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G6’s SENSUOUS DESIGN DRIVEN BY SEGMENT-LEADING WHEELBASE

DETROIT - At 112.3 inches, the wheelbase of the all-new, midsize 2005 Pontiac G6 sports sedan rivals that of larger cars, yet its overall length is 187.7 inches. These dramatic proportions were the foundation designers used to sculpt a taut, expressive sedan in Pontiac’s fresh, contemporary design language.

The G6 sports sedan, as well as 2+2 sports coupe and convertible models to be introduced later, is the newest example of Pontiac’s design direction, which combines smooth surfaces and contemporary forms with refined details. The G6 sedan goes on sale in Fall 2004.

“The G6’s design says everything about Pontiac’s renaissance,” said Jeff Perkins, design manager for the G6. “Performance is expressed through clean, dramatic proportions and refined details - it looks fast even while sitting still.”

With the class-leading wheelbase as the reference point, designers pushed out the A-pillars and C-pillars to complement the G6’s wheels-at-the-corners stance. Along with a wedge-shaped beltline, the raked windshield and rear window help to visually lower the vehicle. Its stance also is accented by tightly wrapped front and rear fascias.

“The G6 is about the same length as the Grand Am, but the wheelbase is five inches longer - that creates dramatically shorter overhangs, which allowed us to wrap the front and rear fascias around the corners for a tighter appearance,” said Perkins. “The headlamps and taillamps also were wrapped around the corners to enhance the tight design.”

Athletic cues are found in the prominent wheel flares, which were designed around the G6’s family of 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheel-and-tire combinations. More pronounced rear flares were enabled by the 112.3-inch wheelbase, which permitted a wider rear track. The flares and sport-touring tires add visual width to the car, enhancing its firmly planted, wide track stance.

European foundation
Beneath the G6’s tightly wrapped skin is GM’s global Epsilon architecture, which was initially developed in Europe. With numerous built-in strengths, including three integral “torque rings,” a magnesium cross-car beam and strategic placement of high-strength steel, the Epsilon architecture is a solid platform that enables the G6 to be built with some of the tightest tolerances at GM. This includes hood and door gaps of 3-3.5 mm.

The G6’s windshield and rear glass, for example, do not have traditional sealing frames - the accuracy and exactness of the vehicle architecture allows these two large glass panels to be installed flush with the surrounding bodywork. This contributes to the G6’s overall sleek appearance and also is a tangible reference of the vehicle’s precise build quality.

High-quality details are found in the G6’s lighting elements, too. Crystal-clear lenses cover jewel-looking headlamp elements that consist of three-bulb configurations with high-tech projector beams mounted in highly chromed bezels and specially designed parabolas. The front fog lamps are small and high-tech in appearance, cutting through darkness and fog with laser-like projector beams. The rear lamps also have clear lenses and bright, prominent lighting elements.

“The headlamps and taillamps were details that designers became particularly involved with,” said Perkins. “From the placement of the bulbs to the shape of the parabolas, they were designed to enhance the refined performance aesthetic of the G6.”

Other design and production elements that enhance the G6’s refined appearance include:

- The Pontiac signature twin-port grille is mounted flush to the surface of the front fascia to enhance the vehicle’s smooth look
- The honeycomb grille centers are made from stamped metal, rather than typical plastic, for a more authentic, premium-quality appearance.
- A new Pontiac V-crest is displayed between the grille ports and has a richer, jewel-like appearance and a deeper, ruby red color
- The front fascia abuts the front fenders to create a seamless, high-quality look
- A high, wedged beltline reinforces sleek design and accents the long wheelbase
- Chrome accents on the grille and beltline convey upscale refinement
- The wheelbase allows rear door windows to lower all the way down
- Center high mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) integrated into deck lid
- Family of 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels designed to integrate smoothly with the G6’s clean, aggressive appearance.

“The more you look at the G6, the more the details stand out,” said Perkins. “Its bold design and subtle refinements complement the vehicle’s authentic performance dynamics.”
 

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Wheelbase (in.)
Malibu - 106.3
Malibu Maxx - 112.3
G6 - 112.3

Interesting. I remember how GM said the Maxx had a longer wheel base but was shorter than the regular Malibu.
 
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