Pontiac’s all-new front-wheel-drive G6 takes the long-running Grand Am’s market slot and sets a new direction for GM’s “Performance” Div.

Built on GM’s rigid, European-designed Epsilon architecture (shared with Opel Vectra, Saab 9-3 and Chevrolet Malibu), it delivers smooth ride with agile handling thanks partly to its segment-leading 112.3-in. wheelbase.

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Issue: Oct 2004


New Product in Brief: 2005 Pontiac G6



A Grander Grand Am

by Gary Witzenburg

Pontiac’s all-new front-wheel-drive G6 takes the long-running Grand Am’s market slot and sets a new direction for GM’s “Performance” Div.

Built on GM’s rigid, European-designed Epsilon architecture (shared with Opel Vectra, Saab 9-3 and Chevrolet Malibu), it delivers smooth ride with agile handling thanks partly to its segment-leading 112.3-in. wheelbase.

With 2+2 coupe and retractable-hardtop convertible models following later in 2005, Pontiac-GMC General Manager Jim Bunnell calls it “a game changing car.”

Highlights



  • GM global Epsilon architecture with class-leading 112.3-inch wheelbase and cross-car magnesium beam for body rigidity
  • Sport-tuned full independent MacPherson strut front, 4-link rear suspension; variable-assist electric power steering; available full-function traction control
  • Driver-oriented interior with tilt/telescoping steering column, highly bolstered seats, racingstyle gauges, available adjustable pedals
  • Market-exclusive panoramic roof with four sliding glass panels
  • Standard dual-stage air bags; available side- and head-curtain air bags
  • Available segment-exclusive factory-installed remote start
Powertrain

The G6 and G6 GT will be offered (at first) with GM’s 200-hp pushrod 3.5L V-6, backed by a Hydra-Matic 4T45-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic. Drivers who occasionally prefer to shift for themselves will appreciate the GT’s manual shift mode with, Pontiac says, much more driver control than some competitors’ manu-matics. A base 170-hp DOHC 4-valve VVT Ecotech four and a 200-hp high-output 3.9L version of the CIB V-6 (for a top-line GTP model) will follow for the 2006 model year.

Chassis

With its long wheelbase and wheels pushed to the corners, the G6 provides a comfortable ride while enabling aggressive suspension tuning. The MacPherson strut front suspension with aluminum lower control arms is mounted to a U-shaped hydroformed chassis cradle isolated from the body with four specially tuned rubber mounts. The four-link independent rear suspension uses twin-tube shocks and, like the front, a direct acting stabilizer bar. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on the G6, 17-inch on the GT. Large heavy-duty four-wheel disc brakes have reduced caliper drag and European-style pads for excellent pedal feel, stopping power and fade resistance, but ABS is standard only on the GT. An enhanced traction system is available on base models, full-function traction control on the GT.

Safety Systems

The Epsilon architecture’s safety cage construction has reinforcements in the rocker areas, front body hinge and roof pillars to improve impact protection, and a magnesium cross-car beam ties the lower sections of the A-pillars together to help protect passengers in sideimpact crashes. All seating positions have three-point safety belts, while the front outboard positions have belt pretensioners and load limiters to reduce peak chest load during a crash. Dual-stage front air bags determine whether a crash is severe enough to trigger a deployment and whether the primary amount of inflation is sufficient or a secondary stage is needed for a more severe collision. Side and head-curtain air bags are optionally available.









































































Pontiac G6 At a Glance
What it is: Mid-size fwd sport sedan
Who it’s for: Sport sedan buyers preferring U.S. Pontiac value and features to those of Japanese competitors
Where it’s built: Orion Township, Michigan
Parent company: General Motors
Competitors: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Mazda6
Engine: 3.5L cam-in-block 2-valve cast-iron V-6
Horsepower: 200 at 5,400 rpm
Torque: 220 at 3,800 rpm
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 4T45-E 4- speed electronic automatic
Wheelbase: 112.3 in.
Curb Weight: 3,380 lb. (standard V-6)
EPA Economy: 20/30/25 City/Highway/Combined
Base Price:

$21,300 standard V-6;
$23,925 GT

What we think: Crisp, contemporary good looks with high-quality interior, razor-sharp handling with good ride, excellent economy with decent performance from pushrod 3.5L V- 6. But Pontiac’s “Total Performance” positioning requires “high-tech” DOHC 4-valve power.
Supplier Involvement
Panoramic roof & sunroof: Webasto
Instrument Panel, XM Radio, EPS: Delphi
Seats: Faurecia
Adjustable Pedals: Dura
Headlamps: Automotive Lighting
Taillamps: North American Lighting
Front suspension: Yorozu
Rear suspension: AZ


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