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Lamar

Test-drove the G8 GT today

66 posts in this topic

Pros: Extremely well-mannered on city and neighborhood streets. Sound of engine revs. Driving position. Responsive steering. Not floaty AT ALL, a plus with a car that size. Seats are well-suited to however you decide to drive. Interior, though not elegant, is very functional (my wife will attest to that). More spacious interior than anything except maybe the DTS. :)

Neither here nor there: I could feel the AFM when it kicked in and when it turned off, but I expected the engine to do that. Couldn't get used to the SportShift mode, but I probably wouldn't use it much anyway. :mellow:

Cons: I didn't get to thrash the car how I would have liked. :(

Overall: The G8 GT is easily the most powerful car I have driven in my almost 9 years of driving, and I would have to get used to all those ponies under the hood, not that's a bad thing... My wife liked it too. :D

When I came back from the drive, I spoke to a guy who came up to look at the car. He said that it was the first G8 he had seen and that he thought it was a GTO at first (he owns one and loves it). We shot the breeze a little bit about the G8 and GTO, then parted company.

For those of y'all who aren't quite sold on the G8 yet, go drive it. :thumbsup:

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Pros: Extremely well-mannered on city and neighborhood streets. Sound of engine revs. Driving position. Responsive steering. Not floaty AT ALL, a plus with a car that size. Seats are well-suited to however you decide to drive. Interior, though not elegant, is very functional (my wife will attest to that). More spacious interior than anything except maybe the DTS. :)

Neither here nor there: I could feel the AFM when it kicked in and when it turned off, but I expected the engine to do that. Couldn't get used to the SportShift mode, but I probably wouldn't use it much anyway. :mellow:

Cons: I didn't get to thrash the car how I would have liked. :(

Overall: The G8 GT is easily the most powerful car I have driven in my almost 9 years of driving, and I would have to get used to all those ponies under the hood, not that's a bad thing... My wife liked it too. :D

When I came back from the drive, I spoke to a guy who came up to look at the car. He said that it was the first G8 he had seen and that he thought it was a GTO at first (he owns one and loves it). We shot the breeze a little bit about the G8 and GTO, then parted company.

For those of y'all who aren't quite sold on the G8 yet, go drive it. :thumbsup:

Thanks For the review. Most of what I have read all agree with you and many say it is the best ponitac since the 60's.

I have been in around and under the car but not yet driven one. If it is an improment of the GTO as I expect it should be a winner.

The GTO was a much more solid car than the 4th Gen F body, there was little chassie flex. I am expecting that same feel with the G8 of being a very solid car.

I agree the interior is not the most stylish but it is very comfortable. Even the back seat can take a 6+footer and make them feel comfortable.

I hope to get may first drive soon.

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The GTO was a much more solid car than the 4th Gen F body, there was little chassie flex. I am expecting that same feel with the G8 of being a very solid car.

I agree the interior is not the most stylish but it is very comfortable. Even the back seat can take a 6+footer and make them feel comfortable.

Hey hyper. :) I don't want to give the impression that I'm following you around to argue, because I'm not. lol I just keyed in on these points and wanted to remark on them (and do hope that this doesn't side-track the thread, apologies to the OP - great review btw, good to hear stuff like this).

Regarding solid, the GTO is more solid, yes, but it's also a few hundred pounds heavier. However, the 4th Gen doesn't really flex all that much. Most of what people interpret as flex is a combination of weak interiors and horrid shocks. Those stock shocks (DeCarbons) are the biggest steaming pile of crap to ever get bolted on a car. Put some Bilsteins (especially revalved ones), or Koni SAs on a 4th Gen and it is TOTALLY transformed and whole different beast. With the Bilsteins, you will see massive refinement, and an improvement in handling. With the Koni's you see lots of refinment (just not as much as the Bilsteins), and downright amazing handling.

