8. Pontiac G8
Pontiac thought a rear-wheel-drive sedan would help them fight their European competitors. The G8 was a good idea with a redesign, and with a small-block V8 engine it was an effective performance sedan too. The base engine was a solid 3.5-liter V6 producing 256 HP. But the real deal was the G8 GXP with a 6.2-liter V8 producing 415 HP. Also, the G8 came with high levels of standard equipment as well as a long list of optional extras. Unfortunately, the G8 also came too late. Most drivers weren’t ready to accept a G8 performance sedan that could beat the overpriced European models.
After years of anemic, front-wheel-drive economy cars and minivans of the ’90s, Pontiac had lost its performance image. Only a handful of buyers remembered what it was known for and capable of achieving. So when they finally presented a car capable of reclaiming the title of the performance brand, they had run out of time. In two years, Pontiac sold just over 30,000 G8s.