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G6’S 112.3-INCH WHEELBASE IS THE FOUNDATION OF TOTAL PERFORMANCE

DETROIT - Every now and then during the Pontiac G6’s development, a small caravan of engineers in disguised prototype vehicles left behind the confines of the engineering lab and hit the open road. The clandestine trips - which also included competitors’ vehicles for comparison - provided real-world feedback on the progress of the G6’s performance.

The all-new 2005 Pontiac G6 midsize sports sedan was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It goes on sale in Fall 2004.

“We called it ‘sampling the soup,’ “ said Greg Bellopatrick, chief engineer for midsize cars. “We had all these ingredients, but we really needed a way to ‘taste test’ them.”

Unlike other midsize competitors, the G6 rides on a 112.3-inch wheelbase - comparable to many full-size luxury sedans - enabling razor-sharp handling, a smooth, controlled ride and generous rear-seat legroom.

“There’s nothing else in the midsize segment with the G6’s proportions,” said Bellopatrick. “With its long wheelbase, the G6’s wheels are pushed to the corners. This dramatically reduces the feeling of body roll, while enabling the smooth ride expected of a larger luxury sedan.”

One of the team’s last trips was a lengthy, 700-mile round trip on the freeways and back roads between Detroit and Pittsburgh. The tight-knit group of engineers found the excursion was particularly helpful in determining how the G6 would perform in more demanding driving situations.

“The rolling, twisting scenery of the Pennsylvania countryside was a perfect environment to evaluate how the G6 performed and how it stacked up against the competition,” said Bellopatrick. “The G6’s sport-tuned suspension gives the vehicle a more precise road feel that is supported by the 112.3-inch wheelbase - it’s a nimble, responsive feel that driving enthusiasts will appreciate.”

Although much of the G6’s inherent handling ability is due to its class-leading wheelbase, it also is supported by a strong body structure. It’s a taut, midsize package that stretches the G6 sedan 189.1 inches from stem to stern. Those dimensions minimize front and rear overhang, literally pushing the wheels to the corners.

“The long wheelbase/short overhang design not only gives the G6 a dramatic look, it allowed engineers to develop outstanding performance handling capability and a world-class smooth ride - two traits that often conflict in midsize vehicles,” said Bellopatrick.

Tuning dials
The G6 has fully independent front and rear suspensions, including a MacPherson strut front suspension and four-link rear suspension, which are tailored to deliver handling commensurate with the expectations of Pontiac’s renewed emphasis on performance. Those expectations are admittedly high.

“I can’t remember another vehicle that we’ve sweated over so many details,” said Bellopatrick. “There are 20 or 30 chassis ‘dials’ and we fine-tuned every one of them until the car exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

Engineers used other Epsilon architecture vehicles as a reference point and tailored the G6 chassis with:

- Larger front and rear stabilizer bars
- Increased spring rates
- Unique strut and shock valving
- Increased bushing rates
- Wide track stance

“Ride motions are very controlled in the G6,” said Bellopatrick. “Cornering is flat and firm, but compliant. And with the long wheelbase, the ride is very smooth - it’s going to surprise and delight a lot of drivers.”

The front suspension is carried by a perimeter-type chassis cradle assembly, which consists of a U-shaped hydroformed steel tube welded integrally with a rear cross member. The cradle is isolated from the chassis by four widely spaced rubber mounts that dampen noise, vibration and harshness.

As with other recently introduced Pontiacs, including the 2004 GTO and 2004 Grand Prix, the G6’s handling benefits from direct-acting stabilizer bars. Mounted directly to the struts, direct-acting stabilizer bars help reduce body roll and enable the vehicle to respond more immediately to driver inputs. Additionally, variable effort electric power steering (EPS) provides a direct, “just right” feel behind the wheel at different speeds - a lighter feel at lower speeds and a firmer feel at higher speeds. EPS also reduces packaging and with no need for hydraulic fluid, it eliminates a potential environmental pollutant.

Sure-footed driving assurance also comes from Enhanced Traction System, available on G6, and full-function traction control, standard on GT. Also available is Vehicle Dynamic Control System (VDCS), which uses a yaw sensor, lateral accelerometer and steering angle sensor to help keep the vehicle under control in the most challenging driving conditions. Unlike earlier examples, the G6’s VDCS can apply all of the vehicle’s four brakes to help maintain control.