IIRC, the 4th Gens are something like 45% stiffer than the thirds, were designed to be 'verts from the outset, and I know of one that was road raced, auto-xed and drag raced for well over 100,000 miles and is just fine, and another that was rolled at over 100mph and the driver posted pics later and hte car still looked useable (all ya had to do was replace the C-pillar/sail panel). They are built like tanks. Which is why they are 3500 lbs (when an S-14 Silvia is nearly the same size, with an engine that weighs the same or a few pounds more, and is only 2700 lbs).

Also, I'm 6'2" and 230lbs. And a friend of mine is 6' 170 lbs (way underweight and wasting away). One day we went to track down a noise and I threw him in the back seat and he disappeared back there. Later we switched, and to my utter amazement, I not only fit, but I fit comfortably. Head room is tight, yes, you do have to lean over a little or tilt your head, and you do have to place your knees around the back of the seat in front of you, but(!), you don't interfere with the front occupants and it's not the least bit uncomfortable. It's not a place I'd want to spend several hours in, but up to an hour would be fine really. (and because of this, I have nixed the idea of a rear-seat delete, which I had initially intended to do)

Lamar, when and how did the AFM come on and go off? You said you could feel it. Does it only come on after a set time, or is on the default and you have to matt it to get it to go off and allow full power?

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Lamar, when and how did the AFM come on and go off? You said you could feel it. Does it only come on after a set time, or is on the default and you have to matt it to get it to go off and allow full power?

I felt it turning off (going to 8cyl) the most on downshifts and going uphill. When I was cruising neighborhoods (and cruising in general), the engine felt weaker, like a 4cyl (lol). Strangely, though, I was able to cruise at about 30 MPH at less than 1500 RPMs, something I'm not used to.

Basically, the power's there when you want it, even if only just a little bit.

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Hey hyper. :) I don't want to give the impression that I'm following you around to argue, because I'm not. lol I just keyed in on these points and wanted to remark on them (and do hope that this doesn't side-track the thread, apologies to the OP - great review btw, good to hear stuff like this).

Regarding solid, the GTO is more solid, yes, but it's also a few hundred pounds heavier. However, the 4th Gen doesn't really flex all that much. Most of what people interpret as flex is a combination of weak interiors and horrid shocks. Those stock shocks (DeCarbons) are the biggest steaming pile of crap to ever get bolted on a car. Put some Bilsteins (especially revalved ones), or Koni SAs on a 4th Gen and it is TOTALLY transformed and whole different beast. With the Bilsteins, you will see massive refinement, and an improvement in handling. With the Koni's you see lots of refinment (just not as much as the Bilsteins), and downright amazing handling.

IIRC, the 4th Gens are something like 45% stiffer than the thirds, were designed to be 'verts from the outset, and I know of one that was road raced, auto-xed and drag raced for well over 100,000 miles and is just fine, and another that was rolled at over 100mph and the driver posted pics later and hte car still looked useable (all ya had to do was replace the C-pillar/sail panel). They are built like tanks. Which is why they are 3500 lbs (when an S-14 Silvia is nearly the same size, with an engine that weighs the same or a few pounds more, and is only 2700 lbs).

Also, I'm 6'2" and 230lbs. And a friend of mine is 6' 170 lbs (way underweight and wasting away). One day we went to track down a noise and I threw him in the back seat and he disappeared back there. Later we switched, and to my utter amazement, I not only fit, but I fit comfortably. Head room is tight, yes, you do have to lean over a little or tilt your head, and you do have to place your knees around the back of the seat in front of you, but(!), you don't interfere with the front occupants and it's not the least bit uncomfortable. It's not a place I'd want to spend several hours in, but up to an hour would be fine really. (and because of this, I have nixed the idea of a rear-seat delete, which I had initially intended to do)

Lamar, when and how did the AFM come on and go off? You said you could feel it. Does it only come on after a set time, or is on the default and you have to matt it to get it to go off and allow full power?

I understand your love for the F body. They are good cars and the 4th gen was the best they have offered for the Bird.

I have driven, raced, autocrossed and enjoyed everything from 67 400 birds, 74 455 SD, to 4th Gen Camaro and Firehawks.

