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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pontiac G8 will not be replaced- to have 4-5 year run

DETROIT — After acknowledging that there will be no replacement for the Solstice roadster, Pontiac looks like it will lose a little more excitement when the rear-wheel-drive G8 sedan goes out of production in about five years' time.

According to sources, Pontiac will not get a version of the next rear-drive platform that underpins the Australian Holden Commodore. This move is indicative of a fundamental switch in direction for Pontiac, the General Motors division that just a few years ago was envisioned by Bob Lutz to be the American BMW. The deaths of the Solstice and the eventual discontinuation of the next-generation G8 will leave Pontiac with zero rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

Pontiac already sells the G5, a Chevrolet Cobalt with the ol' excitement treatment and soon will begin selling a version of the subcompact Chevrolet Aveo called the G3. Not exactly sporting propositions, those.

Limited corporate resources and fear of rising fuel-economy standards look to be the prime drivers in the return of Pontiac to the badge-engineering days. Those limited funds might also explain why the midsize G6 sedan won't be substantially updated (to match the level of refinement of the recently revamped Chevy Malibu) for about another five years.

Inside Line says: You've still got plenty of time to pick up your very own G8 — the high-horsepower GXP and the quasi-pickup-truck ST versions are still to be introduced. But you don't have forever