• Feb 7, 2007
click on the above image for a bunch of high-res shots showing the new Pontiac G8

The last decade has been difficult for General Motors enthusiasts who desired an affordable V8 RWD sedan (we love the V-series Cadillacs, but alas, they're not exactly budget rides). With the introduction of the Pontiac G8, however, all is forgiven, for this muscular four-door appears poised to offer a blend of attitude and sophistication appropriate for the brand that claims to build excitement.

This Poncho is based upon GM's new Zeta platform, and the base model offers up a 261-hp, DOHC 3.6L V6. GT models get the 362-hp, L98 OHV 6.0L V8 with Displacement on Demand. No bonus points will be awarded for correctly guessing which we'd pick. The V6 will come with a five-speed slushbox, while the V8 will initially be backed with GM's new 6L80 six-speed auto, and a row-your-own manual with a half-dozen ratios will follow at a yet-undetermined later date. Naturally, the GT gets a bigger wheel/tire package and larger brakes, and a sport package will be offered for either engine type. Under the skin lies a McPherson strut suspension arrangement in the front and multi-link in the rear, with the full array of adjustments available at each corner.

Elements of the show car that won't make it to production include the big brakes, lowered ride height, 20" wheels, and custom interior trim. Note the new badge design; what we're seeing here is a concept version of a new Pontiac logo that eschews the traditional red coloration for a metallic sheen.

Click on the photo above for a gallery of Pontiac G8 live photos and studio shots! Also, check out the exclusive VIDEO of the G8 and Bob Lutz introducing the new rear-wheel drive sedan after the jump.


VIDEO:



PRESS RELEASE:

ALL-NEW G8 ACCELERATES NEW ERA OF REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE PERFORMANCE AT PONTIAC

CHICAGO
– Confirming its commitment to style and performance, Pontiac introduced a show car version of an all-new, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2008 Pontiac G8 will be available in dealerships early next year.

"With the balance of rear-wheel drive and the availability of V-8 power, the G8 represents another step in Pontiac 's commitment to its performance DNA," said John Larson, Pontiac general manager. "Added to the Solstice and the recently announced additions of the G6 and Torrent to the GXP series, the G8 demonstrates that Pontiac has never been more serious about the business of performance – and we expect this vehicle to be very competitive in the segment, even against cars that cost far more."

The G8 is the first North American application of GM's new global rear-wheel-drive architecture developed by Holden, GM's Australian subsidiary.

G8 GT show car details

The G8 show car unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show is representative of the production GT model, including use of the 362-horsepower (270 kW) 6.0L V-8 engine and optional six-speed manual transmission. The show car also features some unique items not found on the production model, including:

* Twenty-inch "shadow chrome" wheels and performance tires
* Ride height lowered approximately half-inch
* High-performance brake rotors with painted brake calipers
* Custom interior trim color, including a leather-wrapped dash
* Exclusive exterior paint color: Phantom Grey
* Concept of "modernized" Pontiac badge, to gauge public opinion.

Production model details

The 2008 Pontiac G8 lineup will offer two models: G8 and G8 GT. Each will come with a host of standard performance, convenience and safety features, including:
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control
  • Electronic stability control
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels (19-inch wheels available with sport package)
  • Seat-mounted thorax air bags and dual-stage frontal air bags for front passengers, with automatic passenger sensing system
  • Roof rail side-impact air bags for both seating rows
  • OnStar
  • XM Satellite Radio
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Fog lamps
  • Chrome exhaust tips
  • Rear lip spoiler
A sport package will be available for both models and adds features such as specific wheels – including 19-inch aluminum wheels and performance tires on GT – a rear wing spoiler, leather shift knob, leather-wrapped steering wheel and alloy pedals.

Design

The G8 has a progressive styling package highlighted by strong Pontiac design cues, such as a dual-port grille, fog lamps, bold wheels and a confident, wheels-at-the-corners stance. The design accents the car's performance lineage, with fenders that flare over the wheels, seemingly hugging the wide tires and enhancing the sporting stance.

Distinctive elements include hood scoops and front fender vents, as well as projector-beam headlamps housed in crystal-clear lenses. At the rear, jewel-like taillamps also are mounted in housings and feature bright detail work surrounding the red lighting elements. G8 models have red taillamp lenses and twin chrome exhaust outlets, while G8 GT models feature clear taillamp lenses and quad chrome exhaust tips. All models have an antenna mounted at the rear of the roof.

Powertrain

The base G8 model receives a 3.6L DOHC V-6 with variable valve timing, rated at 261 horsepower (194 kW). It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.

