Thunder From Downunder: HSV Clubsport R8 To Form Basis For Pontiac GXP Photo:
pont_g8_gxp_01.jpg Photo: tmr
pont_g8_gxp_07.jpg Photo: tmr
pont_g8_gxp_02.jpg Photo: tmr
pont_g8_gxp_03.jpg Photo: tmr
pont_g8_gxp_04.jpg Photo: tmr
pont_g8_gxp_05.jpg Photo: tmr
pont_g8_gxp_06.jpg Photo: tmr
Tony O'Kane | Sep, 11 2008 | 5 Comments

Word on the wire is that Pontiac's upcoming hi-performance sedan, the G8 GXP, will be largely built around the HSV Clubsport R8's mechanicals, meaning our Yankee pals across the Pacific will soon be able to sample the delights of a Corvette-derived 6.2-litre LS3 V8 mounted in the nose of the Aussie-built, Holden Commodore-based RWD sedan.

Power is slightly down in the GXP compared to the Clubsport R8, with the US-bound car getting 309kW rather than the R8's 317kW. On the upside, the GXP's LS3 will churn out a peak torque figure of 563Nm, which bests the HSV's peak twist by 13Nm.

Pont_G8_GXP_06 Transmission options are also expected to mirror those offered in the Aus-spec "Clubbie", with a six-speed Tremec manual (hooray!) or a six-speed tiptronic auto taking power from the LS3 to the rear wheels. The GXP will wear HSV-designed 19-inch rims, with a quartet of Brembo brake calipers peering out from behind those alloy spokes. Suspension will also be revised to improve handling, and a limited-slip differential will help improve traction under power.

While the GXP is mechanically solid and boasts an impressive arsenal of performance goodies, there's one thing that's conspicuously absent from the whole package - a more aggressive appearance. While the Clubsport R8 is clothed in one hell of a purposeful, brutish bodykit, the G8 GXP looks pedestrian by comparison, and virtually identical to the cooking model G8. Is it the making of a good sleeper, or a slap in the face of Pontiac enthusiasts looking for a loud, attention-grabbing performance sedan? We'll find out which is the case when the GXP goes on sale in the first half of 2009.

[GM Inside News]

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