Pontiac’s G8 GXP Was a Glorious Last Gasp for a Formerly Great Brand


The G8 GXP was more than we deserved, but less than Pontiac needed to succeed.

The G8 GXP was more than we deserved, but less than Pontiac needed to succeed.
Photo: Netcarshow

Remember Pontiac? I mean, Pontiac as it should have been all along, not the Pontiac of the 1990s with all its bad plastic, questionable styling and disappointment. We lost GM’s “performance brand” in 2010, and while most of the cars sold by the brand at that time aren’t worth mentioning here, there is one that was, and it’s the swan song that Pontiac deserved: the 2009 G8 GXP.

Now, the GM nerds among you will know that the G8 was based on the Australian Holden Commodore, specifically the VE generation, and was built on GM’s rear-wheel drive Zeta platform. It was offered in the U.S. in 2008 and 2009, with trim levels ranging from the 256-hp V6 automatic-only base model to the LS3-powered 402-hp GXP, which could be had with a Tremec 6-speed manual.

MotorWeek Road Test: 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP

The GXP got a reputation at the time for being a “poor man’s E60 BMW M5” thanks to its excellent performance and super-reasonable $39,995 price tag. The M5 at the time made around 500 horsepower thanks to its screaming V10 engine but retailed for over twice what the GXP did ($85,500, or thereabouts). Much like the Chevy SS that came in 2014 and followed the same formula at the GXP, it offered a lot of performance for the money.

In 2009, I was 24 years old, working the parts counter at a small Ford dealership and in no way even remotely capable of affording a $40,000 car, but I dreamed about driving a GXP in a way that I didn’t with other American cars at the time. I never managed to get behind the wheel of one (I did later get to have a go in an SS), but it’s a car that’s held a special place in my memory ever since.

Pontiac may not have been a great car company for most of its last few decades, but it — much like Saab (but definitely not Oldsmobile) — generally deserved better than it got. Let’s kick back, listen to the dulcet tones of the godfather John Davis and pour one out for one of the raddest modern American performance cars to ever hit the streets.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button