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Pontiac G8 Gets Corvette Power in GXP

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This week’s New York auto show wouldn’t be the same without big announcements from General Motors. GM’s been dominating U.S. shows with fleets of new vehicles and new concepts--and the upcoming New York auto show will be no exception with the display of a trio of Pontiacs.

We can’t confirm the third, but the two made public this weekend are the interesting “sport truck” version of the G8 sedan, and this, the ultimate G8 perhaps--one powered by a Corvette engine.

The GXP edition of the new rear-drive G8 arrives late this year as the fourth GXP edition in the Pontiac lineup (sharing that status with versions of the Solstice, G6 and Torrent). But unlike those tamer models, this one has big, thumping V-8 power.

Corvette Power


The G8 GXP’s engine is essentially a version of the Corvette’s 6.2-liter V-8. In this application, it blasts out 402 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. (The Corvette makes 430 hp in stock trim.) Pontiac still hasn’t verified those as the exact, final ratings for the engine, but expects the end results to be close.

The engine is related to the Corvette’s, but sports different cylinder bores, new heads, its own camshaft and cam timing, a high-flow manifold and fuel injectors. Its aluminum block has cylinders lined in iron.

The net for all that power means the GXP edition of the G8 can shoot to 60 mph in about 4.7 seconds, and run the quarter-mile in 13 seconds and 108 mph, if you’re stopwatching the whole process.

Six gears for G8 GXP


Any way you order it, the G8 GXP comes with a six-speed transmission. Pontiac purists will want the new six-speed Tremec that’s available as an option. Pontiac says special reinforcements--stronger gears, housing and premium synchros--have made it a special design for the G8.

Opt for the six-speed automatic and drivers will get a wide range of ratios for quick acceleration, Pontiac says. There’s no mention of paddle shifters, but we’ll take a look at the examples on the New York show floor to confirm how shifting happens. A limited-slip differential is standard either way.

Tweaking the G8

Other new features in the G8 GXP that we’ll see in New York is an adjustable suspension for “more precise tuning,” they say--whether that means NASCAR versions or not, we’re not sure as of yet.

Steering’s been tightened up, and Brembo disc brakes are uprated to 14-inchers up front, and 12.8-inch discs in the rear. They’re actuated by four-piston calipers in the front, single-caliper brakes in back. Anti-lock braking is standard. Also standard are big 19-inch polished aluminum wheels, and 40-series summer tires.

Stability control, six airbags and OnStar are also standard.

On its exterior, the G8 GXP wears a new front end with an air splitter, and a new rear bumper with its own diffuser. Inside it wears optional red-and-black trim on its sport seats, GXP badging, power front seats, and gets a 230-watt Blaupunkt stereo with XM.

Stay with us at The Car Connection as we cover the new G8 GXP from the New York auto show, and bring you more on the rest of the world debuts from the Javits center.
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Comments (18)
  1. Great!

    And with $4 diesel already here and $4 gas a few weeks ahead, what perfect Timing!

    LOL...
     
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  2. $3 per gallon versus $4 per gallon translates to
    @15 mpg and driving 15,000 mile per year.
    it's $3,000 versus $4,000 . increase of 33%.

    For overall budget for car buyers for this market, this is very minimal increase.
    If the target buyers of $40,000 car makes $100,000 year salary. Increase of $1 per gallon on gasoline only represents very small fraction of increase on driver's budget for the fuel. $1,000/$100,000 -> 1%, even after taxation.. it's 1.6%. Total Fuel cost is less than 4% of the budget. I suspect people in this budget category probably spends lot more money on dining-out, buying organic grocery products, adult hard and soft drinks, or other frivolous products in few months than spending on this fuel increase. Cost of fuel is real but in relative to other costs, this is hardly a case of worrying.

    Idea that $4 gallon gasoline can transport a person in a vehicle for 15 miles is a better productive use of money than $4 for a coffee. It would be better if person can travel $15 miles for $3 or even for $2 but we live in a world where we face cartel oil and heavily regulated market condition for no reasons other than because people wants it this way, status quo. There are plenty of oils to drill in US, but latte sipping Greenies are happy for others countries to drill at the expense of US wage earners.

    Buyer of this car type aren't price sensitive of the price of the fuel. Thor's posting is a statement without perspective or understanding of the this segment of the market.
     
