Swan Song 2009 Pontiac G8 GT Is Today's Bring a Trailer Auction Pick

2009 pontiac g8 gt
2009 Pontiac G8 GT Is Today's BaT Auction PickBring a Trailer
  • Introduced in late 2007, the Pontiac G8 was the GM division's first totally new rear-wheel-drive sedan in decades and easily its most exciting, but it launched right into the teeth of the Great Recession.

  • Closely based on the Holden Commodore SS, the G8 GT packed a 361-hp 6.0-liter V-8 and handled like a BMW 5-series.

  • Just over 38,000 G8s were made, about two-thirds of them GTs. Values are already rising and clean examples are hard to find; this one's up for sale until May 9.

It seems both impossibly long ago and like just yesterday, but Pontiac officially got the ax 15 years ago last week. Loyal fans are still bitter today, but in 2009 it felt especially galling because the brand seemed to be in the midst of a real renaissance. Two years earlier the Pontiac G8 had debuted to raves from fans and critics alike. Though made in Australia by Holden, the rear-drive G8 genuinely had excitement built in, not tacked on with plastic cladding. It looked like a winner until GM's Great Recession crackup intervened.

The actual final Pontiac built was an unremarkable G6 sedan, but as last-of-the-line legends and future collectibles go, the G8 is hard to top. Clean examples, like this 62,000-mile 2009 Pontiac G8 GT up for sale on Bring a Trailer (which, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos), are already appreciating.

2009 pontiac g8 gt
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It's not hard to see where the critical praise came from. Pontiac's first totally new rear-wheel-drive sedan since 1978, it had the looks, speed, and swagger of the brand's old-school muscle cars but the handling of a BMW 5-series. It also looked more distinctive than Pontiac's first Holden collaboration, the 2004–2006 GTO.


Pontiac's Aussie connection was the work of famous product planner Bob Lutz. He joined GM in September of 2001, soon after he'd read an article in which a Holden HSV took on a BMW M5 and won. Lutz, who arrived just in time to deal with the fallout from the Aztek, recognized that Holden still built cars like those of Pontiac's 1960s golden age. Like Car and Driver's editors, Lutz didn't understand why they weren't sold here and soon pushed to change that, but he crashed headlong into GM's insular corporate culture.

As he described in his book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters, "The reasons not to do this came pouring in, mostly revolving around the fact that it wasn't 'our' car; it 'belonged' to GM Asia-Pacific.'" Lutz fought for months to get the 2004 GTO built, and he won, though it proved a lukewarm seller thanks to its bland looks and exchange rates that pushed up its price.

He was not deterred. By early 2004 Holden was designing its next Commodore, the VE-series, on which Lutz and Pontiac's planners based the more marketable four-door G8. It debuted at the 2007 Chicago auto show.

If you weren't raised on the steady diet of plastic-clad front-drive Pontiacs in the 1980s and 1990s, it's hard to overstate how impressive the 2008 G8 was. The long, low, and wide styling impressed immediately and looked harmonious with the Solstice, another impressive Lutz project. Yes, the unhappy orange gauges and hard interior plastics remained, but they were easy to forgive by looking under the hood. There lurked either a 256-hp 3.6-liter V-6 or a 312-hp 6.0-liter V-8 driving the rear wheels.

Best of all, it drove as good as it looked, winning positive reviews and comparison tests alike. Initial interest seemed strong, so GM also mooted bringing over the Commodore's wagon and ute versions. The latter even appeared at the 2008 New York auto show as the G8 ST. An even hotter G8, the 415-hp 6.2-liter LS3-powered GXP, arrived that fall as an addition for 2009, complete with an optional Tremec six-speed manual, but things unraveled soon after.

By the time the 2009 G8s hit lots, GM's slide into bankruptcy had already begun. G8 sales had also been hurt by high gas prices and consumers' fading confidence in GM. G8 production was done by July 2009, although the GXP was later reincarnated as the Chevrolet SS.

2009 pontiac g8 gt
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Roughly 38,400 G8s were made, and about two-thirds of them were 6.0-liter GTs. After Pontiac's cancellation and GM's bankruptcy, they were hard to sell, and lots of them were deeply discounted on the lots of dying dealerships or ended up sold to fleets, including this one. It supposedly started life as a (totally awesome) Nova Scotia rental car.

Fifteen years later, it's still a supreme performance bargain. It's handsome, handles well and can turn in a mid-13-second quarter-mile. It probably won't break the bank, either, though G8 values have been steadily rising. Clean ones like this are rare now, even more so with nice extras like heated seats and a booming Blaupunkt stereo. If you don't rack up too many miles, it's also not likely to lose much value given this car's fan base.

Your chance to own this last great Pontiac ends May 9.

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