In the early ’60s, all major US car makers introduced compact models. Chevrolet had the Corvair, Ford had the Falcon, and Pontiac presented the Tempest. In most cases, those compact models were only more miniature versions of bigger cars sharing design cues and mechanicals. Still, Pontiac went a different route and presented one of the era’s most advanced American cars (via Hemmings).
The new Tempest had independent suspension all around, in a time when all cars used live rear axle. Then, it featured an economical four-cylinder engine which was a cut-down V8 when all competitors had six cylinders. The third thing may be the most interesting as the Tempest also used a rear-mounted gearbox.