• Mar 19th 2008 at 12:21PM
  • 40
Click above to view more high-res live shots of the Pontiac G8 GXP

It's a rare occurrence when honest applause breaks out in a press conference over a new model, let alone a transmission. But that's exactly what happened when Maximum Bob talked up the Pontiac G8 GXP, and specifically its optional six-speed manual transmission. Mated to that highly coveted cog swapper is the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 pulled from the Corvette, making 402 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. If you opt for the 6L80 auto 'box, you can check your manhood and an extra two lb.-ft. of torque at the door.

In addition to the upgraded engine and manual tranny, the GXP benefits from the 19-inchers originally shown on the G8 concept, Brembo brakes (sized 14-inches up front and 12.76 inches out back) and some revised suspension bits. Zero-to-60 times are down to 4.7 seconds and the G8 GXP (along with the Solstice coupe and 'ute) are all due to hit dealers later this year.

Pontiac's full press release is posted after the jump, and our own live high-res shots can be seen in the gallery below (we're going to be adding more as soon as the pandemonium surrounding the vehicle dies down.

New York 2008: G8 Pontiac GXP Unveil


High-Performance Flagship Combines Progressive Design and Powerful Performance

NEW YORK – Today Pontiac announced the flagship of its GXP performance series, the G8 GXP high-performance sedan, at the New York Auto Show. This 2009 model will join the Solstice, G6 and Torrent GXP models in Pontiac dealerships in late 2008. The G8 GXP takes the G8's responsive driving experience, refined passenger environment and aggressive good looks to a new level. It also delivers an enjoyable driving experience, thanks to a 6.2L V-8 that produces in excess of 400 horsepower.

"More than just raw power, the GXP delivers the sophisticated yet exciting driving experience that enthusiasts expect in a car costing far more than the GXP," said Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager

Engine performance

The heart of the G8 GXP is the 6.2L LS3 small-block V-8, currently rated at 402 horsepower (300 kW)* and 402 lb.-ft. of torque (546 Nm)* pending final SAE certification. This engine is the newest member of GM's small-block V-8 family. It features a revised, larger-bore cylinder block, high-flow, L92-style cylinder heads; larger-diameter pistons; unique camshaft and camshaft timing; revised valvetrain with offset intake rocker arms; high-flow intake manifold; and high-flow fuel injectors.

The LS3 engine has an aluminum cylinder block with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners. Larger bores help create a 376-cubic-inch displacement. The block casting also features revisions and machining in the bulkheads to enhance its strength and improve bay-to-bay breathing. New pistons were designed for high-rpm performance.

New, high-flow cylinder heads aid engine breathing and are based on the large port and valve design found on the LS7 engine and other GM L76 engines. The larger-capacity, straighter intake port-design optimizes intake flow to the combustion chamber, an effect augmented by large valves, measuring 2.16 inches (55.0 mm) on the intake side and 1.59 inches (40.4 mm) on the exhaust side.

Pending final testing, the G8 GXP is expected to deliver 0-to-60 mph performance of about 4.7 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 13.0 seconds at 108 mph.

Six on the floor

A new six-speed Tremec TR6060 manual transmission is optional on the G8 GXP. This next-generation manual smoothly transfers the engine's power and torque to the rear wheels with a reduction in shift throw. The transmission features a host of refinements including premium gear synchronizers; stronger gears, housing, and bell housing; a single-piece counter shaft; and machined gear teeth.

The standard Hydra-Matic six-speed 6L80 automatic transmission is technologically advanced and robust. It uses a clutch-to-clutch operation and an integrated 32-bit transmission controller to deliver smooth and precise shifts. The six-speed has a generous 6.04:1 overall ratio that enables a "steep" first-gear. The result is strong launch acceleration along with "tall" overdrive ratios that lower engine rpms for better fuel economy and reduced noise.

A 3.27 final drive ratio comes with automatic-equipped GXPs, and a 3.70 gear is matched with the manual transmission. A limited-slip differential is standard.

