones. General Motors went scrambling to find a place for its new El Camino, but importing the Holden-based car from Australia was looking too costly. Rumors swirled that the car would be a V6 only; then back to a V8; then the car would be delayed; now finally, BANG it’s dead.
Pontiac today announced pricing on the 2009 G8 GXP Sport sedan. The car will go on sale in February 2009 and the pricing will start from $39,995, including $685 destination and freight charges and $1,700 in applicable federal gas guzzler taxes. A 6-speed manual is available for an extra $695. A sunroof is optional with a price-tag of $900.
The G8 GXP is powered by a 6.2L LS3 small-block V-8, currently rated at 402 hp and 402 lb.-ft. of torque pending final SAE certification. This engine is the newest member of GM’s small-block V-8 family. It features a revised, larger-bore cylinder block, high-flow, L92-style cylinder heads; larger-diameter pistons; unique camshaft and camshaft timing; revised valvetrain with offset intake rocker arms; high-flow intake manifold; and high-flow fuel injectors.
The G8 GXP is expected to deliver 0-to-60 mph performance of about 4.7 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 13.0 seconds at 108 mph.
The Nurburgring has become General Motors’ benchmark for its performance cars. Although this seems like a no-brainer considering the public road/race circuit is a standard for the world, GM has been relatively absent from this track until about this last decade. Now GM uses it to test everything from the Chevrolet Corvette to the Cadillac SRX.
One car that isn’t a surprise appearance on the German road is Pontiac’s G8 GXP, but what did make news was its unoffical time, eight minutes and thirty seconds. That’s not too bad considering the benchmark performance sedan, the BMW M5, does the same lap in 8:13, and the M5 costs more than double the GXP’s $40,000 base price.
This run was touted as driven by a development engineer and not a professional driver. But that doesn’t always mean this is just some everyday driver. General Motors employed former racer John Heinricy as its director of Performance Vehicles Operations. GM used Heinricy when the Cadillac CTS-V beat out the BMW M5 during a challenge at the Monticello Motor Club.
The G8 GXP is powered by a 6.2L LS3 small-block V-8, currently rated at 415 hp and over 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Current figures peg the G8 GXP’s 0-to-60 mph performance at 4.7 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 13.0 seconds at 108 mph. It features a larger-bore cylinder block, high-flow cylinder heads, larger-diameter pistons, unique camshaft, revised valvetrain with offset intake rocker arms, high intake manifold, and high-flow fuel injectors.
Pontiac announced today updates for the 2009 G6 family: coupe, sedan and convertible. The Coupe version will be priced at $22,890 (GT coupe starting at $25,280); the convertible at $32,970 and the sedan version from $24,125.
The G6 coupe will be available with GM’s fuel sipping, 164-horsepower 2.4L four-cylinder Ecotec engine with a fuel consumption of 33mpg. The engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Pontiac will also offer: a E85 ethanol-based fuel, a FlexFuel version of the 219-horsepower 3.5L V6 will be available as a no-cost alternative to the standard 3.5L engine on all body styles. E85 ethanol-based fuel is readily available, a FlexFuel version of the 219-horsepower 3.5L V6 will be available as a no-cost alternative to the standard 3.5L engine on all body styles.
The new G6 features a new front fascia, revised headlight design with clear park/turn lenses and amber lamps, body color mirrors and painted rockers on the sedan and coupe. An updated spoiler is available for base model sedans and is standard on the GT models. On the interior there will be a revised center stack featuring the all new HVAC controls and an updated AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with auxiliary audio input jack.
Starting the second half of 2009, Pontiac will offer a new ECOTEC 2.4L VVT four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic standard for the G6 Coupe model.
The engine will produce 164 HP and 156 lb.-ft. of torque.
The G6 will also get a revised front fascia to better match it with its newer brothers; the G8 and Vibe. The driver information center is no longer on the radio; new gauges have been installed with a traditional DIC location.
General Motors is showing up to SEMA with three customized Pontiacs that aren’t even in stores yet. the G8 GXP Street concept, G8 ST concept and Solstice GXP Coupe concept are all based on the everyday counterparts set to appear in 2009.
The most interesting part of the G8 GXP Street concept is the motor. It’s powered by a LSX454 crate engine from GM Performance Parts that delivers 638 hp - up for the 415 hp expected in the production G8 GXP. Less exciting, but still original, are the custom front and rear fascias and new rocker panels, unique upper and lower grilles, racing-style diffuser and 20-inch aluminum wheels.
The Solstice GXP Coupe concept is equipped with GM Performance Parts’ Stage 2 performance kit and performance air intake kit, which adds about 30 more horses for a total of about 290 hp. The car also wears a GM Performance Parts cat-back exhaust system, race-ready suspension kit and polished factory wheels.
Pontiac didn’t do much to customize the G8 ST concept. That’s most likely because its also the furthest away from the showroom, with an expected appearance by the end of 2009. So GM stayed with the original 6.0-liter 361 V8 powerplant expected for the G8 ST concept. Instead for SEMA the El Camino wannabe received a lowered ride height, 20-inch wheels, leather-trimmed seats with red inserts, G8 GXP steering wheel with red inserts, G8 GXP shift knob with red inserts.
The Pontiac G8 ST (Sport Truck) unveiled at the New York Auto Show will go into production in July 2009, and the first G8 STs are expected to go on sale here in the fall of 2009. Pricing for the G8 ST (V8 version) will start in the low $30k.
GM will build the rear-wheel-drive G8 ST in Australia, where it also manufactures the Pontiac G8 sedan and Holden VE Ute and VE Commodore sedan. According to Hopson, it will take about two months to ship the car-based pickups to the U.S., with the first G8 STs arriving as early as next September but likely in October 2009.
The sport truck draws its strength from the same powerful 6.0L V-8 engine used in the G8 GT. It puts out 361 hp and 385 lb.-ft. of torque. The G8 ST will debut with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Neil Tjin, a West Coast journalist/designer/tuner will present at the SEMA Show a hot Pontiac G8. Built by Unique Fabrication, the Tjin Edition G8 CST features an intercooled Vortech supercharger, American Racing headers, Corvette Z06 brakes, 20-inch Dunlop tires, seven-spoke One Lug wheels, Eibach springs, a Visteon navigation system and Focal audio system.
The car will also feature a Webasto twin-vent sunroof, a PPG blue-gray exterior scheme and a diamond-stitched interior with plenty of bells and whistles.