Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First Pontiac G8 Prototypes Roll Off the Line

At this year's Chicago Auto Show, Pontiac (also maker of top of the line Pontiac catalytic converter) - confirming its commitment to style and performance - introduced a show car version of the all-new, rear-wheel drive performance, the G8 GT.

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

The G8 show car gave everyone a peek of the highly anticipated 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, and the concept of "modernized" Pontiac badge.

Last week, the first prototype of the Pontiac G8 rolled off General Motors' Australia unit, GM Holden -- ahead of a full production start later in the year. The rear-wheel-drive performance sedan is headed for the United States in early 2008.

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 also 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.

Production of the Pontiac G8 is scheduled to commence at the Holden plant in late 2007, bringing the production line to a maximum capacity rate of 620 cars per day.

The G8 will be the first car sold in the U.S. based on the Australia-developed new Zeta global GM architecture. This means that Holden's Elizabeth plant is exporting to every continent in the world, with the exception of Antarctica.

About GM Holden Ltd GM Holden Ltd or Holden is an Australian automaker based in Melbourne, Victoria, originally independent but now a subsidiary of General Motors (GM). The automotive marque is one of GM's "alpha" brands, taking charge of vehicle operations for General Motors in Australasia, and have partial ownership of GM Daewoo in South Korea.

About the Author
Jason Moore, a 35 year old freelance writer from Austin, Texas. He also works as a marketing analyst for an established auto parts store in the country.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand this craze for new rear-wheel drive cars. Let me explain. GM's new RWD platform originates with Holden in Australia.
Well, that's good for Holden. But, Australia is located near the tropics; and while she does have cool winters, Australia generaly does not recieve large ammounts of winter snowfall.

Here in North America, we do get a great deal of winer snow. RWD cars are terrible in the snow. I can't be the only person who remembers trying to push their parents' cars out of the driveway, with the wheels spiting sand and salt, and the car going nowhere. What do all these RWD enthusiests think is going to happen.

I know since the seventies, much of the US population has moved to the sunbelt, but half the country still lives in the snowbelt. Besides, RWD cars fish-tale when going around sharp turns. Yikes!

I know, "RWD is how a car is supposed to drive". Well, all I can say is, be careful of what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

The craze, as you call it, is about having a great handling car. This car will be the best handling car in the US since the GTO (Corvette excepted).You could count on one finger the amount of US front wheel drive cars that handle well. If you are so concerned about snow, buy a 4wd. Anyhow this car will be great, can't wait.