2009 Pontiac G8 GXP Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
FAST FACTS
  • New GXP model joins G8 lineup

  • New 6.2-liter, LS3 small-block V-8 engine with estimated 402 hp

  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission

  • New optional 6-speed Tremec manual transmission

  • High-performance Brembo brakes

  • 19-inch, polished aluminum wheels and performance-oriented summer tires

  • Unique front and rear fascias

  • Standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability and traction control

  • Eight air bags

  • Blaupunkt audio system, XM satellite radio and OnStar standard

  • Sales to start in late 2008

Introduction

The 2009 G8 GXP is a new flagship high-performance midsize sedan in Pontiac's GXP series, boasting a 6.2-liter, small-block V-8 engine delivering an estimated 402 hp, mated to a standard 6-speed automatic transmission. An optional new next-generation 6-speed Tremec manual transmission offers even better performance, due to premium gear synchronizer, stronger gears and other mechanicals, GM says. Riding on 19-inch, polished aluminum wheels, standard performance-oriented summer tires (with noted Brembo braking system providing stopping power), the G8 GXP aims to provide consumers with a sophisticated driving experience in a 5-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive sedan akin to that in much more expensive sports cars.

Although the list of standard and optional equipment is not yet finalized, Pontiac says the 2009 G8 GXP will include a premium Blaupunkt audio system, highly bolstered two-tone sport seats with GXP embroidery, OnStar, XM satellite radio and more. The G8 GXP is expected to go on sale later this year.

Model Lineup

The 2009 GXP will be a new model in Pontiac's G8 lineup. The high-performance version features a unique front with dual-port grille and distinctive rear fascia diffuser. The interior is driver-oriented to match its performance, the automaker says, including textured, high-quality materials, satin and chrome trim, white-lit primary instruments in the cluster, with signature Pontiac red lighting on the rest of the cluster. The GXP will likely come fully loaded with standard features, many of which are optional on other models. These include a premium, 230-watt Blaupunkt audio system; sport seats that are highly-bolstered; leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shifter; power-adjustable heated leather seats; fog lamps; alloy sport pedals; XM satellite radio; OnStar; and more.

Hardware

Power for the new 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP comes from the newest member of the small-block V-8 engine family, the 6.2-liter LS3 with multi-port fuel injection, generating an estimated (pending SAE final certification) 402 hp at 6000 rpm and 402 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm (with automatic transmission) and 400 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm (manual transmission). The engine's features include a revised aluminum cylinder block with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners and larger cylinder bores. Revisions and machining in the block casting enhances strength, the automaker says, resulting in improved breathing, while high-rpm performance gets a boost from specially-designed new pistons. Pontiac says 0-60 mph performance is expected to be about 4.7 seconds, with quarter-mile time about 13.0 seconds (at 108 mph).

The standard transmission on G8 GXP-a 6-speed automatic with clutch-to-clutch operation and 6.04:1 overall ratio-permits strong launch acceleration and overdrive ratios that lower rpms for reduced noise and better fuel economy, Pontiac claims. A new, next-generation 6-speed Tremec manual transmission is optional. The manual transmission features numerous refinements, including premium gear synchronizers, stronger bell housing, gears and housing, machined gear teeth and single-piece counter shaft, the automaker says.

Suspension is 4-wheel independent, fully adjustable and tuned for the highest performance in the G8 family, according to Pontiac. Developed and validated on the world's famed racetracks, like Germany's N�rburgring, the GXP's ride and handling is designed to reward the driver with well-balanced road feel along with crisp, immediate responsiveness.

Safety

The 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP will include, as standard equipment, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS; ventilated front and rear rotors; quad-piston front calipers; single-piston alloy rear calipers; traction control; electronic stability control; and OnStar. The performance sports sedan will also include a full complement of 8 air bags: seat-mounted thorax air bags and dual-stage frontal air bags for front passengers (with automatic passenger sensing system), and roof rail side-impact air bags for both seating rows.
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