As the Pontiac GXP Sedan receives praise for its performance and design by among the auto scribes of both print and web, Edmunds InsideLine reports that hope for the GXP Coupe version is still alive… but barely.
Immediately following the passing of the recent CAFE standards fuel mileage bill into law the mighty execs. at Pontiac and GM scrapped the ideas for their performance cars the G8 GXP Sedan, Ute and Coupe like children tossing toys when their mother says “Go to bed.” After some wrangling and since they were obviously far enough ahead on the project to have it out this year, the G8 GXP Sedan version has survived to see production. The Ute model has also been revived and is now working toward seeing the dealership showrooms, as some believe it was Bob Lutz’s affinity for the Ute that got them this far. Now the battle begins for the Coupe, and word is that right now the battle is at a stalemate.
Pontiac’s recent flirtings with the “excitement” that they feel GM and the Government is trying to deprive them are all based on designs from their Aussie GM family member Holden. The G8 is derived from the Holden Monaro and the Holden Commodore Ute, that is Monaro from the cab forward, is the bases for the G8 Ute here in the states. So too the G8 Coupe would find its design inspiration from a recently unveiled design at the Melbourne Auto Show in Australia. It is the Holden Coupe 60 (full gallery to follow) and it is the latest refashioning of the older design last known as the GTO in the states.
A G8 GXP Coupe stemming from the Holden Coupe 60 design would be an easy transition for Pontiac to make and would provide them yet another vehicle for excitement (yep, not letting that go.). Speculation on powertrains for the GXP Coupe range from a 402-hp 6.2 liter LS3 V8, to compete against the super powers of the Ford Shelby Mustang KR500, Dodge Challenger SRT8 and the Camaro SS, the 361-hp 6.0 liter from the GXP Sedan and a smaller V6 to satisfy some CAFE balance in the line-up.
Some might question (okay, it was us) how Pontiac has gone from being deprived from All performance derivatives not too long ago to now championing the cause of a sport coupe. Well, maybe this review of the G8 GXP by Edmunds InsideLine can give a good indication.
In the Edmunds article concerning the fight amongst the Pontiac and GM brass over the need, support and logistics of the Pontiac G8 GXP Coupe some renderings of what it might look like were provided. While what has become the standard front end for the Pontiac brand dominates the nose of the car, and that may put off some who cringe instantly upon the sight, the Coupe Concept does hold some attention.
However, when you compare the Pontiac G8 GXP Coupe rendering to the source for it all, the Holden Coupe 60 Concept, you begin to wonder why Auto Makers have designers here in the US. If you look at what Ford designers in the US did to the 2008 Euro-based Focus, and then look at what GM/Pontiac designers do to their Holden counterparts, …almost shameful. The Holden Coupe 60 is a strong design that bests the GXP Coupe renderings by grasping your attention and then driving off with it… Despite having what we see as a little of the new Honda Accord to its design. See for yourself…
In the end what we have is a struggle for a performance coupe that is expected to be 3 years away from being realized. A lot of things can happen in three years. If a G8 GXP Performance Coupe will be one of those things we will just have to wait to see… and speculate, ofcourse.
Source[EdmundsInsideLine, Holden Coupe 60 reveal pictures by, Sarah Biggin]