The G8 GT is powered by a uniquely configured 6.0L small-block V-8, rated at 362 horsepower (270 kW) and 391 lb.-ft. of torque (530 Nm). A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode is standard and features the fuel-saving Active Fuel Management system, which enhances fuel economy by alternating between eight- and four-cylinder power. An optional six-speed manual transmission will be available soon after launch.

A limited-slip rear differential is standard with GT models.

Suspension system

A 114.8-inch (2915 mm) wheelbase, wide front ( 62.7 inches / 1592 mm) and rear ( 63.3 inches / 1608 mm) tracks, and a fully adjustable, four-wheel independent suspension system combine to give the G8 a confident, sharp driving experience.

The four-wheel independent suspension system employs a MacPherson strut design in the front and a four-link coil-over-shock design in the rear. Tuning is specific between the base and GT models, but both models use a direct-acting front stabilizer bar, decoupled rear stabilizer bar and lateral ball joints on the rear suspension. This system delivers increased lateral stiffness for enhanced handling.

The front suspension features fully adjustable caster, camber and toe; the rear suspension has fully adjustable camber and toe, which enables more precise, tailored suspension tuning.

Brake system

A four-wheel disc brake system includes standard anti-lock and traction control features and is partnered with a standard electronic stability control system. Both the base and GT models feature vented front and rear disc rotors, with twin-piston alloy calipers in front; the rear brakes feature alloy calipers with single-piston actuation. The brakes are approximately one-inch larger on the higher-performance GT model.

Interior

Designed to meld form and function with world-class fit and finish, the G8's interior delivers both comfort and convenience, packaged in a level of sophistication not often found in its price range. A driver-oriented instrument cluster positions the gauges for easy, direct line of sight; an electronic driver information center is located between the large, round tachometer and speedometer.

Attention to detail includes jewel-like instruments, selective use of satin and chrome trim and rich-feeling, grained textures throughout. The instrument cluster glows with crisp, white light on the primary instruments and Pontiac 's signature red lighting illuminates the rest of the instrument panel cluster.

The seats offer firm support to hold occupants in place during aggressive cornering; all seats were designed to deliver excellent comfort during long drives. Cloth seating surfaces are standard, with heated leather seating available. G8 GT models will also offer an optional two-tone cloth or leather combination that pairs black with either red or blue inserts and color-matched instrument faces on certain exterior color combinations.

###

NEW GLOBAL REAR-DRIVE ARCHITECTURE IS THE FOUNDATION FOR THE ALL-NEW PONTIAC G8

CHICAGO – The 2008 Pontiac G8 performance sedan is built on GM's new, global rear-wheel-drive architecture. With the input of Pontiac and GM North America, the G8 was developed in Australia, under the direction of Holden's engineering department.

Taking advantage of GM's global centers of engineering expertise, a series of vehicle architectures are being developed that can be easily adapted to the unique vehicle requirements of various regions. For example, global truck architectures are being developed in North America while midsize vehicle architectures are created in Europe .

"The rear-wheel drive engineering team has put together a simply spectacular car that captures the essence of Pontiac," said John Larson, Pontiac general manager. "We believe that the Pontiac G8 will rival competitors costing far more."

The Holden-engineered global rear-wheel drive architecture was designed to deliver world-class levels of strength and refinement, along with crisp driving dynamics, while serving as the foundation for vehicles sold in a wide variety of climates and road conditions around the world – from the desert-like desolation of Australia 's Outback to the frost-heaved highways of North America 's cold regions.

"We set out to lift the bar on what could be achieved with quality and refinement," said Tony Hyde, Holden executive director of engineering. "We have gone over this car time and time again to reduce gaps and margins, ensuring that every fit is crisp and tight."

For North American customers, the result is a tautly-designed rear-wheel-drive performance sedan that is ideally suited for Pontiac customers.

"We spent many hours refining the chassis to create that unique blend of steering precision, vehicle balance and handling that we believe driving enthusiasts will love," said Doug Houlihan, G8 chief engineer.

Global, balanced architecture

The new global rear-wheel-drive architecture used for the G8 was designed to accommodate production for both left-hand drive and right-hand drive markets around the world. To ensure durability for the vast array of driving conditions and climates, the new architecture was designed with a robust, protected electrical system, superior climate control system and noise/vibration-isolating suspension systems.

Among the new architecture's design attributes is a layout that promotes a nearly 50/50 front-to-rear weight balance ratio, thanks to design features that include a steering rack mounted ahead of the front axle, engines mounted low and rearward in the front chassis cradle and a rear-mounted battery.

