It's a four door Australian Camaro with a stick!
If you're not a fan of weird cars from Australia, then you probably don't know the origin story of the Pontiac G8. Basically, the Holden Commodore was built in Australia, then imported into the US and rebadged as the G8. The G8 only enjoyed a two-year production run as GM killed Pontiac in 2009. The G8 was initially available with a 3.6-liter V6 with 256 horsepower, or a 6.0-liter V8 with 361 hp. The V6 was burdened with an outdated five-speed automatic transmission, so the V8 with the six-speed automatic was the enthusiasts' choice.
Neither of these engines were particularly slow, but neither could live up to the potential of the Zeta platform. In 2009, GM finally gave the G8 the engine it deserved: a 6.2-liter V8 from the Corvette. Power was now increased to 415 hp, and a six-speed manual was offered. Pontiac dubbed this version the GXP, and thus the most badass American sedan was born! The GXP could hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 13 seconds flat. While these numbers wouldn't embarrass a Hellcat, they represented a performance bargain in 2009. The GXP was also given an upgraded FE3 suspension that was tuned at the Nurburgring as well as Brembo brakes. Just 1,829 units of the GXP were built.
After Pontiac's demise, we never got to see the G8's full potential. Enthusiasts dreamed that GM would have the courage to import the wagon or ute versions of the Commodore, either as Pontiac or Chevrolet models. The Zeta platform could have even handled more power in the form of GM's LS7 V8 with 505 horses on tap, or even a supercharged variant. While we can always dream about what might have been, Chevrolet has stepped up and brought an Australian-built full size sedan into the US, the Chevy SS. Like the G8, this sedan turned muscle car is available with a six-speed manual. However, like the G8, it seems that the Chevy SS isn't exactly selling like hotcakes. In 2009 only 23,157 G8s were built, 1,829 of which were GXPs.
More than half of all GXPs were fitted with the automatic transmission, so finding a manual is no simple task. Although the manual was only a $695 option when new, manual examples are now much more coveted than the automatic models. You can still find GXPs for sale in the $30,000 to $40,000 range depending on mileage. While this may sound like a lot for a car with a deceased badge, it represents a big saving over a new Chevy SS which starts at $46,000 and has about the same amount of horsepower. It is also the same amount of power that you would get from a similarly priced used BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, although the G8 is way bigger. That should keep your wife happy! Who says investment cars can't be usable?