• May 29th 2006 at 6:56PM
  • 34

It's no secret that General Motors' one-time "performance" brand has lost its way in recent years, to the point where product czar Bob Lutz singled out Pontiac as one of GM's "damaged brands" in a widely-quoted speech. Now rumors are circulating that GM may revive Pontiac's performance focus by dumping FWD models in favor of an exclusively RWD lineup.

Autoweek reports that a plan may be in the works to phase out the FWD models after the next round of model revisions already in the works. Also rumored to be on the way out are any truck models, with the Torrent SUV possibly destined to receive a GMC badge. A new RWD sedan would replace the Grand Prix.

This would be a big change for Pontiac, which currently carries only two RWD models, the Solstice and the soon to be discontinued GTO. Needless to say, the RWD plans would include the new GTO already making the rounds of the rumor circuit, but it seems unlikely that a new Firebird will join the pony car revival any time soon.

Look for a forthcoming Pontiac RWD concept car as a trial balloon for the new brand strategy.

[Source: Autoweek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      What I can't understand is why Lutz's doesn't want to even hear the words "Firebird"? Heck, I'm getting on the far side of 40, yes, the inbetween Boomer and Gen X group everyone forgets about. Let me say the kids at my daughter's school hang over my 95 TA (I'm owner # 3 of this car) when I pick her up. She wants me to drive her around with the T roofs off all the time and keeps asking "Dad, I'm taking the Trans Am to collage, right? Well, whit that kid of grass roots interest, I don't understand the logic. I missed out buying a new 2th generation being right out of college and car loans were at 18%. Want to buy a new one General, so why is my money not good enough?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Be carefull what you wish for. Bad RWD is worse then average FWD. If the G6 Pontiac had either AWD/FWD,the 3.9 pushrod with 270hp, VVT auto six speeds with paddels and better tires it would be a very good sports coupe(and the interior from Saab). Pontiac could have this to market in six months. They could then offer additional vehicle that are RWD and AWD. It dosn't have to be all or nothing, just a good product with correct pricing. I have never had any quaility problems with GM (we have a fleet of 34 cars and trucks) just strange product offerings.
      David L Johnson
      • 9 Years Ago

      GM gas prices are going up, smaller is better. All wheel drive, tuned 4-cylinder turbo w/inter-cooler, cross-drilled rotors, racing exhaust (headers with flow-through exhaust) adjustable programing parameters
      one to save gas while driving to work, a second to provide performance on the weekend.
      • 9 Years Ago
      YES! YES! YES!

      This is exactly what I've been saying is the way to go with Pontiac.

      American styling, rear wheel drive exclusively and German performance and handling.
      • 9 Years Ago
      lol... I gotta remember to scroll down before i send...
      • 9 Years Ago
      How about going further and getting AWD with Vehicle Stability Control like Audi?

      I drove an A4 Quattro Turbo two weeks ago. Oh man. That car is good. But check my review of it.


      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree. RWD should never have gone away. However, switch gears, go back and see what everyone was clamoring for, including all the car mags, consumer reports, etc: FWD

      I remember comments of "when is GM going to do front wheel drive?" Well they did, the became the largest maker of FWD for years and now that's just a bad horrible thing.

      Funny how time changes things.
      • 9 Years Ago
      As a consumer who has purchased 18 high performance vehicles in the past 25 years, I can honestly tell you that I have never given serious consideration to a FWD car. Pontiac's move to shift to RWD is smart and overdue. I'd like to see a new GTO and a RWD Gran Prix with a 400hp engine option. Just notice how successfull Dodge has been with the Charger, Magnum and (hopefully) the Challenger! It's crunch-time, GM, and RWD is back in style!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Oh GM....

      Pontiac needs a lot more than RWD to ever be seriously considered as a supplier of sports sedans. It's a decent idea, and it could turn out some decent cars, but in my opinion, GM needs to just axe Pontiac and GMC, and maybe Buick too. They're spreading themselves too thin...they need to invest more money in fewer, high-quality cars. Just my thoughts.

      Hopefully Pontiac can turn out a retro-looking GTO that's nearly as good-looking and fast as the new Mustang, upcoming Challenger, and hopefully upcoming Camaro.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I don't buy it in the least. I won't believe this until I see them on showroom froors. We're going to keep seeing badge swapping and FWD left right and center until they go into Chapter 11 and then we'll see the change.

      • 9 Years Ago
      That's good news, but I don't think they should totally dump the FWD platforms. They should save them for the low end fours and low power 6's. They should also invest in 4WD platforms to bridge the 4, 6 and 8. They don't have to be the all powerful platts but there are low end 4WD systems that are affordible (AWD is what I should have used). Take the Mitsu Endevor for example. If they can make that affordible, I'm pretty sure they can make an affordible sedan.
      • 9 Years Ago
      performance and fwd dont belong in the same sentence. i would never consider a fwd anything if i am looking for a sport sedan, bmw knows that if they made a fwd 3 series it would damage the brand beyond repair. most pontiacs are brand damaging products, most gms are brand damaging products. the new stuff is getting better but still most gms are embarrasingly bad.
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