Pontiac thought that a rear-wheel drive sedan would help them fight European competitors. The G8 was a good idea and with Pontiac’s redesign and small-block V8 engines. It was a pretty compelling performance sedan too. The base engine was a solid 3.5-liter V6 with 256 HP. But the real deal was the G8 GXP with a 6.2-liter V8 and 415 HP. Also, the G8 came with high levels of standard equipment as well as a long list of optional extras (via Edmunds).
Unfortunately, the G8 came too late, and the customers just needed more time to be ready to accept the G8 performance sedan. A US-made car that could beat the overpriced European models. After years of anemic models, front-wheel drive economy cars, or minivans of the ’90s, Pontiac lost its performance image. Only a few buyers remembered what it was known for and capable of. So when they finally presented the car which was capable of reclaiming the title of a performance brand, they had run out of time. In two years, Pontiac sold just over 30,000 G8s.