I know each generation is better and stiffer but the problem has always been either the early unibody or the later T tops. This weakens the car and flexes a platform more than anything. GM did a good job but there is no sub for a solid proper coupe to provide a good platform for good handling and a solid feel.

I am not saying the 4th gen was bad but the GTO had a more solid and quality feel. I have taken both the GTO and Z/28 4th gen around the cones hard and the F body will give you a death shake under extreem connering with some sticky tires. It will make the corner but it will shake. But to be fair it was a t top car and can not be compared equally to the GTO coupe roof. I know the solid roof cars are much stiffer but still the GTO was a more solid car.

45% better than the thirds but the thirds were horrible for flex even in a solid top. But to be fair most 80's cars were.

I have a T top car myself and if has some shake but for the open air that is the price you pay.

Anyway I agree the F body is a very good car but it is far from perfect It was a good car in the 90's but it ain't the 90's anymore. Would I own one yes but I would also be realistic like most other cars and admit it is good but not perfect like many cars. Again time has moved on.

I work in the aftermarket industry and know shocks and the other parts to fix all that F bodys needs. I know their good side and I know what their weaknesses are.

The GTO is far from perfect as a car but it too is a very good car with a very very solid platform. A solid chassie is required for a great handling, driving and riding car.

GM got better with the F body over the years but time moves on and many of todays cars are moving on.

Just wait till the new Camaro appears and you will be shocked at what all it will do. This car will have things that the 4th gen never got or had. Scott Settlemire has promised this car will supass anything before and none of us will be disapointed. With a name like

F bodfather who is to disagree. The G8 is only the start of the new Camaro as the new Camaro will take this even to the next level.

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camaro..... <_<

I may own a car build on the F chassis, but I bought a Trans Am. My 3rd one in fact. Because I wanted a Trans Am. Not "an F-Body". Sure as hell not a frickin camaro. GM got my attention, my money, and (so far at least) die-hard loyalty, which has lead to me carrying the banner everywhere and talking up the virtues and defending the 'faith' through the roughest of times to the toughest of critics. But if they go and slap a GTO badge on a camaro twin, when it's just as easy (and more proper) to put a Firebird badge on it..... If they piss on us like that..... I'll look into a Challenger SRT8 6-speed. (and it's a real shame because it'll be a hard decision at that point to buy a Solstice Coupe, when so far it would be an obvious no-brainer [not for the same reasons or purpose, mind you])

As for time moving on, well, perhaps. The Duesenberg can still smoke many Korean white good appliances on 4 wheels. And the WS6 can still out run MANY cars from many years after it's end of production. Which is actually all the more impressive when you consider that the design really stagnated in '99. Cars that are considered "performers" today. Even in stock trim, but especially with a set of Brembo blanks, better pads, and some Konis (+1000 if you toss in Strano springs and sways). It truly shocks many people to learn what it can do (and I'm not implying you, please don't mis-understand that, I mean the import guys mostly). So saying "time has moved on" really isn't fair, and in my personal opinion, not really relevant, since nothing else matches the styling, let alone the styling combined with the utility, performance and bang for the buck.

So Lamar, another question, did you aggressively change lanes or toss it around at all? A common complaint seems to be a lack of roll stiffness. Apparently they don't want to stiffen the springs or shocks any more and lose that nice ride, but I have to wonder why they didn't just add more bar. (or even a touch more rebound damping, but that's still no substitute for bar) I wonder if it's as bad as all the mag reviews claim. To listen to them it practially scrapes it's door handles.

I wonder if the Stabilitrak is tied into the DoD. Seems it would be much more effective than pulling timing or forcng the throttle closed.

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So Lamar, another question, did you aggressively change lanes or toss it around at all? A common complaint seems to be a lack of roll stiffness. Apparently they don't want to stiffen the springs or shocks any more and lose that nice ride, but I have to wonder why they didn't just add more bar. (or even a touch more rebound damping, but that's still no substitute for bar) I wonder if it's as bad as all the mag reviews claim. To listen to them it practially scrapes it's door handles.

