In New York, Pontiac unveiled the hottest version of its new G8 sedan, called the GXP. It will become the flagship of Pontiac's performance series — which includes GXP versions of the Solstice, G6 and Torrent — when it goes on sale late this year. The two main differences that make this G8 a GXP are the LS3 V-8 and the optional 6-speed manual transmission.
The 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 (the G8 GT uses a 361-bhp 6.0-liter) is pretty much the same terrific new pushrod small-block found in the 2008 C6 Corvette — one of the very best V-8s ever made.
Although horsepower and torque numbers aren't finalized yet, Pontiac estimates the outputs at 402 bhp and 402 lb.-ft. of torque (the torque for the 6-speed manual is estimated at 400 lb.-ft.). The horsepower figure is down 28 to the Vette, but torque is about the same.
Unlike the G8 GT, which is currently available only with an automatic, the GXP can be ordered with the Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual transmission. A Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed automatic will come standard. Pontiac estimates the G8 GXP will hit 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and will run the quarter mile in 13 flat.
A limited-slip differential comes standard, as befits a true performance machine. The manual-transmission GXP has a curb weight of 4025 lb.
Pontiac officials say the GXP's suspension system — which is adjustable front and rear — was developed on racetracks all over the world, including Germany's famous Nürburgring. The front features fully adjustable caster, camber and toe, while the rear has adjustable camber and toe. The car rides on 19-in. polished aluminum alloy wheels with summer performance tires, size 245/40R-19; an all-season tire will be available as well. Brembo supplied the GXP with 14-in. vented rotors with 4-piston aluminum calipers up front and 12.8-in. rotors clamped by single-piston calipers at the rear.
The G8 GXP can be differentiated from the regular G8 by a unique front fascia with a lower splitter and a new rear that includes a diffuser. And the hot new wheels that completely fill up the muscular fender flares. Inside are highly bolstered, two-tone sport seats.
The next two years in the muscle arena is going to be fun to watch! With all of the competition (Challenger, Camaro, Mustang + Imports) this couldn't be a better time for us motorheads. Ya, i've already figured in the gas crunch, so let's leave that discussion alone. Anyway, must respect to all and look forward to conversing.