Pontiac: performance or practical?

Pontiac has hit a homerun with the G8. So why is it being yanked?

Pontiac has hit a homerun with the G8. So why is it being yanked?

 

When you think of performance vehicles, odds are names like BMW, Porsche, even Mercedes or Lexus will come to mind. Pontiac probably wouldn’t make the list.

Yet Pontiac is the company with the slogan of “game changing performance.” Of their 6 models, though, only two of them stand a chance of living up to that promise, and they’re both going away.

The RWD G8 and Solstice have given us reason to hope that the slogan would become more than just a marketing ploy, but oh my how things can change.  Pontiac recently announced the discontinuation of these cars, leaving GM’s one-time ‘Driving Excitement’ brand with only front-wheel-drive midrange sedans, coupes, and unexciting crossovers. So much for GM’s claims of eventually turning Pontiac into an American version of BMW.

Without the G8 and the Solstice, Pontiac is left with the G6, the G5, the Torrent, and the Vibe. That’s certainly a lineup capable of delivering an adequate commute, but hardly reaches the performance level that Pontiac has always aimed for.

This is a sign of two possibilities: 

  1. GM is in the process of rebranding Pontiac toward the fuel efficient and practical… or
  2. GM is in the process of phasing Pontiac out completely.

Option 1 would be a complete 180-degree shift from Pontiac’s performance history and is the less plausible outcome. Option 2 is more feasible, especially considering the talks of a possible GM/Chrysler merger. Pontiac would be left in the unenviable position of being an expendable brand simply because its main selling point, performance, would be gone. 

Pontiac isn’t worth keeping around if they’re not even going to try living up to their ‘game changing performance’ claim. I’d rather see Pontiac ride valiantly and proud into automotive history than relegate itself to practicality.

What do you think- Is a Pontiac without any performance worthy of existing?

-tgriffith

2 Comments

  1. my first car was a 1998 trans am that was a hell of a “performance vehicle” . But since they don’t make those anymore you can’t count it right?… what about the gto u can get that with the 5.7 L can’t you ?

  2. My first car was a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am with a 6.6 liter with a shaker hood. That was Pontiac excitement. I now drive a Chevy Blazer but a co-worker just bought a G8 and took me for a death ride. I was very impressed and it may actually be faster then my T/A was. Why when a car company like GM hits a home run do they wind up killing it. The Inter cooled Grand National comes to mind. Please don’t take my Pontiac power away!

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