Stiff structure

GM's new rear-drive architecture has an exceptionally strong unitized chassis/body structure, including advanced-strength steel used in more than 80 percent of its construction. This strong foundation enables several factors than benefit the G8's driving experience, including smoother, more solid ride characteristics and more precise suspension tuning, as the stiffer structure allows engineers to tune the suspension without having to account for chassis flex.

The stiff structure also enhances safety, as it helps absorb crash energy through a multiple load path strategy that includes optimized front-end and rear-end deformation zones. (See safety section below.)

Chassis and suspension

A unique, four-wheel independent suspension system is integrated with the G8's structure, and is the result of eight years of development. It uses the strength of the body structure to enhance the driving experience through optimized steering, handling and driving control.

The G8 rides on a long, 114.8-inch (2,915 mm) wheelbase, with the wheels set wide on 62.7-inch (1,592 mm) front and 63.3-inch (1,608 mm) rear tracks. The front suspension features a multi-link, strut-type design that incorporates a direct-acting stabilizer bar, while the rear suspension uses a four-link independent design, with coil springs over shocks and a decoupled stabilizer bar.

The front suspension uses a hydraulically damped bushing on the forward end of the tension link for improved ride isolation. The lateral link feature a rubber spherical joint that enhances lateral stiffness. Camber, caster and toe are fully adjustable.

With the rear suspension, a high degree of lateral stiffness is achieved with the use of two lateral ball joints per side. A rubber-damped suspension frame further isolates the body structure from noise, vibration and road harshness.

Steering and braking

The steering rack is mounted forward of the front axle centerline – with dual lower links and individual ball joints at the outer ends – which enhances the balanced feel of the car while also contributing to a more direct steering feel. Steering rates are tuned specifically for the V-6-powered base and V-8-powered GT models.

Matching the vehicle's handling and steering agility is a carefully tailored brake system that uses four-wheel discs sized to match each model's performance. The higher-performance capability of the V-8-powered GT, for example, has larger brakes than the V-6 base model. The brakes are integrated with a standard electronic stability control system.

The basic brake design for all models includes twin-piston front alloy calipers and vented disc rotors, and single-piston, alloy rear calipers with vented disc rotors. ABS is standard.

Safety

Safety was one of the foremost goals in the design of the G8's architecture. It combines a sturdy, crash-absorbing body structure and state-of-the-art passenger protection technology. Examples of these elements include:

  • Efficient, energy-absorbing front structure and a strong occupant safety cage
  • Six standard air bags, including dual-stage frontal air bags, thorax air bags for front-seat passengers and roof rail-mounted head curtain air bags for both seating rows
  • Multiple air bag sensors: two electronic front sensors and two side-impact sensors, all connected to a sensing diagnostic module
  • Front safety belts with load limiters and dual pretensioners
  • Ride-down steering column and breakaway pedal system
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.
An electronic stability control system is standard on all models, as is full-function traction control. These features bolster driver control during certain driving conditions, which can help avoid a crash.

Safety development included tests that represented occupants ranging in size from a six-month-old baby to a 95 th percentile adult male. Sixty-one physical vehicle safety tests were performed with the variety of test dummies, which helped optimize the structure's front and rear crush zones.

Validation

GM's global rear-wheel-drive architecture underwent some of the longest and most stringent testing and validation procedures undertaken by General Motors, which helped ensure its strength, safety and reliability in markets around the world. These procedures included:
  • More than 2.1 million miles (3.4 million km) of equivalent road evaluation
  • Approximately 5,000 hours of virtual safety tests
  • Seventy-nine physical safety tests
  • Approximately 41,000 hours of electrical system tests
  • Approximately 11,000 subsystem validation tests and activities
Additional details

The G8's new rear-drive architecture also incorporates a host of design and technology details that bolster comfort, convenience and quality. They include:
  • A new electrical system that supports OnStar and XM Satellite Radio
  • A rear-mounted battery that offers increased protection from the elements and improves vehicle weight distribution
  • A contemporary "down and forward" instrument panel design that enhances outward visibility and provides a roomier, airy cabin environment
  • An all-new climate control system with multiple heating/cooling ducts, up to 20 fan speeds in the base configuration, and infinite speed settings in the optional dual zone climate system
  • A new family of premium radio systems with available color screen display
  • A unique four-bar deck lid hinge design reduces trunk space intrusion for increased cargo capacity.
###

2008 PONTIAC G8 PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Models:

Pontiac G8 and G8 GT

Body style / driveline:

5-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive sedan

Construction:

unitized body frame, 1- and 2-sided galvanized steel

EPA vehicle class:

midsize sedan

Manufacturing location:

