The G8 show car unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show is a preview of the production GT model, and is powered by a 362-horsepower (270 kW) 6.0L V-8 engine.
The show car also features some unique items not found on the production model, including the 20 inches “shadow chrome” wheels and performance tires, lowered ride height and high-performance brake rotors with painted brake calipers.
The 2008 Pontiac G8 lineup will offer two models: G8 and G8 GT. A sport package will be available for both models and adds features such as specific wheels, a rear wing spoiler and some interior sporty details.
The G8 has a progressive styling package highlighted by strong Pontiac design cues, such as a dual-port grille, fog lamps, bold wheels and a confident, wheels-at-the-corners stance. The design accents the car’s performance lineage, with fenders that flare over the wheels, seemingly hugging the wide tires and enhancing the sporting stance.
Distinctive elements include hood scoops and front fender vents, as well as projector-beam headlamps housed in crystal-clear lenses.
At the rear, jewel-like taillamps also are mounted in housings and feature bright detail work surrounding the red lighting elements.
G8 models have red taillamp lenses and twin chrome exhaust outlets, while G8 GT models feature clear taillamp lenses and quad chrome exhaust tips. All models have an antenna mounted at the rear of the roof.
Stying elements specific to the show car unveiled at Chicago include the Phantom Grey exterior paint color, custom interior trim color, with a leather-wrapped dash, and a “modernized” Pontiac badge, to gauge public opinion.
Developed in Australia, under the direction of Holden’s engineering department, the Pontiac G8 is based on GM’s global rear-wheel drive architecture.
The platform was designed to accommodate production for both left-hand drive and right-hand drive markets around the world.
Among the features are a robust, protected electrical system, superior climate control system and noise/vibration-isolating suspension systems.
Its layout promotes a nearly 50/50 front-to-rear weight balance ratio, thanks to design features that include a steering rack mounted ahead of the front axle, engines mounted low and rearward in the front chassis cradle and a rear-mounted battery.
The architecture has a strong unitized chassis/body structure, including high-strength steel (FSS) used in more than 80 percent of its construction.
The chassis features a four-wheel independent suspension system integrated with the car ’s structure.
Inside the G8, aA driver-oriented instrument cluster positions the gauges for easy, direct line of sight; an electronic driver information center is located between the large, round tachometer and speedometer.
Details include jewel-like instruments, selective use of satin and chrome trim and rich-feeling, grained textures throughout. The instrument cluster glows with crisp, white light on the primary instruments and Pontiac ’s signature red lighting illuminates the rest of the instrument panel cluster.
The seats offer firm support to hold occupants in place during aggressive cornering; all seats were designed to deliver comfort during long drives. Cloth seating surfaces are standard, with heated leather seating available. G8 GT models will also offer an optional two-tone cloth or leather combination that pairs black with either red or blue inserts and color-matched instrument faces on certain exterior color combinations.
The base G8 model is equipped with a 3.6L DOHC V-6 with variable valve timing, rated at 261 horsepower (194 kW). It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
The G8 GT is powered by a 6.0L small-block V-8, rated at 362 horsepower (270 kW) and 391 lb.-ft. of torque (530 Nm). A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode is standard and features the fuel-saving Active Fuel Management system, which enhances fuel economy by alternating between eight- and four-cylinder power. An optional six-speed manual transmission will be available soon after launch.
A limited-slip rear differential is standard with GT models.