Braking performance is another G6 strength. All models benefit from four-wheel disc brakes, with braking capability enhanced with large, vented front discs and available anti-lock with Dynamic Rear Proportioning (DRP). With DRP, improved stability and braking during cornering results from the use of independent rear control. DRP also allows more effective use of the rear brakes as vehicle loading changes. Anti-lock brakes are standard on G6 GT.

Torque rings
The built-in strength of the G6’s Epsilon architecture enables much of the vehicle’s ride and handling finesse. It’s a solid structure that helps the G6 achieve a 27.3 Hz bending frequency - a rigid foundation that ranks with the world’s best luxury cars.

“When you don’t have to account for body flex, you can spend a lot more time fine-tuning handling traits,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, vehicle line executive for midsize vehicles. “The steering is sharper and more precise, too.”

Three integrated torque rings contribute much of the Epsilon architecture’s strength. Tied into complementing structural members, the torque rings add stiffness-enhancing support to key areas of the architecture. The rear torque ring, for example, ties the package tray horizontally to structural members on opposite sides of the chassis. This not only enhances overall strength, but still allows a generous rear-seat pass-through from the trunk - a feature one recently introduced competitor gave up for the sake of bolstering vehicle rigidity.

Another one of the torque rings includes the magnesium cross-car beam that forms the foundation for the instrument panel. The mag beam is lightweight, but extremely stiff, contributing greatly to the G6’s solid feeling behind the wheel and side-impact crash protection.

In addition to the torque rings, the G6’s structure also benefits from an infusion of high-strength steel (HSS) - comprising approximately 59 percent of underbody components. It is used primarily in critical areas, including the front and rear structures, longitudinal rails and rocker panels. HSS also is used in a strong, reinforcing “backbone” that forms the floor’s center tunnel. Rather than just a single layer of sheet steel, the tunnel has an extra piece of HSS welded between it and the floor pan, running the length of the tunnel.

Also contributing to the Epsilon architecture’s strength are deep draw rear frame rails and a welded front bumper beam. The front bumper beam is bolted to the body structure in many other vehicles; the welded beam adds rigidity by integrating it with the structure.

“The G6’s built-in strength enhances safety while enabling an exhilarating, responsive sports car driving experience,” said Stefanyshyn. “The G6’s 112.3-inch wheelbase not only stretches the vehicle’s proportions, it stretches the expectations of midsize sports sedans.”
 

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All this talk about the wheelbase being so long and the rear legroom is 0.9" less than the regular Malibu. Front legroom is only up 0.3". Where did all the space go? That aside, the car looks good. I hope the tricky roof remains an option.

Mark
 

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Originally posted by Mr_Pringle+Jan 5 2004, 01:01 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Mr_Pringle @ Jan 5 2004, 01:01 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-usa1@Jan 4 2004, 11:20 PM
I hope the tricky roof remains an option.
I'm guessing it will-- probably an expensive option-- but definately one I would shell out for. :D [/b][/quote]
The roof is definitely awesome!
 

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What's with the marketing guys renaming everything? The "Vehicle Dynamic Control System (VDCS)" for example... Sounds pretty much like the StabiliTrak Sport in my Grand Prix Comp G.
 

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Originally posted by Highlander@Jan 6 2004, 08:00 PM
What's with the marketing guys renaming everything? The "Vehicle Dynamic Control System (VDCS)" for example... Sounds pretty much like the StabiliTrak Sport in my Grand Prix Comp G.
everyone else makes up new names for basic stuff. Ever hear the names they come up with for "seat belt"?

All I want to know is if there is AWD and a blown 3.9 in the mix. 245hp is nice.. but more is better.
 

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Originally posted by bigals87z28@Jan 6 2004, 03:14 PM

All I want to know is if there is AWD and a blown 3.9 in the mix.  245hp is nice.. but more is better.
Isn't the G6 going to be released with just the basic Malibu 3.5L engine?

If so, the comparisons with the Malibu will be inevitable, whereas if it launces with the 3.9L from the get go, it could get some great reviews.

There's only 1 time for a first impression...

The handling and all sound sweet - but it needs a great engine to go with it, not the Malibu's grocery getter, improved though it might be from the 3.4L.
 

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I wish for 2 things for the 3.5 in teh G6

#1, 20 more real hp. They said that the 200hp motor in the Malibu was lackluster.
#2 A dam engine cover or something! You see that ugly thing? Its jus this big aluminum flat surface. It looks like a small lunch tray! Little things like that piss me off!! :angry:

The 3.5 should be stock, and nothing smaller. Let the dam Vibe take up 4cyl sales.
 
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