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Oracle of Delphi

Pontiac G8: Pounding out the Fingerprints

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"Hmmmm..." Doug Houlihan listens carefully to the 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 installed in the black Pontiac G8 test mule. "I don't like that idle. Feel that?" True enough, there's a buzz radiating through the seats, door panels, and steering wheel. A call goes out on the radio: "What's up with the idle on this unit?" Another engineer radios back that the latest U.S.-spec calibration was downloaded to the car this morning, and the engine-management system is still learning the new curve. "Should clear up in a hundred miles or so."

As Global Vehicle chief engineer for General Motors's RWD vehicle architectures, the buzzy idle is Houlihan's problem. In fact, every nut, grommet, and screw in the thing is Houlihan's problem. GM has restructured its ginormous worldwide engineering machine into what's now, and finally, a true global organization. That presents opportunities. The ability to draw on vast resources. An engineering entity that operates 24/7, because somewhere in the world, someone's always at work. Taking advantage of the best parts and practices, wherever they come from. And the potential to save millions if not billions of dollars.There are possible downsides, too. The company must ensure that programs aren't compromised by the need to satisfy a variety of markets. And the fact that things are happening 24/7 means long days for product teams that may be conferencing with one continent early in the morning and another after the kids go to bed.

Pontiac's upcoming G8 will be good news for North American car buyers. We already gave you a look at it with our first drive of the Holden Commodore SS-V (Motor Trend, April) but in brief, it's based on the above-noted global rear-drive chassis architecture that first came to market as a Holden, but will ultimately be spread over at least a half-dozen brands worldwide (see sidebar). Unlike previous products involving reworked imports (Cadillac Catera, Pontiac GTO), the G8 was part of this platform's plan from its barest beginnings. The overall packaging is similar to the previous-generation BMW 5 Series, with a clean, strong-shouldered design, independent suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel disc brakes, and a high level of standard features. While power ratings are still being finalized, the V-6 model will have about 261 horsepower and be offered with a five-speed automatic transmission.

The one enthusiasts are waiting for is the G8 GT, packing the familiar Gen-IV 6.0-liter overhead-valve V-8 that's all but identical to the one powering the base Corvette. Final output will fall between 360 and 365 horsepower, with a choice of GM's excellent 6L80 six-speed automatic or a Tremec 6060 six-speed manual. One big change the V-8 will receive for the U.S. market is the use of an Active Fuel Management system. AFM is what used to be called Displacement on Demand, GM's method of deactivating four of the engine's cylinders under light-load conditions in the name of better fuel economy and reduced emissions. The G8 gets the first deployment of AFM on the 6.0-liter (with auto trans only), but it'll roll out to other nameplates over time.

Article Continues: http://www.motortrend.com/features/consume...2008_pontiac_g8

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I read this a week ago in the hardcopy and thought of you. There was also an ad for Gillette and I thought of you...j/k

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What you don't have mules in Portugal? I know that's not true, I've seen the olive carts! :rotflmao:

We have other mules. Don't you know there's a Volkswagen plant here in Portugal? It's where they build the VW Sharan minivan. Here a mule of the NG Sharan (notice clearly visible VW logo):

Posted Image

Edited by ZL-1

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