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We at Autoblog love our eagle-eyed readers. From pointing out any spelling/grammar gaffes in our posts, to sending in cameraphone spyshots unsolicited, our site wouldn't be as good a product as it is without your help. But sometimes, your attention to detail and command of minutia can even scare surprise a jaded bunch like us.

So it is with tipster Neal M, who clearly has way too much free time lives and breathes cars as much as we do. How else to explain the fact that he's pointed out a possible snafu and/or future product teaser in General Motors' new Pontiac G5 microsite on the basis of an extra couple of switches?

Scan the photo above. See anything unusual? Neither did we, at least upon first glance. But as Neal M correctly points out, there's a set of rear window toggles– odd, considering the G5 is only slated to be available as a coupe when it arrives this August.

So what gives? Did GM's people just Photoshop a Pontiac badge on a Chevrolet Cobalt sedan's interior photograph? Or (more likely), did they just use a stock shot of the Canadian-market G5 Pursuit, where the re-schnozzed Cobalt can be had in two or four door configuration? Either way, should anything be divined from this apparent slip-up?

Okay... so it's probably nothing. But we're suckers for a good conspiracy theory.

Click on the photo above for a higher-resolution image, or check out the company's site to see for yourself by following the link below.

[Source: Pontiac]

(Tip-top, Neal M!)


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      • 9 Years Ago








      GM is kicking itself in the nuts by churning out another senseless Pontiac twin. They should be leaving the low-buck entry-level cars to Chevy and should try to keep Pontiac somewhat upscale/sporty. You're chewing your own arm off pitting one brand against another. If someone wants to buy a GM, why do they cross shop it with another GM when it's the same car?
      • 9 Years Ago
      In other pontiac news - did everyone remember to go to www.pontiac.com/apprentice to help them donate thier money?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Sorry, you can't compare a Toyota/Lexus rebadge to a Chevy/Pontiac rebadge... Although I don't have a problem with the Cobalt or G5, but how much different are you going to make the interiors? Make the buttons on the Pontiac a little rounder!! The current G5 is temporary and will get a redesign. GM is on this Brand Identity initiative, they want each brand to be able to stand on their own. They don't want a Pontiac buyer to go to a Chevy dealership because Pontiac doesn't offer a certain class car. So they felt Pontiac "desperately" needed a small car... So, Wha-La!! You have the G5.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Woohoo GM! You've succeeded in copying the interior of my VW R32 (not that it is a bad thing, just dated) with the six year old dash design. Keep up the good work. It appears to me that the speedo is in metric...so it could be the Canuck model.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I can't think of anything outside of the Camry platform that Lexus shares, but who cares, a Lexus is just a compensation for something its buyer lacks!

      It's word asscoiation time

      Chevrolet should stand for Cheap

      Buick should stand for Becoming old/Bewildered

      Pontiac should stand for Performance...NOT PHOTOCOPY
      • 9 Years Ago
      It's harder to defend the LX vs. Land Cruiser. Personally, I find both the LX and GX laughable. Both, especially the LX, are designed for serious off-roading. But no one's going to take a Lexus off-road. Especially not one with the gold package.

      At least Cadillac admits this and doesn't bother equipping the Escalade with a low range.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #15 - The RX is not a DIRECT REBAGE of the Highlander. They share the same underpinnings and powertrains, but they are pretty different in terms of looks, trim, and equipment.

      Direct rebadge would seem to mean putting on a new grill and a different steering wheel emblem (like the cobalt and G5) and calling it a different car.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #8 - you are correct, i meant the passat and a4. I believe also the a4 no longer uses a VW platform with the B7 variant (itself an evolution of the former B6 which it did share with VW). In either case, the point I was trying to make is that badge engineering can be done well if enough differentiation between shared platform models warrant a price difference. It makes no sense to build the same vehicle, rebadge it, and have it compete with the original vehicle in the same class.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #17 - this is what the GM fans don't seem to understand. To them, Lexus is identical to Toyota, when in fact the RX and ES have nearly wholy different interior and exterior treatments vs Highlander and Camry. As pointed out above, GM doesn't take this approach with some of their shared platforms, such as the Equinox/Torrent/Vitara, Uplander/Terraza/Relay/SV6, Colorado/Canyon, Tahoe/Yukon, and Cobalt/G5.

      They did make an effort to differentiate platform mates such as Malibu/G6/9-3/Aura, Corvette/XLR, Lucerne/DTS, and Impala/Gran Prix/LaCrosse in terms of exterior styling. For many though, the interiors are almost identical to each other (same switches, controls, guages, etc...) so its not quite to the level of differentiation of Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infiniti, and VW/Audi yet.

      GM is not the only offender - Ford also does the same thing selling essentially the same car as multiple forms - Fusion/Milan/Zephyr, 500/Montego, etc...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Why should Chevy have all the fun with the Cobalt SS sedan?

      Give Pontiac a GTP version and you'll have a hot little car.

      Speaking of hot cars, next fall, the G6 convertible is rumored to get a GTP version with the new higher output 3.6L V-6 with 6-speed auto......
      • 9 Years Ago
      # 13 You are aware that the Lexus SUVs are direct rebadges of Toyota models? For example, the RX is a Highlander.

      At any rate, the short of it is that the Japanese do a better job at rebadging because they have fewer models and brands to worry about. What GM needs to continue to examine the product mix. Are Pontiac and/or Buick still necessary? The problem is GM is too worried about sentimentality and potential public backlash to dropping another name plate, but in order to survive, they may have to do it again.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Could they be switches for power-operated rear quarterwindows?
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