Adelaide, Australia

Key competitors:

Nissan Maxima, Dodge Charger

Engines


3.6L V-6 (LY7)

6.0L V-8 (L76)

Application:

G8

G8 GT

Type:

3.6L V-6

6.0L V-8

Displacement (cu in / cc):

217 / 3564

364 / 5967

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

3.70 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6

3.99 x 3.62 / 101.3 x 92

Block material:

cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners

cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners

Cylinder head material:

aluminum

aluminum

Valvetrain:

dual overhead camshafts, 4 valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing

valve-in-head; 2 valves per cylinder; roller lifters

Ignition system:

electronic individual coil-on-plug; individual cylinder knock control and extended-life platinum-tipped spark plugs

high-energy distributorless ignition; solid state direct-fire ignition w/ coil near plug and integrated ignition

Fuel delivery:

returnless, multi-port fuel injection

returnless, multi-port fuel injection

Compression ratio:

10.2:1

10.4:1

Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):

261 / 194 @ 6300 rpm*

362 / 270 @ 5700*

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

250 / 340 @ 3200 rpm*

391 / 530 @ 4400*

Recommended fuel:

regular unleaded

regular unleaded

Maximum engine speed (rpm):

6900

6000

Emissions controls:

evaporative system, single close-coupled catalytic converter, equal-length exhaust, single underfloor catalytic converter, positive crankcase ventilation, intake and exhaust cam phasers, electronic throttle control

evaporative system, close-coupled catalytic converters, positive crankcase ventilation, electronic throttle control

Estimated fuel economy:

TBD

TBD

Transmission

Type:

Hydra-Matic 5L40 5-spd automatic

Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed automatic

TR6060- six-speed manual

Gear ratios (:1):




First:

3.42

4.03

3.01

Second:

2.21

2.36

2.07

Third:

1.60

1.53

1.43

Fourth:

1.00

1.15

1.00

Fifth:

0.75

0.85

0.84

Sixth:

--

0.67

0.57

Reverse:

3.02

TBD

TBD

Final drive ratio:

2.92

2.92

3.27

Chassis/Suspension

Front:

multi-link MacPherson strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar; progressive-rate coil springs; fully adjustable camber, caster and toe

Rear:

four-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; stabilizer bar; fully adjustable camber and toe

Steering type:

variable-ratio rack-and-pinion

Steering ratio:

46-53 mm per revolution

Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:

2.8

Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m):

37.4 / 11.4

Brakes

Type:

four-wheel disc w/ ABS; ventilated front and rear rotors; twin-piston front calipers; single piston alloy rear calipers

Rotor diameter (in / mm):

G8 front: 11.73 / 298
G8 rear: 11.89 / 302
G8 GT front: 12.64 / 321
G8 GT rear: 12.76 / 324

Wheels/Tires


G8

G8 GT

Wheel size and type:

18 x 8-inch painted aluminum

18 x 8-inch painted aluminum (std); 19 x 8-inch painted aluminum (opt)

Tires:

P245/45R18

P245/45R18 (std); P245/40R19 (opt)

Dimensions
Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm):

114.8 / 2915

Overall length (in / mm):

196.1 / 4982

Overall width (in / mm):

74.8 / 1899

Overall height (in / mm):

57.7 / 1465

Track (in / mm):

front: 62.7 / 1592
rear: 63.3 / 1608

Curb weight (lb / kg):

Base: 3885 / 1762
GT: 3995 / 1812

Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear):

2 / 3

Headroom (in / mm):

front: 38.7 / 989
rear: 38 / 965

Legroom (in / mm):

front: 42.2 / 1071
rear: 39.4 / 1001

Shoulder room (in / mm):

front: 59.1 / 1501
rear: 59.1 / 1500

Hip room (in / mm):

front: 56.7 / 1439
rear: 58 / 1472

Capacities

EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):

124.5 / 3528

Cargo volume (cu ft / L):

17.5 / 496

Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg):

1000 / 454

Fuel tank (gal / L):

19.2 / 72.6

Engine oil (qt / L):

3.6L: 7.6 / 7.2
6.0L: 8.9 / 8.5

Cooling system (qt / L):

3.6L: 10.8 / 10.2
6.0L: 11.4 / 10.8

*Pending SAE certification.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 94 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chris, yes, the side turn signal light and reflector is required in the US, front and rear.

      Re: OHV/OHC discussion: Don't forget that OHC allows more than 2 valves per cylinder, which improves breathing, and thus power. Has anyone built a 4 valve/cyl OHV engine?

