The Pontiac G8 was released for the first time in the United States in 2008. This is the first full-sized car introduced by Pontiac since the Bonneville which ended production in 2005. It is also considered as a replacement for the Pontiac Grand Prix which ceased production in 2006. Based on the GM Zeta platform and masterminded by Holden of Pontiac's Australian market, the G8 is in fact an import from Australia known as the Commodore. Once they arrive to the US, there are minor changes made, mostly to the front end and interior.
The G8 was first presented to the American market at the 2007 North American International Car Show. Pontiac designed this rear wheel drive sedan to be available in two trims with the major difference being the engine. The standard G8 Sedan trim comes with a 3.6L Variable Valve Timing DOHC V6 with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
The G8 GT presents a monster 6.0L Generation IV V8 that creates 361 hp and 385 ft-lb of torque. The GT has a 6-speed tranny as well an Active Fuel Management system. It can blast from zero to sixty in just under 5 seconds. Pontiac was considering making the transmission a 6-speed manual, but decided that it would interfere with seating plans. Instead, the G8 GXP was introduced at the 2008 New York International Auto Show. It will feature the 6-speed manual and is due to be released in 2009. The G8 GXL will also feature a even larger 6.2L V8 that is quite similar to the engine presented in the 2008 Corvette.
The rear wheel drive platform is a return to the past for Pontiac. The company hasn't released a rear wheel drive vehicle since the Bonnevilles and Parisiennes first seen in 1986. Many experts agree that the Pontiac G8 is the equal of the BMW 5 series in terms of power and responsive handling. The Base G8 comes with a load of standard features including 6 separate airbags; both traction and stability control systems; 18 inch alloy wheels and a seven-speaker stereo system that truly rocks out. The GT trim comes additionally with quad tailpipes; auto climate control systems; a more impressive center console and display screen as well as an 11-speaker stereo system with 2 built-in sub-woofers that cranks out even more ear-blasting sound. Both trims offer a premium upgrade which basically means that your black cloth interior magically becomes black leather - or a combination of black and red leather. Sharp!
GM went into high gear for their promotion of the G8 starting as the official sponsor of the New York City Times Square New Year's Day Countdown as well as sponsoring the Rose Bowl. These full-sized, powerful performers look sporty showing off dual low-profile air scoops on the hood. People were instantly excited and sales are definitely up. Both trims display MSRPs of less than $30,000.
There's also currently an Internet competition to rename the 2010 Pontiac G8 Sports Truck. It is to be a 2-seated pickup designed for power, speed and show. It will utilize the same 361 hp 6.0L V8 as the G8 GT. These trucks are not being sold for your standard work truck, let's put it that way. There was also some preliminary thoughts of producing a G8 wagon, but those plans were extinguished quickly due mainly to the failed market for the Dodge Magnum when compared to the Dodge Charger.
The first Pontiac G8s were delivered to dealerships in March, 2008. By May, sales were reported to stand at at 1832 units - brisk numbers for a newcomer. The G8 and its variants seems to be on the high road to success and solid development of a respectable history.