Pontiac G8 GXP Sedan, What Could Have Been

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In 2009 Pontiac introduced the G8 GXP opening the door for a new performance line from GM. With the bankruptcy of GM, the GXP is all we got.

Back in 2008, the Pontiac brand was struggling. Rumors were swirling that the end was near for the GM brand that had lost its way. Then someone in the offices of General Motors decided to take a chance and import a popular sedan from Australia and see if it would work in the USA.

The Holden Commodore was a rear wheel drive sedan produced in Elizabeth South Australia. After two decades away from rear wheel drive, the G8 was tabbed to see if the American market was ready for a RWD performance sedan. From the time they put the first V8 G8’s on the lot, dealers realized they had something people wanted.

In 2009 Pontiac took the next step and brought the G8 GXP to the USA. The GSP version came with the same 6.2l V8 the Corvette carried. It could be mated to a manual six-speed gearbox or six-speed automatic. The LS3 produced an incredible 415 horsepower and 415 foot-pounds of torque.

With its quad tailpipes and performance wheels, the G8 GXP was a welcome departure for Pontiac. The G8  sported an upscale interior and new styling cues that were eye catching. With glowing reviews and brisk sales it seemed that GM had fallen a market for it V8 rear wheel drive performance sedan.

There were announcements that further Holden models were to be branded Pontiac and brought to America. The G8 Sport Truck was going to be the entry of the Ute to the USA. It would have been a true descendant of the El Camino. A V8 powered RWD blend of the sedan and small pickup.

Pontiac had something that opened new eyes to the struggling brand. Unfortunately, it was too late to save Pontiac from the chopping block amid GM’s financial restructuring. There was talk of the popular G8 being rebranded a Chevrolet, but that never happened. The  Australian imports from Holden came to an end.

Today the G8 GXP is a collectors item. According to Kelley Blue Book the expected price of a good condition G8 GXP with 60,000 miles is almost $25,000. For a seven-year-old sedan from a discontinued car maker, that is remarkable. The GT version, with a respectable 361hp V8, drops to $14,000 for a similar quality car. 

It really is too bad that the collapse of GM ended the import of the performance products from Holden. The Holden performance designers have come up with some amazing creations that would be a welcome sight in the USA. The Pontiac G8 GXP was just a taste of what could have been.

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