I wonder if the Stabilitrak is tied into the DoD. Seems it would be much more effective than pulling timing or forcng the throttle closed.

I didn't get much chance to toss it around, unfortunately. Remind me to do that next time I test one.

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I'm surprised that I keep reading about people being able to feel when AFM toggles ON/OFF. I've got a Grand Prix GXP with AFM (formerly DoD) and I can never tell when it toggles. I guess it's probably due to AFM in the G8 kicking in while in lower gears (3-6 I believe) while on the GXP I believe it was only in 4th (top) gear.

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Dark Phoenix, your disdain of the Camaro is getting more than a little boring and tiresome. Without the Camaro your Trans Am wouldn't have ever happened. Check out the history.

Anyway, as of the last time I heard there was no plans on having a Camaro twin this generation. The G8 in all its forms is Pontiacs V8 RWD car for now and possibly for the forseeable future.

Back on topic, I should check out the local dealership to see if they have gotten a G8. If so, hopefully they haven't pulled their normal garbage and saddled it with an extra $5-8K markup. Thanks for the writeup Lamar.

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I am well aware of the history, thank you. So much so that that I am aware of how (a lot of) the success of what you feel it so necesary to defend is owed to the Trans Am. lol (2nd Gen chassis - Pontiac, Corvette 350 use - thanks to Pontiac's petitioning of top brass, luxuries and options - trickle down from Pontiac. That's just to name a few. They both owe a lot to each other, it's just that the chevy is, well... a chevy. [And there is a reason I don't hang out in and post in that section ;) ])

Edited by Dark Phoenix
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I am well aware of the history, thank you. So much so that that I am aware of how (a lot of) the success of what you feel it so necesary to defend is owed to the Trans Am. lol (2nd Gen chassis - Pontiac, Corvette 350 use - thanks to Pontiac's petitioning of top brass, luxuries and options - trickle down from Pontiac. That's just to name a few. They both owe a lot to each other, it's just that the chevy is, well... a chevy. [And there is a reason I don't hang out in and post in that section ;) ])

I 'don't feel it necessary to defend' anything. It's just that all of the true auto enthuests that I have met (and that's a huge number) will give credit where it is due. Your negative attitude towards the car that is directly responsible for the existance for the Firebird detracts from many of your statements and take away from many of your good points.

Now, if you don't like the Camaro, fine. That is your choice. But, you have made your preference known, let it go and move on.

(Sorry to anyone else for the minor hijacking of this thread.)

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I 'don't feel it necessary to defend' anything. It's just that all of the true auto enthuests that I have met (and that's a huge number) will give credit where it is due. Your negative attitude towards the car that is directly responsible for the existance for the Firebird detracts from many of your statements and take away from many of your good points.

Now, if you don't like the Camaro, fine. That is your choice. But, you have made your preference known, let it go and move on.

(Sorry to anyone else for the minor hijacking of this thread.)

lol I respond when and how necessary. It was suggested that I/We buy the lower end counter part, from the "everyman" brand rather than DEMANDING the car we want back. Funny how it was ok for you lot to rally and rant until you got it back, but now we have to remain silent.

Too many people seem to think "well it's the same thing" and "they steal sales from each other" and "there's no point in making them both" and that's all total crap. Hyper wasn't trying to set me off and I wasn't trying to argue with him, but he more or less implied that I should transition to a sub-par version. That I should lower my standards and accept whatever GM deigns to offer me. Or perhaps, more to the point, he didn't realize that I don't give a crap about chassis designations and that drive-train layout is but a mere background requirement. Always hated camaros - even before I gave a crap about Pontiacs or had any brand loyalty. Fell in love with the Trans Am. There is VALUE in producing both.

But see, we wouldn't have dragged this further off topic if you didn't feel personally attacked and try to tell me to STFU. That tends to have a negative reaction. lol

Believe it or not, I don't seek out opportunities to talk trash about it, and would be perfectly happy to never have to even think about it. ;)

So what say we just go back to on topic? :)

Edited by Dark Phoenix
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Hmm.

Well DP, there are factual problems with your position - but let's ignore that for a moment.