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  3. Russel: You had it ALMOST right until you launched your clueless personal attacks.

    The G8 is cheap enough for its buyers to worry about the very publicized cost of fuel. it is NOT an S-class Mercedes or an SL, or a BMW 7. But even THESE buyers are NO FOOLS and do not want to waste a fortune on Fuel. and so are those that used to buy $50,000 and $40,000 POS SUVS. LOOK AT THEM NOW!!! Even the ugly PRIUS sold more copies last year than the EXPLORER, and the explorer used to be up there in 2000--2002, top ten, with over 440,000 Copies sold, and made untold billions for the morons at FORD. BUT NOT ANY MORE!!!!

    That's why in EUROPE which already has had $4 and $8 fuel prices for decades, the vast majority of the cars are MODERN DIESELS, even the top luxury and performance models, much less your crude, lowly pontiacs (really an Auissie Holden REBADGED!)
     
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  4. Thor;

    Why, in your opinion is the G8 GXP crude & lowly? Is it because it's a GM vehicle? What makes it any less a vehicle than a V8 BMW, MB or Audi? Is it any worse than an Infinity M45, or G35?
    I wonder why these European manufacturers, if they are so much more advanced than the Domestics, keep bringing out new V8 gas models? The MB SL, all the new MB "Black Series', Audi RS models, BMW 3 & 5 'M' series. Why haven't they scrapped all their gas engines if diesels are so superior?
    Apparently in supposed experts opinions, this G8 car is very good. From what I've seen, it looks like maybe the best RWD car for the money.
    The G8 GT & GXP isn't meant to be a high volume car. It's an enthusiast vehicle. I'm sure people buying the GT & GXP will be quite aware of the gas cost, and will choose their engines accordingly.

    And why bother with comparisons with EUROPE. It's halfway across the world and if Domestics only offered Americans European products they'd no longer be in business. Diesels will come when they are ready to be accepted by enough consumers to warrant them. Personally, I won't buy a diesel that needs constant refills of AdBlue. I'll wait until a true clean diesel arrives, or I may choose a Hybrid or a plug-in.
     
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  5. Stupidity.
    Why bring the G8 trucklet over with just the V8?
    What's wrong with the base V6 available in the G8 sedan - I'm sure it will get everyone to the next stoplight in time for it to turn red...
     
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  6. I agree with Thor in spirit. GM and Ford need to lead the way, not add me-too's. I have an E-500 and am considering trading it for an E-320 Bluetec. The Europeans have the technology to make an immediate impact. Most US brands have European products that would be competitive. They need to get them certified, and continue to do world car joint development. Give Cadillac a clean European Diesel soon!

    Rich people got there by "not wasting" and I am not rich.

    THor, what do you think about a below CTS true Cadillac that is fast, beautiful, well made and efficient. I think it would be a winner.
     
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  7. If the car cost $10,000, perspective car buyer earns around $30,000. This comes about x3 of their income. Using this calculation and other data, we can assume that people, who would buy this $40,000 car, would earn at least $100,000. There are people who purchase $40,000 car with $30,000 salary but I don’t know that many and they are probably exceptions to the rule, not a norm.

    G8 GXP isn’t going to be cheap. I don’t know what you consider as cheap. But $40K isn’t something to sneeze at. Sure this isn’t BMW or Mercedes, but have you seen Top Gear Video? The car looks really good and very competitive. Do not want to waste “fortune” on fuel? People who own 7 series and Mercedes do not consider spending money on “fuel” as fortune, maybe for the people in variable lower income bracket. Fortune implies a large sum of money, and rise of fuel cost isn’t it. People in the upper income bracket aren’t as price sensitive as people in the lower income bracket. $1,000 cost increase on something over a year isn’t considered as fortune. If one wants to reduce this particular cost, one can but I do not think vast majority of 100K earners are worrying about this. If this is what they have to worry about in USA then they have other problems instead of the fuel cost.

