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Pontiac G6 GXP Concept


2006 New York Show Concept Draws from Previous SEMA Concepts
Back in 2004, Pontiac launched the GXP performance badge, planned for use across the range. For 2004 and 2005 model years, Pontiac offered the Bonneville GXP with a 275HP 4.6L Northstar V8. Then they shoehorned a 5.3L V8 into the Grand Prix GXP, for a 303HP stealth sedan. The Solstice GXP is next at dealers, offering a breathed-on 260HP four-cylinder.
Pontiac has been testing the waters of acceptance for a GXP variant of its volume G6 line with concepts at the annual SEMA show, culminating in the 2006 New York auto show G6 GXP coupe concept. (SEMA = Specialty Equipment Market Association.) The company has not yet confirmed production, but is testing the waters of public acceptance again with a concept at the 2006 New York auto show. Seeing the GXP in Pontiac showrooms for 2007 model year would not surprise AutoPacific or VehicleVoice contributors.


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Pontiac Dropping GTO for 2007


GTO Nameplate Returns to the Shelf. According to Automotive News, when Pontiac‘s 2007 model year lineup comes out, the GTO will not be included. Sources told Automotive News that the company decided to drop GTO rather than re-certify for 2007, an expensive process. At the moment, there are no specific plans for a replacement, though certainly there are those among Pontiac’s staff that will consider the possibility in the future and Pontiac will not comepletely rule out another sporty car down the road. If you want one, GM says they will bring another 10,000 to 12,000 units into the country.


AutoPacific and VehicleVoice correspondents had the opportunity to drive both versions of the GTO over its short three-year lifecycle, the 350HP 2004 version and the 400HP 2005 model. The 2005 model won AutoPacific’s vaunted Vehicle Satisfaction Award edging out the Ford Mustang for top honors much to the consternation of Ford’s upper management.
The GTO is fun to drive and a solid overall package. In large part because of the GTO badge, the car suffered much criticism for bland and boring styling. Labeling it GTO raised expectations to a level that the styling did not meet. The lesson to be learned here is that bland is worse than ugly for a sporty car, particularly one that intended to play on nostalgia for a fondly remembered, aggressive car like the original GTO.

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Motorweek 2006 Driver's Choice Awards


Motorweek Logo Blog.gif
Motorweek, the PBS-oriented car show, announced the winners of its 2006 Driver’s Choice Awards at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. It will be interesting to see how these winners correspond to the owner awards from VehicleVoice and AutoPacific. The surveys for the annual AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award are in the field during the 1st Quarter 2006 and winners will be announced in early May.
Their winners include:
Best of the Year: Honda Civic
Best Small Car: Honda Civic
Best Family Sedan: Hyundai Sonata
Best Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Best Convertible: Pontiac Solstice
Best Luxury Sedan: Infiniti M-Series
Best Sports Sedan: BMW 3-Series
Best Performance Car: Ford Mustang
Best Small Sport Utility Vehicle: Toyota RAV4 (guess they didn’t measure it… Mid-Size SUV now)
Best Family Sport Utility Vehicle: Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer
Best Pickup Truck: Ford F-150
Best Eco-Friendly: Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Best Dream Machine: Chevrolet Corvette ZO6, Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe, Ferrari F430
Special Category: Most Jane Car: BMW 3-Series

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Saturn Sky Quietly Introduced in Los Angeles


Spring 2006 Sales for Saturn’s First Convertible
The wait is nearly over. After the 2002 Saturn Sky concept sparked speculation about when and if Saturn would add a convertible and was followed by a concept version only twelve months ago, the production vehicle arrives at showrooms in spring 2006. The concept introduced at the Detroit auto show and the production car on display at the 2006 Los Angeles auto show are nearly identical, though the two-seat, rear-wheel-drive roadster is basically the opposite of the front-wheel-drive 2002 concept.

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Pontiac Solstice GXP – Hot Rod Roadster


What makes a hot convertible hotter? More power, of course
Pontiac follows up the launch of the 177HP Solstice roadster with the introduction of the 2007 Solstice GXP at January’s 2006 Los Angeles auto show. Not content with the 177HP in the standard car, but also looking to keep the balance in the overall package that the four-cylinder engine contributes to, Pontiac decided to turbocharge a four-cylinder engine to create the go-fast version rather than shoehorning a larger (and much heavier) engine into the bay. The Solstice and Solstice GXP will be featured in an upcoming VehicleVoice videocast.
The turbocharged GXP engine delivers 260HP from only 2.0 liters, and Pontiac promises a 0-to-60mph time of 5.5 seconds, slightly faster than the Honda S2000. Pontiac’s Ecotec 2.0L DOHC 16v I4 looks to several tricks to get the power up that high. Among them, this engine is fed with direct injection (fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber), a first for General Motors in North America. A dual-scroll turbocharger is used, with a lightweight turbine and air-to-air intercooling. As is true of the base car, standard transmission will be a five-speed manual with an optional five-speed automatic available.

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