      I think the G8 is an improvement over the Holden, which I didn't expect.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And Rear-wheel-drive, as has been pointed out countless other times when you've posted on this subject, the comment "it was first penned in 1999, and finalized in 2001" is completely bogus. First sketches were drawn in '02, the design was finalised in '04.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Guys.. GREAT CAR..

      Do a V option (like a AMG package) and put big brakes with stagger wheels!!

      I actually will be going to my dealer and putting a deposit on a six speed V8. I love the car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ryan in #29: don't be so fast to bitch about the lack of Metric. You push a button, and the dash becomes metric, as does the climate control and the trip computer. ONE button. Very easy to do.

      I am gonna exagerate a bit here just for the sake of fun: In a BMW I imagine one grabs the iDrive stick, pulls it 47 degrees off vertical to the left, twists it counterclockwise, then move the stick up toward the dash, twist clockwise...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I find it funny that Bernie can't read a press release. Read it and try again, Weekend at Bernie. P.S. This Pontiac runs on 87 octane.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car needs to go on a serious diet, it's way to heavy. Maybe we could paint some of them porky pink and give them to Jenny Craig people to ride around in!!!!

      This will be a flop, just like the last GTO was!!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      No kilometers an hour section for us folks who have to commute into Canada on a daily basis for work? That sucks for me!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Most questions and concerns expressed here regarding build quality, interior trim/accessories and styling originality can be answered by looking for info on the Commodore - this G8 will be manufactured on the same production line as the Commodore, set up for left hand drive and fitted with a nostril front end.

      Dashboard leather is not offered on the Commodore so it's doubtful that it will be on the G8. Interior trim is otherwise very good and the production interior is replete with 'soft-touch' plastics and no obvious corners cut - just read any online Holden Commodore review. I doubt GM would spend the extra money to strip out good fittings and replace them with crap ones.

      Build quality is never a sure thing, but base your preconceptions on Australian car building reputations, not your previous experience of GM cars or that '99 Grand Prix you once owned. The two have nothing in common.

      As for accusations of ripping off BMW:

      1) Pontiac has been using the nostril grille since the '50s, they did not just decide to add it because "it works for BMW"
      2) The Commodore is identical except for the nostril grille, and nobody has ever accused it of ripping off BMW. Look up a picture of one and see what you think.
      1+2=3) How does a car that looks nothing like a BMW, fitted with the grille Pontiac has used for 50 years, suddenly become a BMW ripoff?
      Christopher
      • 7 Years Ago
      who said this thing looks like a honda civic sedan?
      somebody needs to visit his local eye doctor... badly and as soon as possible. aside from the fact that both cars are in a 4 door config, there's really nothing else that looks the same, not the front end or rear end, not the interior, not the profile.

      this car needs some nicer looking tailights, but otherwise it's very nice. a sporty looking upper-midsize sedan with nice clean lines and a sweet looking dual exhaust. expected price range to put it in line with dodge charger/chrysler 300, with the base model pontiac offering a nicer V6 and similarly powered V8. overall interior design and layout looks pretty nice to me. i would gladly purchase one of these in either GT or GTP trim and be happy with it even if i could afford a car costing 10-20 thousand more. i just like this car.
      good jog GM.... keep it up. looking forward to seeing the next Impalla

      with that said, where can i join the club where all the cool kids that hate on gm hang out? please, i can say bad things cause i got nothing better to do... i do that real good about people... please can i hang with you guys
      far jr
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bernie the high tech OHC engine in my Titan (You know the one I use to pull my trailer trash home from one vacant lot to another) produces less HP per liter than this stupid OHV powerplant. What is your point? What exactly makes low specific output inferior in your mind?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm going to admit straight up that I just don't see the appeal of this car because I have a strong preference for front wheel drive cars, and this bias might be the reason I think this car is "more of the same". Having admitted that, I still think that Pontiac/GM has made a poor choice in going from "design by committee" (ie The Aztek) to cow-towing to sports car enthusiasts and magazine-writing critics instead of making well-engineered cars for the average consumer. The G8 (and the GTO) are beautiful designs, but how many people are going to buy this product and how is it going to impact Pontiacs overall sales? The same people who currently buy Chevrolet Impalas might buy it, but then again I think its going to be about as welcome in the market as the Pontiac GTO and as ill-received as the G6 (which is apparently due to many minor design/engineering oversights.) I know this forum is full of enthusiasts and fans of this car, but I'd be interested in seeing if anyone else thinks that, when all is said and done, this car is not going to help Pontiacs bottom line at ALL.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @ Phil
      ...there's nothing to suggest this is actually BETTER than the Chrysler 300?
      How about: It both stops and goes around a corner properly?
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