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GXP Heralds New 'Box, But Yanks Short-Changed

Chris Gable
28 March 2008
www.wheelsmag.com.au

Pontiac's performance king heralds a new manual transmission for Holdens and HSVs, but its LS3 doesn't pack the same punch as HSVs soon get.

The Commodore ute wasn’t the only Aussie granted American residency at the New York show.

Alongside the load-lugger sat this Pontiac G8 GXP, a new high-performance variant that will crown the G8 range from August this year.

Based on an HSV Clubsport R8, although built exclusively on Holden’s production lines at its Elizabeth plant in South Oz, the muscled-up Pontiac breathes fire thanks to the 6.2-litre, LS3 V8 under the bonnet. The same engine that will power our local HSVs from mid-April onwards.

The G8 GXP will also be the only G8 variant to offer a manual transmission, with the new Tremec TR6060 six-speeder available alongside the 6L80E self-shifter. This is significant because it means that TR6060 trannies are being shipped Down Under, so the existing T56 gearbox that powers Holdens and HSVs is on borrowed time. Expect the new transmission in local cars at VE and E Series facelift time in 2009 or 2010.

But it does seem the Yanks are being short-changed.

Click here to continue article



Pontiac G8 GXP and HSV LS3
 

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Take this report optimistically, and with a grain of salt, because it has a silver lining.

GMNA have decided to give this car a detuned LS3 mill instead of your ordinary LS2, so that it can simultaneously be sold under the high CAFE tax radar but have oodles of potential to make good power.

If it were sold without the de-tune you'd be looking at thousands and thousands more onto the sticker price, but GM's decision is wise - you should have a fair bit of money left over (especially if this is priced well relative to the G8 and G8 GT) if you so choose to modify your car, which leaves customers with the option to do as they like with the car, a win - win situation that could only be beaten by bargain priced dealer options like fitted induction exhaust fuel and a supercharger.


You'll want to replace the exhaust system to free up that wheezy breath into a roar anyway, right?

Replace the stainless true duals system from the extractors to the rear mufflers then throw on a larger throttle body and bigger intake with a re-tune and you'll already be making mountains of power on just some of the money you saved by buying this car over it's competitors.
 

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Take this report optimistically, and with a grain of salt, because it has a silver lining.

GMNA have decided to give this car a detuned LS3 mill instead of your ordinary LS2, so that it can simultaneously be sold under the high CAFE tax radar but have oodles of potential to make good power.

If it were sold without the de-tune you'd be looking at thousands and thousands more onto the sticker price, but GM's decision is wise - you should have a fair bit of money left over (especially if this is priced well relative to the G8 and G8 GT) if you so choose to modify your car, which leaves customers with the option to do as they like with the car, a win - win situation that could only be beaten by bargain priced dealer options like fitted induction exhaust fuel and a supercharger.


You'll want to replace the exhaust system to free up that wheezy breath into a roar anyway, right?

Replace the stainless true duals system from the extractors to the rear mufflers then throw on a larger throttle body and bigger intake with a re-tune and you'll already be making mountains of power on just some of the money you saved by buying this car over it's competitors.
Plus, with the existing (better) Holden vehicles, and engines out there (in addition to Corvette applications) there will be plenty of high performance parts available when you're ready to upgrade!
 

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Concidering the GTO had a 64% manual shift take rate, why is GM limiting its availability in the G8 line-up? I want a Ute with a stick!!
 

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@Kamshaaft
Or, the ~30 missing ponies went to the ever tightening US Emissions regulations. It seems it would be cheaper to drop in an already tuned engine than spend the resources and $$ to purposely derate it.
 

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@Kamshaaft
Or, the ~30 missing ponies went to the ever tightening US Emissions regulations..
That's part of the CAFE and tax thing I mentioned ;)

It seems it would be cheaper to drop in an already tuned engine than spend the resources and $$ to purposely derate it.
I dunno, is it? LS2 engines are going out of production, so either way the LS3 or a variant was the only ultimate V8 option, and the only way that'd happen - as opposed to outsourcing for a new V8, or producing more LS2's - would be to get it in under CAFE.

If they were still producing enough LS2's to make them a viable option, they'd more than likely go with the LS3 anyway, and I put it that it's for the reasons I rekoned...



..though your rekoning is as good as any.
 

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@Kamshaaft
Or, the ~30 missing ponies went to the ever tightening US Emissions regulations. It seems it would be cheaper to drop in an already tuned engine than spend the resources and $$ to purposely derate it.
Couldn't they just throw a tighter airbox in there, and mess with the computer and steal the 30 horses?

I dunno about gas engines, but if there's 100 horses and 200 ft/lb of torque to be had by plugging a computer into a diesel truck, than I'm sure they can do 30 horses in a gas car.

That wouldn't cost much would it?
 