Think about this: What the 5th gen Camaro will be bringing to the table remains an unknown at this point and to judge it now is a pointless endeavor.

And, it is rather unusual to hear such animosity by an owner/fan of one F-body for the other one. They really are so closely related that this seems absurd. Good natured ribbing is common, but a lack of respect is odd - and somewhat off-putting.

Finally (putting on my admin hat), you really should dial it back a notch or two for the sake of peace on the forums.

Just some friendly advice.

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Well get to it man! Chop chop! :D

:cheers:

Let me get back to Maryland, and I'll see if I can find one. 8)

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lol I respond when and how necessary. It was suggested that I/We buy the lower end counter part, from the "everyman" brand rather than DEMANDING the car we want back. Funny how it was ok for you lot to rally and rant until you got it back, but now we have to remain silent.

Too many people seem to think "well it's the same thing" and "they steal sales from each other" and "there's no point in making them both" and that's all total crap. Hyper wasn't trying to set me off and I wasn't trying to argue with him, but he more or less implied that I should transition to a sub-par version. That I should lower my standards and accept whatever GM deigns to offer me. Or perhaps, more to the point, he didn't realize that I don't give a crap about chassis designations and that drive-train layout is but a mere background requirement. Always hated camaros - even before I gave a crap about Pontiacs or had any brand loyalty. Fell in love with the Trans Am. There is VALUE in producing both.

But see, we wouldn't have dragged this further off topic if you didn't feel personally attacked and try to tell me to STFU. That tends to have a negative reaction. lol

Believe it or not, I don't seek out opportunities to talk trash about it, and would be perfectly happy to never have to even think about it. ;)

So what say we just go back to on topic? :)

DP I am impressed with your knowledge of Pontiac history as some your age do not know what a Tripower is. I am also impressed with your love of the Bird and Pontiac in general.

Now here is the other shoe. I don't care what you drive or want. We here repect what your choice is and I never once suggested that you buy a lower end counter part, I only gave my opinion and that was it. It kind of goes like this, you epress yourself, I express myself and we can discuss differance of opinion and the like. But the bottom line is repsect others and they will repect you here.

If I feel the GTO is stiffer [due to no t top] I have a right to express that and it is my opinion, not a comment to you or yours.

I also know the 4th gen Camaro is no less or more a car than the Trans Am/Firebird. I myself prefer the TA but know and accept the Camaro as a sister car with only some body changes, and interior trim. In the past the difference was greater some years but never too much. You may not want to agree and that is fine.

While you may find it hard to accept Too many people seem to think "well it's the same thing" and "they steal sales from each other" It is clear to many very informed people here and to GM that your not correct here.

Or did you not know the original plan was to sell the GTO as a longer wheeel base Zeta with more upgraded options at a higher price to give Pontiac a coupe but not one that would be nearly the same as the Camaro. Tha GTO was the Manaro 60 coupe just shown and canceled. Right now the Zeta program is in flux to say the least and adding a sister Bird right now is not a priority to sell 40K cars.

You have to think with your brain not your heart to pick and choose car lines. GM does not take these things lightly and only was doing what was in the companys best interest. A car like a new Bird could help GM a little in sales and profit but if it fails it could hurt it much more than it could ever help. Right now they have a priority of selling a V6 Camaro. Heck Ford even dropped the Capri for the same reason.

I think you should heed Camino's words and take a breath. We are all GM fans here. We may have some harsh words at times but we are also the first to defend. Kind of like a family. We so have some people here involved in many parts of the industry and even one of the best spy photgs around.

There is a lot to learn here so read a lot and try to learn how we operate as this is not like many other idiot site out there. Most people here understand how the industry works and we do not go off on a lot of goofy things, We deal in a lot of facts and reality here and don't get all goofy over the latest fake chop photo of a car we know GM will not build or where to bolt our neon lights.

With your knowledge and understanding your amung friends here you should fit in well. :thumbsup: You will not always like what you read and can present you proof why we are wrong. But be prepared to back up any claims you have as we like what is said backed up.