    Sale numbers of Prius and Explorer do not mean that SUVs have done out of style due to rise of fuel cost. Rather, it is due to the competition. During early 90s, there were only few SUVs out there. After 1995, SUVs and mini-Utes have exploded due to their usefulness regardless whether it is real or imagined. There is no solid and exclusive correlation between Prius and Explorer and rise of fuel cost. One could argue that Explorer’s sale has gone down due to the engineering, competition, marketing, or other reasons.. but its sale demise isn’t due to Prius. If your argument is taken at face value without any perspective or understanding market force, one could argue that Hummer brought down Geo Metro and Nissan Xterra killed Suzuki Swift. Obviously there is no correlation… Then why would a person make an argument that Prius is killing Explorer?
    How can you argue that Europe has “modern diesel” when they had to retrofit and add some chemical to meet California’s regulation? And what is modern? If the modern means the Europe’s benchmark for performance and fuel efficiency, I say that US already had it. Only reason it wasn’t selling due to the fact that people didn’t want it. If people wanted it, they would have been sold by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai of the world. I don’t think VW holds the secrets to diesel magic… The fact that they had to hold back their diesel means it wasn’t as modern. Modern means the contemporary or recent techniques. I think companies have and had the “modern” diesel technology. Deployment of diesel engine had very little to do with its state of modern. Just because something is perceived as modern, is that necessary a good thing? Do people have to bare burden of this modern if they don’t want to? Should people ditch their old analog TVs and go out and get Plasmas for them to be modern?

    As of 2006, the last Jetta TDI (36/41) Manual was sold for $21,224 Honda Civic 1.8L DX (30/38mpgs) could be had for $11,978 according to Edmunds. This is before adding anything extra to these cars. I don’t know whether people should pay $10,000 extra to get 10mpg fuel efficiency, if the fuel efficiency and lower the cost of the fuel is the goal. $10,000 is indeed a fortune for a lot of people whether it is financed or cash-purchase. So, even the diesel argument made by Thor is week.

    Again, Thor lacks perspective and understanding of the issue. His argument is intellectually lazy.
     
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  8. "jc Says:
    March 17th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Thor;

    Why, in your opinion is the G8 GXP crude & lowly? Is it because it’s a GM vehicle? "

    No, I am not biased against GM, I think it is the only domestic that has half a chance, and is doing much better than Ford and Chrysler.

    In addition, a Pontiac was the only car I ever bothered to buy new! I since prefer, regardless of Budget, to buy used.

    "What makes it any less a vehicle than a V8 BMW, MB or Audi?"


    Are you serious?

    Have you driven these v8s for some time so you have enough evidence to compare?

    Have you seen the BMW V8 7 series in action, cornering and handling?

    Do you fully realize the improtance of a perfect 50-50 weight distribution that helps the BMW handle so amazingly?

    " Is it any worse than an Infinity M45, or G35?"

    The Infis are far closer to the domestics in both price and (crude) performance, but I don't like the recent Infi styling. the 90s BMWs were far better looking.

    "I wonder why these European manufacturers, if they are so much more advanced than the Domestics, keep bringing out new V8 gas models? The MB SL, all the new MB “Black Series’, Audi RS models, BMW 3 & 5 ‘M’ series. Why haven’t they scrapped all their gas engines if diesels are so superior?"

    In EUROPE, 67% of BMW's are DIESELS. In the US, until recently, gas was $1 a gallon and most consumers had NO CLUE what a modern diesel is like, and thought they are as bad as their horrible experiences in the 80s with the infamous GM gas-to-diesel conversions!

    In Europe, they sure have scrapped the gas engine, even in the TINY cars, where the diesel is NOT ideal! In the US, with the Heavy SUVs that need TORQUE for Towing, it is a MONUMENTAL MISMATCH to make them with gas engines!

    "Apparently in supposed experts opinions, this G8 car is very good. From what I’ve seen, it looks like maybe the best RWD car for the money."

    You get what you paid for. Along the above lines, you can even claim that the CORVETTE, a formidable VALUE at $50k and HP equal to Ferraris and Porsches 3-5 TIMES as expensive. Do you think people buy the Ferraris or the Porsches just because they are snobs????



    "Diesels will come when they are ready to be accepted by enough consumers to warrant them."

    CURRENTLY, Consumers are still utterly MISINFORMED about diesels, EXACTLY because, like you, they have not bothered to look beyond their noses and find out what the rest of the world is doing. They need to get Good Info before they change their minds!

    " Personally, I won’t buy a diesel that needs constant refills of AdBlue. I’ll wait until a true clean diesel arrives, or I may choose a Hybrid or a plug-in"

    Modern DIesels are EXTREMELY clean, some more clean than the gas engines because of their far superior MPG.