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Concidering the GTO had a 64% manual shift take rate, why is GM limiting its availability in the G8 line-up? I want a Ute with a stick!!
The GTO's only auto trans choice was a FOUR-speed, so that lowered the numbers of those who wanted it. The auto GTOs also added a $1300 gas guzzler tax. Besides, as a four door sedan, the G8 will be perceived as less of a purely "sporty car", and more towards the "family car" side of the spectrum.

There are also rumors of a gas guzzler tax on the G8 MANUAL trans cars (exactly backwards from the GTO) due to having no AFM on the manual cars.

We should consider ourselves lucky that the G8 GXP will offer a manual. In case you haven't noticed, the choice of a manual trans has been steadily disappearing in the US.
 

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Concidering the GTO had a 64% manual shift take rate, why is GM limiting its availability in the G8 line-up? I want a Ute with a stick!!
Who knows. GM seems to hate manuals for some reason...There was also no reason why the stick shift should have been so limited in the G6 lineup, either.
 

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The GTO's only auto trans choice was a FOUR-speed, so that lowered the numbers of those who wanted it. The auto GTOs also added a $1300 gas guzzler tax. Besides, as a four door sedan, the G8 will be perceived as less of a purely "sporty car", and more towards the "family car" side of the spectrum.

There are also rumors of a gas guzzler tax on the G8 MANUAL trans cars (exactly backwards from the GTO) due to having no AFM on the manual cars.

We should consider ourselves lucky that the G8 GXP will offer a manual. In case you haven't noticed, the choice of a manual trans has been steadily disappearing in the US.
It also seems that the G8 should get no worse fuel economy than the GTO, even without AFM...The LS3 should be at least as efficient as the LS2, and its not like the car is that much larger or heavier.
 

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De-tuned or not, I'd rather have the LS3. Better heads and newer intake design = more potential power from available power upgrades.

F-body guys are getting 400 REAR WHEEL horsepower from the LS1 with just a cam swap and bolt-ons. Albeit, they're using monster camshafts, but the potential is there. Newer, better motor means more potential.
 

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G8 GT will be percieved as a family sedan? So the Charger is a Family sedan as well? SRT8 included in that statement as well. Charger SRT8 is a family sedan...good to know.
GM isnt limiting the take on the 6spd manual trans, it will be available for all GXP models, which is the performance model. The G8 GT is a performance sedan, and in the sedan world, not many people want a manual trans, unless someone is going to gun for a higher performance version.
If you read my interview with David Smidebush, you will see why the ST wont get one right now.
 

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G8 GT will be percieved as a family sedan? So the Charger is a Family sedan as well? SRT8 included in that statement as well. Charger SRT8 is a family sedan...good to know.....
Yes, a 4 door sedan (G8) will be more perceived as a family car than a 2 door coupe (GTO). Sorry you didn't know.

(Yes, this rule works for other cars too, even Chryslers)
 

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Couldn't they just throw a tighter airbox in there, and mess with the computer and steal the 30 horses?

I dunno about gas engines, but if there's 100 horses and 200 ft/lb of torque to be had by plugging a computer into a diesel truck, than I'm sure they can do 30 horses in a gas car.

That wouldn't cost much would it?
the reason diesels can pick up that much pwr from just a tune is primarily do to the fact that they are turbo charged and overbuilt because of their stratospheric compression rates. so in effect a "tune" or "chipping" of a diesel is the inequivalent of a after market heads and cam upgrade on a n/a gas engine in a car.
 

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De-tuned or not, I'd rather have the LS3. Better heads and newer intake design = more potential power from available power upgrades.

F-body guys are getting 400 REAR WHEEL horsepower from the LS1 with just a cam swap and bolt-ons. Albeit, they're using monster camshafts, but the potential is there. Newer, better motor means more potential.
agreed, and for the record; ls2 guys are getting well over 420 rwhp with mean street cams and headers. with a large "monster" cam, 450+ is posssible. so i'm all for the LS3 in the GXP. never mind that the L76 is capable of 500hp with headers, a big cam, and tune. so either way, GM fans win!:yup:
 

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Replace the stainless true duals system from the extractors to the rear mufflers then throw on a larger throttle body and bigger intake with a re-tune and you'll already be making mountains of power on just some of the money you saved by buying this car over it's competitors.[/QUOTE] unless the tune and parts are GM approved you will lose your warranty on any parts that are effected by the parts or tune
 

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I guess we'll see how shortchanged we feel when the real pricing is announced. I am a little disappointed that a manual won't at least be available in the GT trim. I don't know if I can make the jump from 30k to the upper 30's for a GXP....... time will tell I suppose...
 

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I wonder if they are worried about that new ZF rear end center section?
The GTO wasn't the strongest. Perhaps by limiting the manual transmissions they'll limit the failures. We have a perfectly good supplier here in the US and the IRS version of the AAM 860 would be plenty strong for the LS3 manual. Instead we get an unfamiliar ZF unit with little aftermarket support and questionable strength.

I'm not saying NO yet, but I am waiting to see what racers say about the 8.3 ZF IRS.
 
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