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2008 Pontiac G8 GT Test Drive

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT Sedan: Bringing Back Pontiac Excitement!

With the all-new 2008 G8 GT, Pontiac is once again offering real high-performance thrills for the whole family. Unlike the two-door GTO coupe that lasted only two model years, the all-new G8 GT offers a thrilling ride with more comfort and safety for the whole family at a very reasonable price.


The G8 is the first application of GM’s new global rear-wheel-drive architecture. Available in either the base 3.6 liter engine making 256hp, or the GT model that makes a whopping 361hp. Each delivers a broad range of standard performance, convenience and safety features including: four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel vented disc brakes with ABS and traction control, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, seat-mounted thorax airbags and dual-stage frontal airbags, roof rail side-impact airbags for both seating rows, OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, power-adjustable front seats, fog lamps, polished stainless steel exhaust tips, and a low-profile rear lip spoiler. A sport package is available for the G8 GT models that add 19in. aluminum wheels and performance tires, a leather wrapped sport steering wheel and alloy foot pedals.

Both G8 models share a progressive styling package highlighted by strong Pontiac design cues, such as a dual-port grille, fog lamps, 5-spoke aluminum 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 sporty stance.


Distinctive elements include working hood scoops and front fender vents, projector headlamps housed in crystal-clear lenses. At the rear, taillamps feature bright detail work and clear lenses, a lower air diffuser better manages underbody airflow, a full-width spoiler at the end of the trunk lid increases downforce,
and quad polished stainless steel exhaust tips. From the side are steeply raked windshield pillars and beautifully formed and working fender air-extractor vents. A bright chrome strip surrounding the greenhouse give a touch of elegance while deep lower side extensions enhance aerodynamics and give the car a lower-to-the-ground stance.

Designed to meld form and function with world-class fit and finish, the G8’s interior delivers both comfort and convenience, packaged in a level of sophistication not often found in its price range. The cockpit is wonderfully designed with big, white on black rally gauges positioned for an easy, direct line of view.


An electronic driver information screen is located between the 180mph speedometer and 8,000rpm tachometer. Attention to detail is seen everywhere from the easy-to-read 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 sport bucket seats give bottom and rear comfort, and utilizes thick side bolstering to keep you in place during spirited driving times. All buttons, switches and dials are reached easily and fully illuminated for safe nighttime travel. The sport designed 4-spoke steering wheel is leather wrapped and tilt/telescoping for the perfect reach and angle.


Standard interior features in the G8 GT include auto dual zone climate control, cruise-control, intermittent wipers/washers, 4-way power seat adjustment for both front bucket seats, theft deterrent alarm system, lighted visor mirrors, inside mirror with compass, power windows/door locks with express down up front, grab handles for rear doors, center console with dual cup holders, storage bins, dual map lamps and sunglass holder in overhead console, rear pull-down center armrest, Blaupunkt Premium AM-AM-CD Audio System with 11-speakers, 320-watt and subwoofer, front and rear floor mats and cargo convenience net. Optional leather seats come with heating elements up front.


At 6ft. 3in. I found that my head was only 1in. from the headliner, but that the interior did feel roomy and enough space front and back plus the trunk for taking care of all my daily driving chores.
The base G8 model receives a 3.6 liter DOHC, all-aluminum V6 with VVT and is rated at 256hp and 248lb.ft. of torque.


The G8 GT that I tested was powered by a uniquely configured 6.0 liter all-aluminum V8 generating 361hp and 285lb.ft. of torque. It features GM’s Active Fuel Management technology which allows the engine to switch from V8 power to four-cylinder operation during light-load driving conditions, enhancing fuel economy.


This high-performance V8 engine is mated to a standard Hydra-Matic six-speed 6L80 automatic transmission turning the rear wheels. This robust transmission uses a clutch-to-clutch operation and an integrated 32-bit transmission controller to deliver smooth and precise shifts. The six-speed has a generous 6.0:1 overall ratio that enables a ‘steep’ first gear. The result is strong launch acceleration along with ‘tall’ overdrive ratios that lower engine rpms for better fuel economy and reduced noise. The 6L80 also features Driver Shift Control that enables you to take the rpms to redline for even faster acceleration.


A limited-slip rear differential is standard and helps get the power down on the pavement more efficiently.


The G8 GT blasts out to 60mph from a standstill in just 5.3sec., one of the fastest 4-door sedans for under $32,000.00.

