As GM's "Excitement Division," Pontiac's full-sized performance sedan, the G8, introduced as a 2008 model since is certainly creating excitement in its sophomore year.
The 2009 G8 is built on GM's Zeta platform, which is shared by its Australian sibling, the Holden Commodore, a proven rear wheel drive performance sedan, and Pontiac hopes to capture that essence in North America.
There are three G8 trims, Base, GT, and GXP. All models have defined fender flares, aggressive headlights, and Pontiac's twin-port grille, mimicked on the lower valence and hood vents.
The base model that we drove is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 256 horsepower and 248 pound feet of torque. The GT comes equipped with a 6-liter V8, putting out 355 horsepower and 385 pound feet of torque. The range-topping GXP comes with a mammoth 6.2-liter V8 borrowed from the Corvette, churning out 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque.
The V6 is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission, while both V8's come equipped with a 6-speed automatic. The GXP is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Fuel economy for the G8 ranges from 15 miles per gallon city, up to 25 miles per gallon highway.
Our base model G8 came well equipped with front bucket seats, tilt-telescoping multifunction steering wheel, and Blaupunkt 7-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system operated via a 5-inch multifunction display, 18 inch alloy wheels and dual tail pipes.
New standard features for 2009 include XM satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
Standard safety equipment for the G8 includes six air-bags, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brakes force distribution, all-speed traction control, and StabiliTrak vehicle enhancement system.
Base MSRP for the 2009 Pontiac G8 is $28,190. A GXP model will cost around $40,000. The G8 is backed by a 5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
With bold looks and a performance-oriented powertrain to back it up, the 2009 G8 is here to remind everyone that Pontiac is still GM's excitement division.