    Plug Ins are NOThere yet, and Hybrids are good only for CITY FLEETS, not private owners that either do few miles OR if they do many miles theyu are Highway, cruise-control miles, where the Hybrid offers NO advantage what so ever..
     
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  9. " xjug1987 Says:
    March 17th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I agree with Thor in spirit. GM and Ford need to lead the way, not add me-too’s. I have an E-500 and am considering trading it for an E-320 Bluetec. The Europeans have the technology to make an immediate impact. Most US brands have European products that would be competitive. They need to get them certified, and continue to do world car joint development. Give Cadillac a clean European Diesel soon!

    Rich people got there by “not wasting” and I am not rich."

    Quite true! (And "rich" today, ie, "millionaire", really means somebody with not one or two million, but with over $100 million in assets. When the term Millionaire was coined, 150 years ago or so, one $ was worth more than $100 today's $)

    "THor, what do you think about a below CTS true Cadillac that is fast, beautiful, well made and efficient. I think it would be a winner."

    Old Caddys had great Exterior styling, but their interiors, while comfortable, were not a "driver's car", the gauges were too poor etc.

    CTS is small enough, and even the STS does not have much more room in the rear, so in China they sell an "L" version of it.

    I think Caddy already sells a "badge engineered" sub-CTS caddy overseas, but it is only a re-badged Opel-Saab. Not a true Caddy.

    Incidentally, the worst sector of cars in terms of import dominance in the US is NOT the Accord-Camry mid-priced sector, as one might think, but LUXURY cars, where 25 years ago they were 80%-90% US made, and now it is the complete opposite (83%foreign!)
     
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  10. "Sale numbers of Prius and Explorer do not mean that SUVs have done out of style due to rise of fuel cost. "

    They ABSOLUTELY do.

    Rather, it is due to the competition.


    Not at all. In fact, the NEW explorer that only sells 150k or so copies a year is FAR SUPERIOR to the old explorer that sold 440,000 a year and was unsafe and rollover-prone, and there were major court cases about it and many fatalities!

    If your argument is taken at face value without any perspective or understanding market force, one could argue that Hummer brought down Geo Metro and Nissan Xterra killed Suzuki Swift. Obviously there is no correlation…

    You have NO CLUE what you arew talking aboiut!!! ALL SUVS have PLUMMETED in sales recently, and if you do not believe that the $3 (from $1!!!) a gallon gas had nothing to do with it, you are NOT a RATIONAL human being.


    "How can you argue that Europe has “modern diesel” when they had to retrofit and add some chemical to meet California’s regulation?"

    I use the term MODERN Diesel so that the reader does NOT assume it is the same LOUSY 80s GM Diesel that convinced the American Consumers that Diesel is terrible! If you seriously believe that MODERN Diesels in W Europe (sold the last decade or so) have much in common with the OLD diesels, you just proved again your extreme automotive illiteracy.

    "If people wanted it, they would have been sold by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai of the world. "

    ALL of them Sell PLENTY of DIESELS in EUROPE and elsewhere except in the onetime DIRT CHEAP GAS USA. NOW that gas is NOT dirt cheap here either, they ALL have plans to bring them HERE as well, with HONDA the first (after the GERMANS, of course) with the Accord Diesel next year, which will be an ENORMOUS Hit.



    But in lieu of rational arguments, Russel keeps calling the kettle black... LOL.
     
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  11. ASSume! I own two cars with "Corvette" engines. My wife's CTS V sports 400 horsepower, scoots to 60 in 4.7 seconds, and gets 27 mpg on the highway. My car is a 2007 Corvette Convertible; faster and still achieves 28 miles per gallon. The Vette only has 4800 miles, so, as I have experienced on previous cars I have owned, the mileage usually improves after ~10,000 miles on the odometer. The price of gas is less of a hit to the budget that a lot of econo-boxes on the road. And these cars are much more rewarding by the end of the day. Move into the 21st Century with modern technology. I might then, given these few facts, conclude that the Pontiac G8 will surely run in the high 20's for mpg as well. Very reasonable for real performance!
     
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  12. Oh, my dear Thor, I'm reminded of Churchill's old line in Parliament - 'The right honorable Member ought not develop more indignation than he can contain'.

