Pontiac gets Holden Commodore:

2007 Chicago Auto Show: 2008 Pontiac G8

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Pontiac Joins the Rear-Wheel-Drive Revolution
In early 2008, Pontiac gets a new top-range entry with an aggressively styled, performance-oriented rear-drive large sedan. The G8 GT concept was introduced this week at the Chicago auto show to an eager crowd, and VehicleVoice contributors were on hand. Yeah, they called it a concept, but there is very little that will change between now and next year’s sales launch. As we walked the show after the introduction, the car was clearly a star. We heard people gushing, enthusiastic, and hungry for more information on the car. The car was continually surrounded.

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So why is G8 causing so much a stir? Because under the go-fast, I’ll-take-on-the-world looks is a platform and powertrain that really can help you get there. Unlike the short-lived GTO revival that had the goods but not the looks, the G8 has both. The rear-drive setup includes an independent rear suspension, promising solid handling, and the powertrain lineup includes a base V6 with about 261HP and an 362HP small-block 6.0L V8.
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The G8 will be Pontiac’s flagship, using the global RWD Architecture of the upcoming new-century Camaro. Initial production will be in Australia, where the car is sold as the Commodore SS. Eventually, GM would like to build it in the States, along with the Camaro. The G8 is a Holden Commodore with a Pontiac nose, effectively. Though the standard transmission is an automatic (five speeds for the V6 and six for the V8), a six-speed manual for the V8 will be added. (The concept held the manual, though that transmission will be a late launch.) And by using GM’s version of cylinder deactivation, Active Fuel Management, when the V8 takes the automatic, you’ll be able to get this V8 with as little fuel-cost hit as possible.
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Pontiac Gets Australian Holden Commodore as G8

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Three years ago, Jim Hall and I were in Adelaide, South Australia. We were actually on AutoPacific business and unfortunately it was in the middle of the American summer, which meant it was the middle of the Australian winter. Chilly. Anyway, that’s beside the point.
Good Iron Down Under – From Both General Motors/Holden and Ford
This brief trip down under confirmed what I knew academically from reading about Australian vehicles. They are really cool! Both Ford and General Motors have very competent rear wheel drive platforms in Australia that would do very well in the USA. A brief visit to the local Holden dealership had us both lusting after a Holden Commodore. And that was the previous generation Commodore. In July 2006, Holden launched the all new VE Commodore. More lust.

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GM tried to import the Holden Monaro as the Pontiac GTO. The car failed because it wasn’t flashy enough and didn’t have the necessary DNA to be a believable GTO. Great car to drive, not ugly, just not head-turning.
GM to Add Holden Commodore to Pontiac Lineup as G8
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Now, we may have chance to get the object of our desires. GM appears to be ready to announce that it will begin importing the Holden Commodore 4-door sedan as the Pontiac G8. This car would replace the front wheel drive Grand Prix and maybe reach upwards to fill the spot vacated by the front wheel drive Pontiac Bonneville. Rear wheel drive and powered by a V8 engine, the Commodore would cap a newly sporting Pontiac lineup. We can’t wait.
Ford to Use Australian Falcon as Basis for RWD V8 Sedans?
Across Detroit in Dearborn a similar strategy is hatching. Apparently, Ford is considering using the rear wheel drive V8-powered Australian Falcon as the basis for the “Mustang-based” Lincoln MKR. If Ford can find the resources, we may also see the Ford Interceptor concept car based on the Falcon platform.
Ah, those Australians!


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