The Pontiac revolution may be dying. A few years ago, everything looked promising with rear-wheel drive coupes and sedans on the horizon. But when times get tough, the lower volume and speciality cars are the first to go.
First on the chopping block was the Solstice. It’s a flagship car that draws attention to the brand but doesn’t directly make much money. Goodnight.
But now it seems the that even the more everyday cars are getting the ax. General Motors latest report has the rear-wheel-drive G8 sedan dying off in five years. Pontiac will not get the version of the next rear-drive platform that underpins the Australian Holden Commodore. This move is likely partially due to the current expense it takes to import the G8s from Australia.
So in five years, the current plans show Pontiac with no rear-wheel drive cars. In their place will be re-badged Chevy Aveos (which are just re-badged Daewoos.) Times are tough indeed.
As a result of the high gas prices, Pontiac will bring one more small car on the US market: G3. This Aveo-based small car will be available on showrooms starting early next year.
The G3 will be the fourth Pontiac model capable of more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The other three are the Vibe (32 mpg), G6 sedan (33 mpg) and G5 coupe (37 mpg), which make up in Pontiac’s “Over 30” club.
The G3 is powered by a 1.6L Ecotec four-cylinder engine that delivers 106 hp. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission.
The all-new Pontiac G3 hatchback arrives in dealer showrooms in March 2009 and becomes Pontiac’s fourth vehicle achieving highway fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon or higher. Pricing will start from $14,995.
When GM unveiled the 2009 G8 GXP at the New York Auto Show they said the 6.2L LS3 small-block V-8 engine is rated at 402 hp and 402 lb.-ft. of torque. But after the SAE dyno testing, it seems the car is giving more than paid for. The G8 GXP was officially rated at 415 hp and 415 lbs-ft.
GM will also offer the six speed manual transmission along with the standard six speed auto trans on the G8 GXP. The car’s LS3 V8 is the third engine available for the G8 line up joining the 261hp 3.6 V6 engine and the 360hp 6.0 V8 engine.
After 18,000 people wrote to GM during the “Tame the Name” promotion, GM has finally chosen a production name for the Pontiac G8 ST, and the winner is...G8 ST. GM decided to scrap all the entrants ideas and stick with the initial decision, with ST standing for ’Sport Truck’. "’G8 ST’ was one of the most popular suggestions, plus we noticed a far broader trend toward simple, easy-to-remember names," said Craig Bierley, GM’s BPG product marketing director for cars and cars and crossovers.
GM even toyed with the idea of naming it after the infamous El Camino. “We actually thought very long about El Camino,” said Bierley. “In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino’s unique place as part of Chevy’s heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac.”
The G8 ST will fill a niche that GM hopes U.S. consumers will embrace: a truck that handles, drives and looks like a sports sedan. Pontiac is still sticking with the 361 hp V-8 as the only engine, sending the G8 ST from 0-60 mph in 5.4 sec. Not too bad for a truck offering a 73.9-in. cargo bed with 42.7 cu ft of cargo space. The tradeoff is the G8 ST’s small 1000 pound payload and 3500 lb towing capacity. That isn’t exactly Silverado territory, but then again no Silverado besides the hybrid comes close to the V-8 G8 sedan’s estimated 15/24 mpg city/highway.
For 2009 the Pontiac G5 offers more power and better fuel economy, all thanks to a 2.2 liter Ecotec engine that delivers 155 hp and has a fuel economy of 37 mpg.
The G5 is available in base and GT models, all marked by clean lines, a spacious, five-passenger interior and standard rear spoiler.
Last year, the G5 made safety features such head curtain side-impact air bags and GM’s tire pressure monitoring system standard. For ’09, a passenger sensing system is added, complementing the standard dual-stage frontal air bags.
Also new for the ’09 G5 lineup is the addition of Bluetooth connectivity with the OnStar system (OnStar is now standard on all models). This wireless technology enables hands-free phone calls for safer, more convenient connections.
Two new exterior colors are added to the G5’s palette: Quicksilver Metallic and Silver Green Metallic (Nitrous Blue Metallic and Titanium Metallic are retired); and a new interior color combination is added: Ebony/Red leather-appointed seating is available on GT models.
Pontiac unveiled the G8 SXP sports sedan earlier this year at the New York Auto Show. The company announced that sales will begin around the end of 2008 as a 2009 model. Here’s now a few spy shots of the pre-production G8 GXP.
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. 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.
If you want to show off a little, just until the others realize about your trick, you can choose for a 2006 Pontiac Solstice and claim it was one of the thousand concepts presented during the 2006 SEMA show.
The car is made of a custom one-off bodykit consisting in a re-designed front, new rear bumper, stylish side skirts and features 20-inch TSW alloy wheels packed in 235/30/20 tires signed by Pirelli, KW sport springs, an AEM cold air intake and a Magnaflow performance exhaust.
Pontiac unveiled at the New York Auto Show the G8 sport truck. Back then the company announced that the production version will be powered by the same 361-hp 6.0L V8 power plant that is found in the Pontiac G8 GT.
But since then gas price went crazy! And a V8 engine might not be the best choice. So, Pontiac decided to put a V6 engine under the hood of the future G8 ST (or El Camino, or what ever the name will be!).
This would be the same 3.6L 256-hp V6 found in the G8 V6 sedan, and would have the same 17/25 mpg fuel economy as the V6 sedan.
Our friend Gregg at WreckedExotics, just sent us some pictures and a video taken on the set of a video commercial where a Pontiac GTO is wrecked whole landing in the street of San Francisco... Bullit style!
We have no idea yet who is behind all this but the poor GTO certainly made its last jump. The video shows how both stunt men can barely control their car after the landing. Let’s just hope it is not a Prius commercial showing the death of the V8!