Long known for delivering performance of many kinds, Pontiac rolls into the 2008 SEMA Show with a trio of tuner-inspired concepts for enthusiasts of all stripes. Leading the pack is G8 GXP Street concept with a new LSX454 crate engine shoehorned under its hood, followed by an accessorized G8 ST and a performance-enhanced Solstice GXP coupe.
"Pontiacs have always strived to provide unexpected levels of performance, regardless of the model," said Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "But these concepts raise the bar even higher, taking style and sportiness to the highest levels."
None of the four Pontiac concepts is intended for production, but they use many components from GM Accessories and GM Performance Parts, as well as other aftermarket components, that are already on the market. Some new GM components are being evaluated for possible production as accessories.
All of the concepts share the spirit of late-model tuner vehicles, with enhancements and modifications that contribute as much to styling and presence as they do performance. It is a spirit carried forward from the hit of the 2007 SEMA Show, hip-hop star 50 Cent's customized G8.
G8 GXP Street concept
Both the Pontiac G8 GXP and the LSX454 crate engine from GM Performance Parts are new this fall. GM engineers figured there was no better way to highlight them than combining them in an intimidating street machine.
In factory form, the G8 GXP features a 6.2L (376-cu.-in.) V-8 rated at 415 horsepower (309 kW) and 415 lb.-ft. of torque (562 Nm), but the new LSX454 (part number 19166972) delivers 7.4 liters of unadulterated grunt. It cranks out 638 horsepower (476 kW) and 600 lb.-ft. of torque (813 Nm). The engine uses the LSX Bowtie cylinder block, new six-bolt LSX cylinder heads and an all-forged rotating assembly. Backing the LSX454 is the GXP's Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.
Handling and stopping performance are enhanced with a lowered ride height, stiffer springs and a disc brake package borrowed from the Cadillac CTS-V. The calipers are painted red and feature CNC-milled GXP logos; they're visible through a set of customer 20-inch aluminum wheels with a sinister black chrome finish. They're mounted on performance rubber.
The exterior of the silver G8 GXP Street concept wears custom front and rear fascias and new rocker panels that give it a more aggressive appearance. The front fascia features unique upper and lower grilles, while the rear fascia incorporates a racing-style diffuser. All of the exterior bright trim has a black chrome finish. There's also a performance exhaust system with custom-cut aluminum tips exiting through the rear fascia.
Inside are custom, leather-trimmed seats with "GXP" embroidered on the headrests. There's also a new gauge cluster with unique graphics and the silver-finish factory trim has a new, black-chrome, metallic look.
Overall, the G8 GXP Street concept can be summed up with one word: menacing. And with 638 horsepower on tap, it has got the muscle to back up the attitude.
G8 ST concept
The 2010 Pontiac G8 ST is a dramatically different vehicle that blends the performance of the G8 sports sedan with the cargo capabilities of a light truck. It significantly stretches Pontiac's commitment to style and performance and is expected to arrive in dealers' showrooms in late 2009.
Pontiac ramps up the excitement for the production model with a concept vehicle upgraded with accessories that inspire enthusiasts about the possibilities of this distinctive vehicle. In fact, this concept incorporates many parts that will likely be offered by GM Accessories when the G8 ST hits dealerships.
Highlights of the concept vehicle include:
- Liquid Hot exterior color with enhanced clear coat
- Lowered ride height
- Custom 20-inch wheels
- Leather-trimmed seats with red inserts
- G8 GXP steering wheel with red inserts
- G8 GXP shift knob with red inserts
- Custom interior trim kit (proposed GM Accessories part)
- Hard tonneau cover (proposed GM Accessories part)
- The G8 ST concept is powered by a uniquely configured 6.0L small-block V-8, rated at 361 horsepower (269 kW) and 385 lb.-ft. of torque (522 Nm). It features GM's Active Fuel Management technology, which allows the engine to switch from V-8 power to four-cylinder operation during light-load driving conditions, enhancing fuel economy. The transmission is a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic.
Solstice GXP Coupe concept
New for 2009 is the Solstice coupe - a sleek, fastback-styled hardtop body style with a removable roof panel. It enables an open-air driving experience yet offers a greater range of all-season driving opportunities.
Like the Solstice roadster, the new coupe model is available in high-performance GXP form, including the 260-horsepower (194 kW) turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec engine - a powertrain that uses direct injection technology to deliver up to 28 mpg in EPA-rated highway economy.
Pontiac brings a specially outfitted Solstice GXP coupe to SEMA. It is equipped with GM Performance Parts' Stage 2 performance kit and performance air intake kit, which boost horsepower to about 290 (216 kW). The car also wears a GM Performance Parts cat-back exhaust system and race-ready suspension kit. It rolls on polished factory wheels.
The exterior is painted Olympic White and features a Hydro Blue racing stripe that may inspire a graphics kit from GM Accessories. Inside, the Solstice features blue accent stitching on its leather-trimmed seats, racing-style pedal covers and a convenient iPod interface for the audio system.