    Some of us don't buy one car to do everything. I can see a use for a high-MPG scooter. Actually, the AC Propulsion eBox would be just about ideal, but I haven't quite convinced myself to spend that much money on something from what is, relatively speaking, a shoestring operation. Don't say 'Tesla', I worked for Elon Musk once upon a time and that outfit feels too much like a Musk ego play, plus my aging back won't tolerate the doggy-crawl entry and exit posture required with anything Elise-based when the top's up. The prices on used SVT Focuses seem to have gone up roughly in parallel to gas prices.

    Not everything needs to be a diesel, not everything wants to be a diesel. In Europe diesel fuel typically costs a fair bit less than gasoline; in the US it's the other way 'round thanks to Clinton-era tax changes and the cost of the infrastructure changes needed for ultra-low-sulfur diesel distribution. And, for the foreseeable future, diesel engines are going to be considerably pricier than Otto motors. I'd say that price difference would be a limiting factor but then a whole lot of people are buying Priuses for 50% over the price of a similarly-capable Corolla.

    So, alongside my eBox or whatever decently-priced, decently-supported battery EV comes next (or maybe a nice used Civic GX) I'll have my new CTS-V, or maybe G8 GXP, and I probably won't part with my M5, and it might be nice to have an diesel R-class Benz around...
     
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  13. i used to be a Subaru dealer and couldn't sell Bajas for the life of me. These were awd and 4 cyl. i don't understand what is the allure of chopping up a sedan and making it a funky pick up. If you recall Chevy had a variation of this too. I don't remember what it was even called and it wasn't cheap. Oh, well to each his own.
     
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  14. Charlie - the Ford Ranchero and Chevy El Camino sold very, very well through the '60s. Part of the problem with the Baja was that it wasn' t much of a pickup (not even as much as the VW Rabbit pickup) and Subaru had to bolt those kiddie-seats in the bed to avoid paying the absurd duty on imported pickups.

    The Australians use their utes as trucks, full of contractors' tools and sand and gravel etc, many are converted to flatbeds. One of those cognitive-dissonance moments is seeing a high-end Ford ute with the big engine and shiny 18in aluminum wheels, but the bed removed and replaced with a big bug-spraying rig with a couple four-foot-high, eight-foot-long plastic tanks on the back.
     
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  15. Thor,
    The G8 is a very well balanced, good handling, large car and competes or beats the near double cost euro imports and the 30% more expensive japs. The GXP will likely run circles around almost all of them. The G8 must be compared with the much more expensive cars because there is simply nothing else close. How many G8 GTs have you driven?

    People do buy Ferraris & Porsches because they are snobs. The base Corvette beats most, and has for many years. The C4 'vette was banned from showroom stock racing because of its overwhelming dominance. The latter generations have just gotten better and better. The Z06 and upcoming ZR1 keep Corvette ahead of all but the most expensive exotics in performance, and you can still get more from the tuners!

    Sometimes you get more than you pay for! G8 & Corvette are great examples.

    Diesel emissions regulations in the U.S. are much more difficult than the EU reg's. Combine the initial costs of emissions technology with the higher cost of diesel fuel, and it is understandable that the market is small. Maybe when fuel hits $4-$5 per gallon, they will start to make more sense, but now, it is more of a social statement, as are hybrids, as they just won't pay for themselves.
     
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  16. " own two cars with “Corvette” engines. My wife’s CTS V sports 400 horsepower, scoots to 60 in 4.7 seconds, and gets 27 mpg on the highway. My car is a 2007 Corvette Convertible; faster and still achieves 28 miles per gallon."

    My Civic Si has room for four, 6 forward gears (all of which are too fast for most stoplight contenders to handle), hauls about twice as much as these behemoths and gets 28 MPG in the CITY.

    Wake up and smell the oilfields GM. The smart people are abandoning your old school crap.
     
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  17. MasterRanger - A Civic Si - you mean the current oddball Civic with the controls and gauges scattered all over hell, and the A-pillars that end somewhere out around the front bumper?

    Mechanically it's a nice enough car, but for those willing to pay the fuel bill it ain't no replacement for a CTS-V.
     
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  18. We bought G8 and it is the most uncomfetable car I have ever ridden or driven. The ride is so stiff I will hurt your back. The ride is much like that of a 1960s Match Box car where they forgot to put in the springs. GM has truly missed again with this one glad there is Ford still making cars.
     
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