Engineered and manufactured by GM’s Australian ‘Holden’ division, it is built on GM’s global rear-wheel-drive architecture, and is designed to deliver world-class levels of strength and refinement, along with crisp driving dynamics. Among the architecture’s design attributes is a layout that promotes a nearly 50/50 front-to-rear weight balance ratio, thanks a 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 trunk mounted battery. GM’s rear-drive architecture also has an exceptionally strong unitized chassis/body structure, including advanced-strength steel used in more than 80% of its construction. This strong foundation enables several factory that benefit the G8 GT’s driving dynamics and experience, including smoother, more solid ride characteristics and more precise suspension tuning, as the stiffer structure allows engineers to tune the suspension without having to account for chassis flex.

The unique, four-wheel independent, performance-tuned suspension is integrated with the G8’s structure, and is the result of eight years of development. It uses the strength of the body structure to enhance the driving experience through optimized steering, handling and driving control.


The G8 rides on a long, 114.8in. wheelbase, with the wheels set wide on 62.7in. front, and 63.3in. rear tracks. The front suspension features a multi-link, MacPherson strut design that includes a direct-acting stabilizer bar, while the rear suspension uses a four-link design with progressive-rate coil springs over gas-charged shocks and a decoupled stabilizer bar.

The front suspension uses a hydraulically damped bushing on the forward end of the tension link for improved ride isolation. The lateral link features a rubber spherical joint that enhances lateral stiffness. Camber, caster and toe are fully adjustable. With the rear suspension, a high degree of lateral stiffness is achieved with the use of two lateral ball joints per side. A rubber-damped suspension frame further isolates body structure from noise, vibration and harshness from the road.

The G8 GT rides on big 18X8in. 5-spoke alloy wheels wrapped with Goodyear 245/45R18in. Eagle RS-A performance tires. The unique suspension geometry and the wide tires give the GT remarkable handling ability at triple-digit speeds on the open road and road hugging cornering ability when challenging curving back roads. It’s as if you were riding on rails.

The steering rack is mounted forward of the front axle centerline-with dual lower links and individual ball joints at the outer ends-which enhances the balanced feel of the car while also contributing to a more direct and connected steering feel. Turn-in is quick and precise. You can turn off the traction control system to let the rear hangout at the apex of turns, then ease off the throttle to get it back in line as you exit.


The G8 GT’s brakes are big and strong to quickly and safely slow you down from speed. All four disc brakes are vented and feature 12.64in. rotors up front, clamped by alloy, dual-piston calipers, and 12.76in. rear rotors clamped alloy calipers with single-piston actuation.

Your braking control is enhanced with standard ABS, all-speed traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.


Standard safety features include efficient, energy-absorbing front structure and a strong occupant safety cage, six-standard airbags including dual-stage front airbags, side thorax airbags, for front passengers, and roof-mounted head curtain airbags for both seating rows, multiple airbag sensors, front safety belts with load limiters and dual pretensioners, ride-down steering column and breakaway pedal system, LATCH system for child seats, OnStar for emergency situations, and a tire pressure monitoring system.


The all-new 2008 Pontiac G8 GT is the real deal in mid-size performance sedans costing less than $32,000.00. Engineered and manufactured in Australia by GM’s Holden division, known throughout the world for its high-performance track record, then styled in Detroit with signature Pontiac design cues, the all-new Pontiac G8 GT makes for the perfect family sedan where the consumer enjoys high-performance driving when the kids and the wife are away.



Price: MSRP $31,555 Invoice $29,819
Type: Large Sedan
Where Built: Australia
EPA Class: Large Cars


Length: 196.1 in.
Width: 74.8 in.
Height: 57.7 in.
Wheel Base: 114.8 in.
Curb Weight: 3995 lbs.
Front Head Room: 38.7 in.
Front Hip Room: 56.7 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 59.1 in.
Rear Head Room: 38 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 59.1 in.
Rear Hip Room: 58 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.2 in.
Rear Leg Room: 39.4 in.
Luggage Capacity: 17.5 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 18 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 8 Base Engine Size: 6 liters
Base Engine Type: V8
Horsepower: 361 hp
Max Horsepower: 5300 rpm
Torque: 385 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4400 rpm
Maximum Towing Capacity: 2000 lbs.
Drive Type: RWD
Turning Circle: 37.4 ft.
0-60mph: 5.2 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 19 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway)
Automatic: : 15 mpg / 24 mpg
Range in Miles: (City/Highway)
Automatic: 285 mi. / 456 mi.


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