Originally manufactured by Australia's Holden (GM subsidiary), the Pontiac G8 has been a sporty full-size sedan that delivers a nice kick in performance. The Pontiac G8 came stateside in 2008 as a rebadged version of the Holden VE Commodore. It was designed by Robert Lutz and built off of GM's Zeta Platform, which has also been the basis for models such as the Buick Park Avenue, Chevy Caprice, and Chevy Lumina. The G8 is rear-wheel drive and comes in two main trim levels, the base model and the GT. It is available with either a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. Although a domestic name, the Pontiac G8 has garnered a lot of positive press in its short life span. The G8 has been favorably compared to the BMW 5 Series and other upscale 4-door sedans for its sleek designed parts and luxurious qualities. The affordable price of the model has gone a long way in attracting homegrown US buyers, as well.
The base G8 offers a full list of features that make it even more appealing. On the base model, the G8 is equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes, traction control, stability control, fog lights, OnStar navigation, and a tire pressure monitor. Other amenities such as cruise control and 8-way manual front-seats are also included. The base G8 runs on a 3.6L V6 that cranks out 256 horsepower. The next step up in trim level is the Pontiac G8 GT. The GT version of the model gets everything the base does but with a heftier engine and some added comfort. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and dual-zone air conditioning and an 11 speaker stereo are both featured. Unlike the base model, which runs on a V6, the G8 runs on a 6.0L V8 capable of 361 horsepower. 20 inch chrome wheels along with custom “Phantom Grey” paint for the exterior are other details seen on the GT. The difference in fuel mileage between the base and the GT is nearly negligible, with the base G8 being rated at 17 city/25 highway and the GT at 15/24. For 2009, a 6.2L V8 is (415 HP) is available on an updated trim level called the GXP.
Pontiac put in a spirited effort with the initial marketing of the Pontiac G8. Entering New Year's of 2008, the G8 was featured in the Times Square Countdown and the Rose Bowl parade. A series of ads ran alongside most major football games and other sporting events. Viral ads and banners were also employed to make sure that the word got out about Pontiac's sporty but affordable G8. Unfortunately for the model, sales started off slow. It is said that the Pontiac G8's timing was bad, because towards the middle of 2008, the US as well as other parts of the world found themselves steeped in a recession. The automotive industry was hitting a severe downturn and GM was left with decisions to make. Due to market constraints, GM decided to eventually phase out the Pontiac brand. Production of the G8 was halted in June of 2009. The Pontiac G8 has made a bold impression in a short amount of time. Its design, comfort, and sporty quality elevate it above most domestics in its class. While it may no longer be assembled, the Pontiac G8 will remain a respected presence on the road for a long time to come.
All of the performance and driver amenities make the G8 one rough customer to contend with. It is powerful, dynamic, and accommodating, and has started to enjoy higher billing as a top choice for critics and fans alike. Pontiac has never been known to skimp on the details and the G8 proves it with astounding clarity. Dual-zone climate control, heated front-seats, and a booming sound system make it an enjoyable ride for everyone involved, but no one is complaining about the velocity that can take the checkered flag, either. A definitive achievement for Pontiac, the G8 gets it done.
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