• Aug 25, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT

A quick glance at Pontiac's (rumored) future product plans reveals just how much fuel prices have affected plans for an all rear-wheel drive lineup. Let's see, we've got the Solstice and the G8, and, um... that's it. Sure, we're expecting the G8 ST soon, but the El Camino-come-lively will never sell enough to keep bean counters happily sliding their abaci beads in their cubicles. The Solstice also plays to a relatively small crowd, so its future could be up in the air, as well.

As for the rest of the brand's lineup, the Grand Am G6 will remain on the same front-wheel drive platform for the foreseeable future as there's just not enough funds to switch it to a rear-wheel-drive platform. Meanwhile, the G5 is tied to the Cobalt and the future Cruze from Chevrolet that uses the FWD Delta platform. The Vibe comes from Toyota and is based on the Corolla's underpinnings. Please, don't get us started on a possible Aveo-based subcompact from GM's "Performance Division". As our esteemed editor says, "So sad, G8 rules." Indeed it does, and it may be the best we'll get from Pontiac for a while.


[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 42 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Pontiac version of the Aveo is already on sale in Canada;
      check it out at:
      http://www.gm.ca/gm/english/vehicles-2009/pontiac/g3-wave/overview
      • 6 Years Ago
      This was really a no-brainer. For Pontiac to have been all RWD it would have had to be just a tiny niche nameplate, because the market for RWD cars isn't that big. And GM can't afford the luxury of a small niche nameplate.

      Pontiac certainly should have a RWD performance coupe and a RWD performance sedan in their lineup at a minimum. But they also have to have more practical (though still somewhat sporty) cars that will actually sell in volume. That means FWD cars that perform somewhat better than the average car in their segment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The market for RWD cars should be no larger or smaller than FWD cars.

      There is this bullcrap distinction that needs to be destroyed. That FWD cars are economical by definition, and RWD cars have to be behemoths. It is a relic, and no longer needs to be heeded, especially by automakers.

      Solstice is RWD, and small. But it is also limited by having insufficient cargo space for a milk jug, and only two seats.

      G8 seems like a great car, but like most, including the also attractive CTS, is HEAVY. HEAVY, HEAVY.

      So... you either have ~2800lb roadsters, or 3800+lb bruiser-cruisers.

      My Legacy has a curb weight in the high 3400 to low 3500lb curb weight. It is AWD, not FWD, and handles, and wears tires like a RWD car, with a hell of a lot more traction at all times.

      But where is the the 3500lb, modest/moderate size sedan? Or even coupe? the only thing that comes close is a bare base Mustang variant, and it physically is not very small, or lithe, has a hard-as-a-carp interior, and a live axle. it may be acceptable to some, but it limits appeal from others.

      Even BMW's 1-series is simply more cramped than the 3 series. It is barely less expensive, or less weight.

      Bring on the Subaru/Toyota coupe to have a curb weight on the shy side of 3000lbs in base configuration. (per goals rumored.)

      Pontiac needs to learn, and then LEAD, that RWD good handling, sporty cars don't need 4000lb curb weights, and thus don't require a SBC to really be fun to drive. G6 is pathetic looking, and G6 GXP is absolutely ATROCIOUS.

      GM may have turned a bit of a corner, but they NEED to commit, and keep moving forward.

        • 6 Years Ago
        BoxerFanatic writes: "But where is the the 3500lb, modest/moderate size sedan?"

        AWD Ford Fusion / Mercury Milan?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that Pontiac can get away with FWD on it's lower end models,
      if they really put some effort into making the car drive well. (No
      Grand Am's please.......) They really need to make the cars that
      Pontiac's variants of GM platforms are differenciated very far away
      from their Saturn and Chevy counterparts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Until people stop buying Camrys and similar $h!t, this is how its going to be.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Brian but you are so right, GM does have Aveo.............You do realize that Aveo is probably the worst car that is avaliable for sale in USA?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Using CAFE as a scapegoat is pretty weak. I refuse to believe that its not possible to make RWD cars economical. Dial back the HP and dial up the handling and RWD can be economical.

      More likely the real reason GM is shelving the idea of an all RWD pontiac is because they're cash strapped and they can't afford to fund a whole lot of R&D so they need to invest what resources they do have in shorter term projects.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The bigger question, to me, is why Pontiac thinks that not having an all-RWD lineup excuses them for making boring cars. Lutz seems to be saying, "well, we wanted Pontiac to make fun cars, now we can't, and it's everyone else's fault."

      WTF? Mazda has been one of the automakers with the most enthusiast buzz for the last several years, and that's thanks partly to responsive and properly-screwed-down front-drivers like the 3 and 6. Cars like the Altima and Fit manage to be sportier than direct rivals without having RWD.

      The G5, G6, Grand Prix, and Torrent are boring because they're cost-cutting, conservatively engineered products with sloppy detail tuning--not *because* they're FWD.

      If Pontiac wanted to walk their branding talk, they could still do it with front-drive, to the same extent that Mazda, Nissan, and Honda do. But aside from the G8 and Solstice, and especially on its volume sellers, Pontiac still seems to believe that "sportiness" comes down to badging and sheetmetal. They'll run the division into the ground with this business model, while using CAFE and the no-RWD talk to make it someone else's fault.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a shame. A small RWD car is exactly what Pontiac needs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The biggest problem GM has is their moronic dealer network. Honestly, how do they expect to make pontiac their performance division when they pool it together with GMC and Buicks on lots.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM is one giant example of death by committee. After the second round of board meetings I'm surprised Pontiac wasn't reduced to an all 3 wheeled hybrid brand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      HEY! what about chevy?
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