2008 LA Auto Show: 2009.5 Pontiac G6

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Freshening for Pontiac’s Most Important Product
In 2007, Pontiac sold nearly 358,000 cars and trucks. Of those, a nearly even 150,000 were some form of G6. The G6 is Pontiac volume, a stable, steady contributor. It was introduced for the 2005 model year, and ready for a brightening. The 2009MY G6 went on sale late this past summer, but rather than waiting for the next model year, the G6 you see in dealers beginning in January 2009 should have a new look as a 2009.5MY product.

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The G6 brings a nose and rear not unlike the larger G8, an I4 engine option (mated to a six-speed automatic for excellent fuel economy), and an updated instrument panel and new audio, HVAC controls, and gauge cluster. The V6 engines carry on, though a flex-fuel version of the 3.5L is a no-cost option. Available from the start will be coupe, sedan, and hardtop convertible.
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The new look makes for a more aggressive nose, and the new taillights look more modern and sexy, with a longer, angular slant. Adding the I4 means Pontiac has yet another nicely efficient option, and if our experiences driving the Chevrolet Malibu equipped with the same I4 and six-speed automatic are any indication, the I4 Pontiac will be a very nice all-rounder.

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Question is, really, does the market need Pontiac anymore? At 16+ million units annually, the customer was the winner. Cars could be designed and implemented for niche markets, segments, and lifestyles. But in a world with 13.5 million units annually, can we sustain that much choice? At least for those of us who love cars, from G6 to Porsche Boxster to Ford Mustang to Toyota Prius to Dodge Ram HD, we hope niche products and brands can survive.
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