High-performance suspension

The G8 GXP rides on the G8's 114.8-inch (2915 mm) wheelbase with wide front ( 62.7 inches / 1,592 mm) and rear ( 63.3 inches / 1,608 mm) tracks. The four-wheel independent suspension is fully adjustable and is tuned for the highest performance in the G8 family. The GXP's ride and handling was developed and validated on racetracks and highways around the world, including the famed Nürburgring racing circuit. It rewards the driver with sharp, immediate responses, as well as a well-balanced road feel during spirited driving.

The suspension employs a MacPherson strut design in the front and a four-link, coil-over-shock design in the rear. A direct-acting front stabilizer bar, decoupled rear stabilizer bar and lateral ball joints on the rear suspension deliver increased lateral stiffness for more responsive handling. The front suspension features fully adjustable caster, camber and toe; the rear suspension has fully adjustable camber and toe, for more precise tuning.

Steering and brakes

The steering rate for the GXP is tuned to provide immediate response with definitive driver feedback. Like the G8 sedan and GT, the GXP's steering box is located ahead of the front axle line for a quicker, more direct feel.

The Brembo braking system matches the GXP's boost in performance with an equivalent increase in stopping power. The system includes 14-inch (355 mm) vented front and 12.76-inch (324 mm) rear disc rotors, with special quad-piston alloy calipers in front. The alloy calipers on the rear brakes have single-piston actuation. The four-wheel disc brake system includes standard anti-lock brakes and traction control.

Wheels and tires

The GXP rides on 19-inch polished aluminum wheels with a special machined face. Performance-oriented summer P245/40R19 tires are standard, and a comparable all-season tire is available. Combined with the suspension and steering enhancements, this setup gives the GXP exceptional cornering grip.

Exterior styling

The G8 GXP exhibits strong Pontiac design cues. A unique front fascia with a lower splitter and a distinctive rear fascia diffuser contribute to its sporty look. The dual-port grille, fog lamps, bold wheels and confident, wheels-at-the-corners stance are all unmistakably Pontiac traits.

Interior amenities and comfort

The G8 GXP's interior is driver-oriented with aesthetic and tactile details like instruments with a sporty appearance that match the car's performance. Interior materials consist of satin and chrome trim and high-quality textured materials throughout. The instrument cluster glows with crisp, white light on the primary instruments. Pontiac's signature red lighting illuminates the rest of the instrument panel cluster.

Standard comfort and convenience amenities include:

* Highly bolstered two-tone sport seats with color-coordinated gauge cluster and GXP embroidery
* Leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shifter
* Power-adjustable front seats
* Fog lamps
* Alloy sport pedals
* A 230-watt Blaupunkt audio system
* XM Satellite Radio

The seats offer firm support to hold occupants in place during aggressive cornering. The standard heated leather seats were designed to deliver excellent comfort during long drives. They are available in Ebony or an Ebony/Red two-tone.


Maintaining the G8's tradition of a full suite of standard safety features, the G8 GXP includes:

* Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control
* Electronic stability control
* 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

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The aussies styled it better, but still a very cool car. Get rid of those nasty chrome wheels, chrome is the devils own finish! Sounds like the suspension and braking setup is top notch and without the slush box it should be a blindingly good car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Fantastic looking car.

      That orange color had better be offered for this car when it's produced because it completely makes the look and it stands out wonderfully.

      Give me a G8 ST GXP in this orange and I will be a GM customer again.
        • 7 Years Ago

        The orange is teh hotness.
      • 7 Years Ago
      they need to stop associating Pontiac with 50 cent
      • 7 Years Ago
      this will sell, but I need to wagon to come here.
      comeone GM - put that stupid truck thingy to the trash and give us the wagon version of this
      with the 402HP on it no one would dare call you out for buying a wagon, unless they chicken to go up at the track and get smoked, or they can just get smoked on the street
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice powertrain but a real shame it has no real Pontiac vidual flair as did the Grand Prixs of the 70's or the Tempests of the 60's...it has a very tame 80-90's look to my eyes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like manuals (I have a six speed in my SVT) and I have only bought manuals in my car, but "check your manhood at the door"?!? Seriously?!

      You guys never seem to be so brash about the "need" for manuals when you talk about Bugattis, Ferraris, or any other top end car without a manual option.

      Even the VW GTI has been massively applauded as better in its "flappy paddle" trim than its manual guise, so really drop the "I'm a lumberjack .. " routine.

