2008 Pontiac G8: Eulogy Thoughts
September 29, 2009
I've lamented previously that the G8 won't be living on as a Chevy Caprice, Buick Park Avenue, Saturn G8 or Geely Gwokdong or whatever. All that was important was that this interesting car didn't die. However, I now see why GM's death panel decided to pull the plug on Grandpa G8.
The G8 was clearly the type of car that Pontiac should've been making for years -- a rear-drive, discount BMW with primal American flavor that actually delivered excitement. Unfortunately, it should've been introduced before the 50th minute of the 11th hour.
Yet even if Pontiac had caught on earlier and prevented this from happening, I seriously doubt tthe G8 could ever have been a volume seller. Gear heads like us love the idea of a discount BMW with a primal V8, but large sedan buyers would frankly end up looking elsewhere. Within GM itself, the Buick LaCrosse offers a more comfortable ride and an exponentially nicer interior with an equally large back seat that features moveable head rests and a center armrest. You also don't have to speak Australian to figure out how to use the stereo or find a button in the climate controls. Ditto the Ford Taurus and probably any number of midsize sedans.
While neither the LaCrosse or Taurus offer the sort of heart-racing performance as the G8, most Americans would gladly sacrifice 0-60 for comfort and luxury. So even if the G8 could've survived, it would have been a niche car for people who couldn't afford a 5 Series, people who need to replace their Trans Am or people who speak Australian. It would've been a fun niche, but such a niche simply couldn't survive in the New GM.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 32,569 miles