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06 G6 GTP

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I've spent years visiting various forums that catered to 3.8 powered FWD BOP products. The LeSabre T-type forum, the Bonneville forum as well as A & W body forums. A few requests, complaints or desires by various members have always seemed to be consistent...... the availability of a standard transmission on the more powerful V6 FWD offerings, lack of 2 dr coupes, more gears and exciting styling. Well the G6 GTP coupe shows someone was listening.

One ivory GTP coupe showed up at our local GM dealer and my gal fell right in love with it. So the search began, we looked at red ones, green ones, silver ones, black ones, base coupes, black leather, morocco, and black cloth .........so spill the wine take that girl.

We purchased the white GTP, this particular car was the near perfect package for us. I say near because had a white GTP with taupe/brown leather been anywhere around we would have opt for the leather which also comes with the stereo steering wheel controls. The only taupe leather cars in this area were rectractables and they were outside of our budget, otherwise we would have considered. Problem is at 30,000+ the retractable has stiff competition on the very same Pontiac lot, the GP GXP and the GTO.....except for the styling thing this choice would be a no brainer for me.

Our car has everything else we wanted. Sun roof and 18" ultra bright wheels were the only options so the price was very attractive and even after looking at an electric blue/morocco interior I myself prefered the Ivory/taupe. Now we have XM, we would never opt for a 6 CD changer given the choise and heated seats are not that important to us. We settled on this car with the impression taupe cloth, it has a great look against the remaining black interior pieces. This car also has the plood trim on door handles which adds even more contrast and character. The black interior cars with the silver or grey plastic trim were just that..........black, dismal, dull and baron. Had a light colored interior car with "plood" not been available I would have passed.

We picked it up last Saturday and hit the road for a 150 mile Catskill Mountain drive. Now I am no one to truely give a good comparision test review because I have a few things going against me. For one I only consider GM's though we did take a good look at Fords, VW's and Hondas but we left the Toyota lot unexcited and ran from the ugly things sitting on the Nissan lot. The second thing going against me is at one time I did actually own a true sports car, as nice as the GTP handles and holds, is modern and powerful, though it looks the part its not a true sports car, I suppose or at least hope that is territory the Solstice covers. Third thing going against me is I have been driving heavy trucks and land yahts for a decade.

Steering on the GTP is much faster than I have driven in years so I have a learning curve as I always seemed to begin turning or comming out of corner sooner than necessary for this car. It does handle great but the driver was not carving his lines very accurately. Road feel is excellent but the driver has become numb from years of luxury barges. The ride is good and firm and its so nice to not be floating on the dips and rolls of our country roads but I have noticed a few bumps I never knew existed :P So until I learn the car I can give no further details on the excitement factor but Im optimistic as to what the car can do and the wife loves it, it is technically "hers". So alls well in paradise.

What I'll do instead is critisize where I feel GM slacked on this car and this performance version of this car.

For one the GTP has the same suspension as the GT, the only difference is the stability control. What little I pushed the car I felt it could use even tighter front springs and larger sway bars. As usual for GM they met the compromise they felt necessary for the typical driver..........but the GTP is the performance car and I would think potential buyers would expect a firmer ride and to have less front tilt in hard cornering. Its not bad mind you but I would want stiffer for the serious stuff.......but who drives like that anyhow ?

The steering wheel adjustment lock really has me agro. GM had a nice little spring return lever for decades. You simply needed to pull it toward you, pick your position and let it go. Now with this "new" lever you need to force it down, position wheel and force it back up as it is nothing more than a camlock clamp...........bah ! I figure this has something to do with the added telescoping feature, still no excuse. I always drive with wheel down low and release it upward for getting in and out. With this new method it seems like an excercise program. Now for the telescoping feature. Thank goodness it telescopes, who would drive with the wheel in I do not know, it would surely be straight arm driving for me. I must pull it all the way out to get anywhere near close to the arm, hand, body position Im used to. I want to be able to fully grip a steering wheel with either one of my elbows comfortably rested on the arm rests. Not possible with this car. With my arms rested on rests all that reaches the wheel is my finger tips. Im sure this has something to do with air bags and distance needed from chest to make them effective.........well to hell with them damn air bags, I want to be fully comfortable when Im driving.

On a positive note the three spoke steering wheel is a vast improvement in hand comfort compared to the four spoke finger slalom in our 97 LSS but neither offer the hastle free effortless, comfortable relaxed driving position of the old non air bag, properly placed two spoke wheels of the glorious past.

Six speed & drivetrain - This 3900 engine is a totally different powerband from the old 3800. Increasing speed from the 3900 at lower RPMs aint gonna happen by simply pushing just a little bit on the pedal. I know the specs dont show it but the 3800 is truely a torque monster compared to this 3900. With the 3900 you need to be in the right gear and upwards toward 3000 RPMs to get strong positive pull. In its powerband it comes to life quite nicely, but as with other things its much different from what Ive been used to for years. Six speed is great fun, short throw and easy to shift. However the shifter has that crunch crunch feel typical of all "linkage" shifters. I have been spoiled by transmissions where the shifter is direct into the transmissions and shifting is a click click instead of the seemingly reluctant crunch crunch. Now thats nit picking.

Centerstack controls are easily reached and non complicated, I like it. Upon looking it over and thinking of all the negitive comments about GMs center stacks on this forum I decided the stack is fine on this car, looks great sitting inside the car, something photos fail to comunicate. However I believe the problem is how the console meets the bottom of the stack in a less than craftmans like way. I would like to find some "plood" to replace the black plastic piece surrounding the stereo and DIC. Console armrest should be 2-4 inches longer, cup holes are..............cup holes and dictate this little short armrest.........yea Id redo the console.

No wind noise as some car rag seemed to have needed to make great acclaim to..........I did notice with the windows down and sun roof open we had "wind noise".......... felt like my hair was moving around too......and maybe a breeze on my face..........whats up with that............ 8)

Well thats the nit picking and we do love the car, now I just need to get to know it a little better and I plan on it. More then.

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The steering wheel adjustment is understandable, since the G6 now has the telescopic wheel. I personally would find it to be frustrating to hold down the lever and lock it into multiple predefined positions, and pull it towards yourself at the same time.

So nothing wrong about that, at least when I use it.

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I thought the newer, lever-down/lever-up adjustment was a pain too, until I realized that the old, easy-to-use lever could allow for a potential momentary loss of control if it were put into action while the car was moving. It is safer if the wheel is adjusted while the car is stationary. I myself have pulled on the old-style lever while driving older GM vehicles, and the wheel flew up and out of my hands for a split second, of course it became very snakey until the lever was released.

I hope this doesn't sound retarded.

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Theres gotta be a better way to hold it than a cam lever clamp. Its not handy at all and if you were not to force it all the way "home" this steering wheel is a handful loose and flooping around while in motion. Not so with the old quick release style, though I always thought the spring that lifts the wheel was a bit too much. I'd be OK with the clamp for the tele and old style tilt, just because I really do need to raise wheel everytime I get in and out. Corvettes electronic adjustments are very nice but thats not a 23,000 $ car. On my old Alpine you turned the center cap on the steering wheel for tele, that took a few turns but it was handy, this lever is in a hidden/must reach for location and like I said it requires a bit of force. I just think it wasnt thought out enough, probably not a problem for smaller yet agile people but my long ageing legs like some room for entry/exit. Entry/exit is very good for this car BTW, just not with how I place the wheel down low...........just spoiled thats all.

Edited by razoredge
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