• Jul 3, 2007
We visited this issue in February, when Winding Road speculated Pontiac would get a Camaro spinoff, but now Car and Driver is weighing in. With the imminent return of the Chevy Camaro, many Poncho fans have wondered about a possible return of the screaming chicken, as well. Pontiac's last attempt at reviving a storied model (GTO) met with mixed results. The GTO was supposed to be a slam dunk for Pontiac. Take an existing rear drive muscular platform, add a few Pontiac trim pieces and a GTO badge, and voilà, instant success. Well, it didn't quite go as planned and GTO sales were rather tepid. Not that it wasn't a good car, especially in 6.0 form, but it didn't really set hearts aflutter, especially compared to the wildly successful retro Mustang.

So will Pontiac get a new GTO, or maybe a Firebird instead? With the G8 coming to replace the Bonneville and Grand Prix, a suitable RWD platform is already approved for US consumption. And of course, it's also underpinning that hot new Camaro. So if Pontiac gets a new muscle coupe, will it show up as a goat or a chicken? That's what Car and Driver asked Pontiac. After a long silence, C and D finally got some answers. Surprisingly, they seem to point towards a new GTO. They based this on Bob Lutz's own words: "No carbon copy of the Camaro will make it into any other GM-brand showroom" is how they put it. They also point out that while a Firebird would have to be essentially the same as a Camaro, a GTO from the same platform could be bigger and different enough to claim its own place in the market, maybe more of a G8 coupe. Whichever badge this future Pontiac sport coupe wears, it should get the same 261-hp 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 or 362-hp LS2 6.0-liter V-8 options as the G8. They would be offered with five or six-speed automatics, respectively, but six-speed manuals should be available, as well. Tough choice, really – a Firebird that would be a restyled Camaro, or a GTO that could go its own way. Which would you choose?

[Source: Car and Driver]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The bigger question is how much additional plastic surgery will Burt Reynolds have had by 2010?
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's a trick question. Everyone knows Burt's been Lenin'd
      • 7 Years Ago
      Blast! There goes that Knight Rider movie I penned!

      Seriously, I would have much rather have seen the Firebird comeback more than the GTO. But I also have to agree that the "carbon copy" practice should end here. So what's done is done. But there is hope, Opel has a AWD twin turbo V6 concept that I think they may produce. It wouldn't be inconsistent either, I remember there was a turbo 6 cylinder Firebird for one model year, '84?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The original GTO was a success largely because it was a good looking automobile that went fast. The Lemans of the era was a good looking car in its day and sold quite well, the GTO variant consisted of a few minor cosmetic changes and a large bad ass engine.

      Fast forward to today, the most recent GTO was not based on a good looking car that sold well in the states nor was it an option package of a regular production car sold here.

      If Pontiac were to make a G8 coupe and then have the GTO option on top of that (with a bad ass fast engine and handling to match the engine), it would probably sell like the old GTO did and become a future classic. Yep, a G8 sedan, a G8 coupe, and a G8 GTO would be the line up I'd do if I were in charge of Pontiac.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Only problem with the GTO is it looks like a Cavalier, it just as well had a Toyota badge on it, BORING.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Somehow, I doubt you drove one. Sounds too much like a kid on his parents' desktop wanting a BMW.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed. As the owner of a 2005 GTO, I can not comprehend anyone thinking the car is boring after driving it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ever drove one? Didn't think so.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love the idea of a GTO version of the G8. Then let the Camaro be the 'retro,' and lose the badge engineering by taking a Firebird along the lines of the Banshee IV that led to the 4th generation 'birds, creating a fully new, innovative, 21st Century '5th Generation' Firebird.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't think GM has the resources to develop a stand alone Firebird. They need to concentrate the dollars on volume sellers like the Impala.
      • 7 Years Ago
      G8 don't have a LS2 it gets the newer L76.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Of all Pontiacs performance cars (T-37, Turbo Firebird and Firebird, Trans Am, Solstice and GTO) it was the GTO that really started Pontiac on the path. They sponsored 5 GTO songs over the 60's an 70's. The GTO Judge being still a car of legend today. For the money, nothing else kept up. A Firebird or Trans Am have a history. The GTO has legends. I vote to stick with the legends. Just this time, make the car unique and not looking like a flying suppository.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love it. This is a nice ride! Firebird all the way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      go with the goat. avoid badge engineering.
      Go Lutz!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree avoid the badge engineering. Let Camaro go at it alone against the Mustang. As the article above said the GTO could be a more expensive coupe version of the G8, which is a badass in it's own right.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Do keep in mind that Burt was married to Loni and that covers over a multitude of sins
      • 7 Years Ago
      GTO all the way ... and make it a coupe version of the G8 to compete with both 3 Series coupe and 6 Series. I would love to see a C&D battle between a loaded GTO and a 6 Series. I bet it would be close, and the GTO would be almost half the price. Bring on the Holden Statesman as the new (Chinese) Buick Park Avenue (to compete with 7 Series) and build the Velite convertible and GM's lineup is complete.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Paint it orange and call it the Judge. The Firebird with it's cardboard headliner and truck suspension was okay but the LeMans had style.
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