Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: RIP PONTIAC 1926-2010
Pontiac's G8 follows GTO
The G8 was the first full-sized Pontiac since the 2005 Bonneville and the 2006 Monaro-based GTO. It was shortlisted for the 2009 North American Car of the Year award but lost to the Hyundai Genesis, which has also failed to sell in expected numbers, despite being billed by some as comparable to four-door sedans from BMW and Mercedes despite being vastly less expensive. Recent market prices have been up to $7000 lower than Pontiac’s official G8 price.
The G8 is available in the US with a 191kW 3.6-litre V8 similar to the Alloytec V6 that powers Australia’s Commodore, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
Next year, it was due to be replaced by a direct-injection version, which offers about 220kW and is similar to the V6 found in the Cadillac CTS and the entry-level version of the Holden-engineered Chevrolet Camaro coupe, which is based on the VE Commodore’s global rear-drive Zeta chassis architecture.
The Pontiac G8 ST came with a 269kW 6.0-litre Gen IV V8 with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and a six-speed automatic transmission, while the range-topping G8 GXP packed a 309kW 6.2-litre V8 similar to that used by HSV and the Chevrolet Corvette. It was the only G8 also available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Holden’s four-door Crewman utility made an appearance as the GMC Denali concept vehicle but its two-door Holden Ute sibling was launched by Pontiac alongside the GXP at the New York motor show in March 2008. Powered by a 220kW V6 and 269kW V8, the so-called G8 ST (for Sport Truck) Holden Ute would have been Pontiac’s first pick-up truck.
Inside NSA's LAPD prototype
The NSA is a not-for-profit advanced technology research organisation that aims to deliver real-time decision-support tools via integrated information and communication technology (ICT) systems to various platforms in the international public safety, security and emergency services sector.
Its vision is to deliver practical solutions that can be rapidly deployed in the field to enhance decision making, increase personnel safety and simplify knowledge transfer.
Billed as the most technologically advanced police car in the world, the Commodore-based LAPD patrol car was built as a test-bed to trial the latest technology in the vehicle environment. It is claimed to turn a standard vehicle into a ‘virtual office’ for emergency services personnel.
Much of the technology incorporated into the vehicle was showcased in the Emergency Service Concept Vehicle (ESCV) the NSA revealed in December 2007, including automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), remote WAN and database access, vehicle telematics/diagnostics, mobile automatic fingerprint (incorporated into a PDA) and facial recognition units, officer safety cameras and HAZMAT/building information.
The ESCV began as an offshoot of the Standardised Approach For Emergency (SAFE) vehicles project, which was commissioned by the NSA in conjunction with the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC), GM Holden and AutoCRC, with research from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) and the Monash University Department of Engineering (MUDE).
According to NSA, the purpose of the Commodore SV6-based SAFE, which was produced with assistance from suppliers including Motorola and Hazard Systems, was to understand emergency driver user-interface requirements and safety issues, and to develop a standardised interface platform that addresses ergonomic design and safety.
Trials held in LA showed that a vehicle fitted with ANPR could scan between 5000 and 8000 vehicles in a 10-hour session, the data from which is related to officers via a laptop notebook. In addition, features such as a duress button allows for back-up to be called more quickly than via radio, while in-car cameras provide real-time back-to-base video of offenders for use in court of for training.
Another trial in LA showed the facial recognition function was able to identify gang members, allowing field officers to identify suspects without bringing them back to the station.