2010 Pontiac - will it be Firebird or GTO?

 by Evander Klum

Jim Hopson from Pontiac communications called Car and Driver (www.carand driver.com) on what's looking more like a choice between a Firebird and a GTO on the 2010 Pontiac.

By 2010 Pontiac's pretty much guaranteed to get at least one muscle car from the productive rear-drive Zeta platform (Global Rear Wheel Drive Architecture), though still unconfirmed up to now.

The first Pontiac product under Zeta is the 2008 G8 sedan which will replace the Bonneville and the current Grand Prix in early 2008. The G8 will be brought from Australia, where the Aussies conceptualized the RWD family.

Hopson confirmed the second Zeta for Pontiac has been kicking around "heritage" names, including Firebird and GTO, for a future muscle car. Journalists at the Car And Driver suspect Pontiac is leaning toward the GTO. If that would be the case, will it be possible that the 2010 Pontiac will be equipped with Hurst shifters as the products of Hurst Performance Inc. were included in the Pontiac GTO? Well, we have to see.

Bob Lutz, GM's product guru asserted that the days of product sharing and badge engineering are somehow over and has stated emphatically that no Camaro prototype will make it into any other GM-brand showroom.

Hopson said the challenge becomes making a new muscle car distinctive enough to comfort Lutz and the market at large without being "very" unique.

The "heritage" names give 50 percent risk and 50 percent opportunity. This challenge stresses the double-edged sword of reviving heritage names, which must be competitive and relevant today while meeting expectations of performance, character, and appearance. Hopson said they are very cautious about bringing back heritage names due to Pontiac's struggle to convince buyers that the Australian-built, Holden Monaro-based 2004-06 GTO was, in fact, worthy of its slicked name.

According to Hopson, whether it makes sense in this day and age to sell two muscle cars under the same brand umbrella, or even three under two brands is still a question. But he added there's an extraordinarily small chance that we would see two performance coupes.

As for Hopson, he would choose a GTO because he said Firebird and Camaro would be expected to be extraordinarily similar, and they could do more with GTO.

Under the skin of Pontiac's future muscle car would certainly share both of the upcoming G8 sedan's engines, including a 261-hp, 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 and 362-hp, LS2 6.0-liter pushrod V-8, offered with five- and six-speed automatics, respectively, with available six-speed manuals (the G8 gets autoboxes only). Like most of GM's big V-8s, this 6.0-liter would have cylinder deactivation or "active fuel management," as GM now refers to this technology.

But whatever form it will eventually take and whatever name will be assigned to it, Pontiac's Zeta-based muscle car will certainly get prominent placement in its U.S. dealer showrooms, which are increasingly being mixed with Buick and GMC brands by the time it arrives. Neither of which has sports cars or muscle cars of its own.

About the Author: Evander Klum is a Business Administration graduate who hails from Alabama. He enjoys extreme sports and he is also a car racing fanatic. At present, he works as a marketing manager at an advertising agency in Cleveland.

Article Source: EasyArticles.com Jul 12 2007

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