Based on the current Australian Holden Commodore sedan, the Pontiac G8 is a new model for North America. The first time I saw one on in my area, I was drawn to its deeply sculpted fenders, arching waistline and aggressively-styled fascias. A rear under diffuser and dual polished exhaust outlets evoke a strong European style that's emphasized by the beefy, rip-snorting front end.
Built on GM's latest version of its global rear-wheel drive architecture that underpins the 2010 Camaro, the 2009 G8 lineup includes three sedans starting with the base model that comes with a 256-hp 3.6L V6 with VVT and five-speed automatic transmission.
The six-cylinder powerplant in my tester makes 248 ft-lbs of torque at 2100 rpm with an EPA rated fuel economy of 17/25 mpg. Further up-line, the GT and track-tuned GXP models both get V8s – the latter 6.2-liter LS3 options boasts well over 400 ponies – and six-speed automatics. A manual is optional on the GXP.