      I would love to have this car in manual, but I am not about to question anyone who went for a speed auto instead, at least they bought this and not some FWD understeering POS performance "car".
      • 7 Years Ago
      So, wait, does this mean the 6.0-liter V8 in the G8 GT *can't* be had with a manual?

      I'm awfully sick of Detroit telling me I have to get the loudest, flashiest, single-digit-mileageiest model to shift my own gears. And of Japan telling me I've got to get the cheapest, slowest, plastic-hubcappiest one.

      Dammit America! Learn to drive a stick!
        • 7 Years Ago
        The GT will come in a stick, but for the first six months it will only be offered in Auto form. People (rightfully) gave Pontiac a hard time about that, thus the emphasis that the GXP would have the stick from the beginning.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't know about that.. looks like you have to go to a GXP to get a stick:


        I suspect this is rumour more than anything else, but I could see GM packaging the G8 trims this way.. it makes sense. Frankly, I'm cool with it. If I'm going to get a stick it should be mated to a forceful V8, otherwise it's just not a muscle car to me. I'd just as soon as go for the GXP anyway since I'd want to keep everything stock/OEM and although the GT is not off the table, I'm definitely leaning to the GXP because I find the performance upgrades to be worthwhile.

        If GM can keep it from going far past $37K, Pontiac need only tell me where to sign.
      • 7 Years Ago
      50 cent's outfit reminds me of Stephen King's antagonist from "Cell."
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know if I should laugh until I throw up, or just go directly to throwing up.

      Who makes these decisions? A.) To make an ugly car as such. B.) To think it's a good idea to promote it with a rapper?

      I bet BMW (and any Euro for that matter) is envy with jealousy [laugh]. And you wonder why [90%] American cars suck!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Do I have to say the words or you just can look at the ranking of your arrogant (and equally stupid) post?
        • 7 Years Ago
        What?!...there's always the one I guess...
        • 7 Years Ago
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's only because there was a rapper promoting it. If it was Harry Connick Jr. he would have praised this car for days.

        Funny how people are so easy to read.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Looks like you're on your own, buddy.

        The rest of us loves this car. Find me another car with 400+ hp (450 easy with intake/headers/exhaust), 6spd manaul, near 50/50 weight distribution, 14" Brembo, adjustable toe/camber/caster, and 4 doors, all for $40k.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I know its an overused comment, but we're starting to look at another large car to replace our aging Allroad... since we no longer need the off-road capability, I was really excited about the G8...

      My only two requirements were a stick-shift (oh, well, I guess I'll get the GXP) and a wagon. Damn it - I have no interest in buying an SUV, but I really like having the extra carrying room. They bring over the 'ute but not the estate? What's up with that?

      This car, in a wagon, would have been damn near perfect for us - and a lot cheaper than its closest competitors.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The A3 hatch is actually a whole lot of car, for a relatively small amount of money ($30k for the 2.0t pretty loaded). Still, the allroad is currently our "big" car, and something that can comfortably seat five with a bunch of stuff is really useful. I wouldn't hesitate to get the A3 if we wanted something a little smaller though - I've driven them a few times as rentals, and they rock! More backseat than the A4 even (at least the '08 version).

        The allroad is based on the A6 wagon, though, and is about the right size for our needs, and this would have been a much closer match.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet. Do want.

      Seriously I havent been this excited for a Pontiac since.... since.... since never! Im only 21 so the only Pontiac I have known was Grand Am's and Fiero's, and that thing they called the GTO.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If it's available with sat/nav then I'd seriously be interested. I'd actually be comfortable with this as my daily driver. Can't argue with the bang for the buck factor. Any color but that orange though... and on mine, an aftermarket hood would be the first mod: I hate those twin hood scoops. I know it's nit picking but they spoil the front end IMO. They draw my attention away from the rest of the car, which quite frankly isn't ground breaking but still an attractive design.
      And to those comparing this with the fancy European brands... don't bother. With an MSRP of about $30k, you're expecting too much of it. It already has them all beat on value anyways. And I'm no GM fanboy... most people here already know that fact. But I know I good car when I see one, and wouldn't mind seeing this parked next to the Evo and M3.
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