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GM Enhances Pontiac G6 for 2009

2009 Pontiac G6 Coupe

2009 Pontiac G6 Coupe

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GM makes significant tweaks to its mid-size G6 lineup going into a rather bleak 2009 model year. Actually, GM says these changes are for the "2009.5" Pontiac G6, set to arrive at dealerships in January. Visual and powertrain enhancements are meant to bring the G6 more solidly into Pontiac's performance fold. Alas, remaining are some old-skool bits in the form of an old-tech four-speed automatic and a pair of pushrod V-6s (with origins in the Chevy Citation) that date back to the last American auto industry financial crisis.

For the first time, the 2.4-liter EcoTec is available in the G6 coupe. Paired with GM's excellent six-speed automatic, it manages an EPA-rated 33 mpg (highway), a respectable figure for a roughly 3,400-pound vehicle. Key to its efficiency is a modern overhead-cam design, variable-valve timing, and six forward ratios in its transmission, putting it neck and neck on the powertrain front with competitors like Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Visually, a more aggressive honeycomb grille, clear lens headlamps, body color mirrors, larger diameter exhaust tips, and 17-inch aluminum wheels (for 4-cylinder, six-speed auto G6s) are included in the changes meant to tie the G6 to sporty big brother G8. Inside, a revised center stack, new stereo, updated instrument cluster graphics (which are frustratingly small and illegible), and optional MY LINK enhanced communciation package (integrates audio, Bluetooth, XM Radio, and OnStar features) round out the new items.

But the question remains: Are these changes enough to ensure Pontiac's relevance, bolster its excitement promise, and keep it in the GM fold with threats of Chapter 11 re-organization looming? As we've said, Pontiac has been searching for its identity for decades, and with the current financial crisis of parent GM, it might be running out of time to find the magic formula that ensures sales success.--Colin Mathews

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Comments (2)
  1. hi,
    I must really thank you for designing ang manufacturing such beautiful and practical automobiles.
    I'm one of your great fans and always search for the newest cars in your site.
    i'm a teacher and unfortuately can't afford buying a car,but always thank God to have such creative people like you to make us pleased with their products.
    I'm hopeful that one day I'll be able to buy a car.
    thanks again.....
    Ahmad Shojaei

  2. Not looking good for Pontiac or GM in general, which is sad as had started to make some decent cars but then again a closer look at this story indicates the problem, the 4 cylinder gets the 6 spd but the six (Old crappy one at that) gets a 4 spd, as we say down under "what were they thinking!"
    This G6 actually looks nice.
    GM needs to really think what it is doing (obviously)
    I think Pontiac needs to take a leaf out of Mazda and be the Zoom-Zoom division of GM (as Mazda in a way is for ford).
    Buick should look to Acura/Infiniti/Lexus as its model for inspiration.
    I also think that GM should spinn off both brands, retaining 50%interest and offering the rest either to the public or private equity. You would then have an agreement to use GM parts and drive trains but the design and management of the companies would be external from GM which in the US is just Chevy focused anyway. GM could then count the sales as part of its overall production numbers but day to day decisions are taken away. They would be free to move more upmarket and focus on (at least at first) a small core of products. Get rid of re-badged Daewoo/Chevy rebaged Aveo thing. Pontiac focus on sporty models and Buick on plush riding vehicles but use the same under pinnings and other GM parts.

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