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Better go test drive one while you can... TICK TOCK!

:wavey:

(I figured PCS is pretty busy ruining GM, so I'll just make one of his usual troll posts for him)

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DP - Believe it or not I wasn't attacking you or your prefenences. I just stated that it was getting in the way of the valid points you were making.

As for the 'stealing sales from each other', sorry, that's not just our opinion but the belief of those in GM, and we aren't just talking beancounters. Some pretty passionate people who have been involved in both programs have stated the same thing. That said, the F-Bodies don't account for enough sales to create two different versions of them at this time. Now, that may change. For now, though, the Camaro is it.

I am hoping that Pontiac can do enough with the G8 lineup to justify a coupe. A Firebird/Trans Am based of the Holden 60 Coupe would do more for GM than a near clone of the Camaro. Even if they called such a coupe GTO, it would be more advantageous.

I hope that you will read this clearly and without judgement. I am a HUGE fan of the Trans Am (I would love both a 69 and an 89 Turbo in my garage) and have owned 2 Firebirds in the past.

Take care.

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Well said, my friends (except for FOG) :lol:

J/K FOG

For me both Chevy and Pontiac have been my passion, so it's hard to think of them in opposition to each other. I've owned some killer examples from both brands and hope to continue to enjoy them both.

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There was a nice, tidy little crowd checking the G8 out over at my local Pontiac dealer. I will take that as a very, very good sign.

Tick-what? :smilewide:

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Ok lets save the hate for bad jokes, stale beer and Mustangs.

Now back to the G8.

I don't know if they will go with the Coupe now and the later it gets I see the effort going to the Alpha that can and will live on past 2020. I just see with the hold the Alpha changing like the Zeta did to be more adaptable and expanded to more vehicles than originally intended.

With Ford looking at a lighter platform GM is sure to invest in a lighter platform as they continue to sell the Zetas till they will be replaced.

The only thing that would save Zeta long term is if they can remove weight and not kill the good prices they have.

I just read about the new SAAB XWD and though that could make a good Pontiac platform if they can pice it right. But I am not sure of the cost of the drivetrain system.

Edited by hyperv6
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Ok lets save the hate for bad jokes, stale beer and Mustangs.

Now back to the G8.

I don't know if they will go with the Coupe now and the later it gets I see the effort going to the Alpha that can and will live on past 2020. I just see with the hold the Alpha changing like the Zeta did to be more adaptable and expanded to more vehicles than originally intended.

With Ford looking at a lighter platform GM is sure to invest in a lighter platform as they continue to sell the Zetas till they will be replaced.

The only thing that would save Zeta long term is if they can remove weight and not kill the good prices they have.

I just read about the new SAAB XWD and though that could make a good Pontiac platform if they can pice it right. But I am not sure of the cost of the drivetrain system.

It's all about the product mix and how the new regs come down. If DC gets off its lazy backside and gets those regs settled relatively soon, we could see more Zetas (at least for a time). Long term, I hope GM can find a way to keep the Zetas at Pontiac even if they have to remain low-volume products.

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It's all about the product mix and how the new regs come down. If DC gets off its lazy backside and gets those regs settled relatively soon, we could see more Zetas (at least for a time). Long term, I hope GM can find a way to keep the Zetas at Pontiac even if they have to remain low-volume products.

Agreed. But when has DC ever gotten their act together. Con is the opposite of pro and we should all know what that makes congress.

Heck, I am a gov't employee and I have no delusions of the compentancy of our elected officials, of either party, in any area of gov't.

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Better go test drive one while you can... TICK TOCK!

:wavey:

(I figured PCS is pretty busy ruining GM, so I'll just make one of his usual troll posts for him)

If your going to quote me, please do it right! "Better get one while you can, TICK-TOCK! :AH-HA_wink:"

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Agreed. But when has DC ever gotten their act together. Con is the opposite of pro and we should all know what that makes congress.

Heck, I am a gov't employee and I have no delusions of the compentancy of our elected officials, of either party, in any area of gov't.

Sad but true.

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