The Pontiac G8 sport sedan comes in two models for 2009: the G8 and G8 GT. The G8 comes with a 256-horsepower, 3.6L V6 with variable valve timing, while the G8 GT steps up to a 6.0L V8 making 361 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission and the V8 is mated to a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. A six-speed manual is reportedly a possible mid-year addition. The V8 uses the Active Fuel Management system, which saves fuel while coasting or cruising by temporarily shutting off half of the cylinders.
The G8's suspension has a four-wheel independent design and is adjustable, front and rear, in several different ways to provide tailored suspension tuning. Powerful four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock are standard on the G8; they're vented in front on both models, but the G8's brakes are even larger to handle additional braking needs.
The interior features a cockpit-like instrument panel, dressed up with satin and chrome trim plus Pontiac-signature red lighting. Well-bolstered sport seats are ready to offer firm support in cornering with good overall comfort. Optional on the G8 GT model is a two-tone cloth or leather combination, which brings black seats with red or blue inserts and color-matched instrument faces. From the outside, there's quite a bit of attention to design details; for instance, in back on GT models there are clear taillight lenses and quad chrome exhaust tips, while all G8s have projector-beam headlamps, fog lamps, and an aggressive front fascia.
The G8 GT also piles on more luxury features, including dual-zone climate control and an 11-speaker Blaupunkt audio system with MP3-compatible six-disc changer and big LCD color display. Bluetooth and XM satellite radio round out the notable standard items.
On the safety front, seat-mounted thorax air bags are standard, as are roof-mounted side curtain air bags that cover front and rear outboard occupants. Electronic stability control is also included, as is traction control.
Major options include a Sport Package, available on both models, which brings larger 19-inch aluminum wheels, summer performance tires, leather trim, and alloy pedals A Premium Package includes leather upholstery, leather trim, and heated power front seats.