2008 Pontiac G8 GT: The Anti-Camaro SS
September 30, 2009
With more than 30,000 miles on the odometer, our Pontiac G8 has led a hard life. The transmission lurches from gear to gear when it's cold and there's an annoying flutter from the back of the car (subframe, body panel?) that registers over stutter bumps. It's as if the car has spent a little time flat-out on the dirt roads of the Australian outback. Or maybe our Josh Jacquot has driven it more than a little.
And yet the G8 still drives great, a real American-style car in the dramatic way it does things and European in its ability to deliver the requisite finesse when the circumstances calls for it. In fact the Pontiac G8 is everything that the Chevrolet Camaro SS is not.
Maybe it's the more deliberate action of the steering and throttle. Maybe it's the ability of the chassis to glide over the rough patches in the road without losing its grip in the corners. Maybe it's the good visibility from the driver seat.
The Camaro SS has much the same hardware as the Pontiac G8, but it feels as it's been screwed down a little too tightly, like the GM engineers have set it up to achieve great test numbers but not necessarily great driving. The Pontiac Solstice sports car always drove the same way, like it had been calibrated as GM engineer John Heinricy's ride in the SCCA run-offs.
Every time I walk away from the 2008 Pontiac G8, I think about what a great drive it is. Whenever I walk away from the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, I never look back.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 32,650 miles