Posted Jul 3rd 2007 by Frank Filipponio
We visited this issue in February, when Winding Road speculated Pontiac would get a Camaro spinoff, but now Car and Driver is weighing in. With the imminent return of the Chevy Camaro, many Poncho fans have wondered about a possible return of the screaming chicken, as well. Pontiac's last attempt at reviving a storied model (GTO) met with mixed results.
The GTO was supposed to be a slam dunk for Pontiac. Take an existing rear drive muscular platform, add a few Pontiac trim pieces and a GTO badge, and voilà, instant success. Well, it didn't quite go as planned and GTO sales were rather tepid. Not that it wasn't a good car, especially in 6.0 form, but it didn't really set hearts aflutter, especially compared to the wildly successful retro Mustang.
So will Pontiac get a new GTO, or maybe a Firebird instead? With the G8 coming to replace the Bonneville and Grand Prix, a suitable RWD platform is already approved for US consumption. And of course, it's also underpinning that hot new Camaro. So if Pontiac gets a new muscle coupe, will it show up as a goat or a chicken? That's what Car and Driver asked Pontiac. After a long silence, C and D finally got some answers. Surprisingly, they seem to point towards a new GTO.
They based this on Bob Lutz's own words: "No carbon copy of the Camaro will make it into any other GM-brand showroom" is how they put it. They also point out that while a Firebird would have to be essentially the same as a Camaro, a GTO from the same platform could be bigger and different enough to claim its own place in the market, maybe more of a G8 coupe.
Whichever badge this future Pontiac sport coupe wears, it should get the same 261-hp 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 or 362-hp LS2 6.0-liter V-8 options as the G8. They would be offered with five or six-speed automatics, respectively, but six-speed manuals should be available, as well. Tough choice, really – a Firebird that would be a restyled Camaro, or a GTO that could go its own way. Which would you choose?
Original Source: Car and Driver