The Pontiac G6 is a midsize car that was produced by General Motors under the Pontiac brand. It was introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year to replace the Grand Am. The car was built on the GM Epsilon platform which it shared with the Chevrolet Malibu and Saab 9-3 along with other General Motors vehicles. Features included a remote starting system (standard on GT, optional on base model), traction control/ABS, electronic stability control, automatic headlights as well as a panoramic sunroof option. Production ended in 2010 with the discontinuation of the Pontiac line.

Its name derives from being the successor to the Pontiac Grand Am, and serves as the "sixth generation" of the Grand Am, hence G6. The name change from Grand Am to G6 was implemented to help reposition Pontiac as a rival to BMW, and served as a standard for most future models. For example, the Pontiac G8 was a class above the G6, while the Pontiac G5 was a class below.

Overview

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Pontiac G6 coupe

The Pontiac G6 was first introduced at the 2003 North American International Auto Show as a concept car. The concept used a 3.5 L supercharged V6 that made 285 horsepower and 272 lb ft of torque mated to a 4T65-E electronically controlled automatic transmission. When the G6 was introduced in 2005, it had two trim levels, base "V6" and sportier "GT". Both trims, however, used a 3.5 L pushrod V6 producing 200 horsepower (150 kW) and 220 lb f ·ft (300 N·m) of torque. Matched to a four-speed automatic transmission, the GT featured TAPshift, where the driver could select the gears manually. General Motors had only produced 2200 Street Edition models. The package came with heated seats, remote start, Monsoon sound system with eight speakers followed with a six-disc CD changer, moon roof, six speed tap shift and GXP badging with chrome grills.

Base models were well equipped, featuring power locks, windows and mirrors with keyless entry, six-speaker CD stereo, power drivers seat, air conditioning and split folding rear seat. GTs added an eight-speaker Monsoon stereo, premium cloth seats with six-way adjustment, remote start, ABS and traction control.

In 2006, the G6 added two new trim levels and two new bodystyles, a coupe and a retractable hard top convertible. The new trim levels were a new base four-cylinder trim (sometimes referred to as "SE"), and the high performance "GTP". Coupes and convertibles were available in GT and GTP trims only. The new base model used a 169-horsepower, 2.4 L DOHC inline-4, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5 L V6 was now part of a sport-package on the base/SE, and remained standard on the GT. The new GTP used a 3.9 L version of the GT's 3.5 L V6, but also utilizes variable valve timing (VVT), increasing output to 240 horsepower. A four-speed automatic transmission was standard, but for no cost, a six-speed manual transmission was available. The GTP convertible was not available with the manual transmission and reduced its power to 227 hp , due to a more restrictive exhaust system. The GTP also featured standard electronic stability control.

The 2007 G6 saw more engine changes, and standard side torso and side curtain airbags (actually introduced late in the 2006 model year) were new. The GT now featured VVT on its 3.5 L V6, raising power from 200 hp to 224 hp . The 3.9 L V6 became an option on the GT, producing 227 horsepower in automatic transmission form and 240 horsepower in manual transmission form. The GTP was given a new 3.6 L DOHC V6 with 24 valves and VVT, producing 252 horsepower at 6300 RPM. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Midway through the model year the six-speed manual was dropped with the 3.9 L , along with its 240-horsepower output. The GTP convertible was also discontinued. For 2008, the GTP became the GXP with more dramatic styling cues, and the 3.9 L engine became an exclusive convertible option, with horsepower down to 222. SAE ratings also dropped the horsepower ratings on the 2.4 L and 3.5 L models to 164 hp and 219 hp ( 217 hp on convertibles), respectively.

For 2009, 2.4 L four-cylinder engines were added to the coupe lineup. GM revised the G6 in the middle of 2009, creating a "2009.5" model year. Changes consisted of a revised front and rear fascia as well as a revision of the dashboard, most notably adding an updated radio with Bluetooth capability. Coupes and convertibles ceased production at the end of the 2009 model year, making examples with the 2009.5 changes fairly rare. Subsequent to this model's introduction, General Motors entered bankruptcy, and announced that the G6 sedan would be discontinued in 2010. Most other Pontiac models had been discontinued, but the G6 was in high-demand for fleet vehicle orders, facilitating production to continue while the brand was wound down.

GM began marketing the Buick brand in Mexico to replace Pontiac after the 2009 model year, GM replaced the Pontiac G6 competitively with the larger Buick LaCrosse, and later in the United States & Canada, the G6 & the Saturn Aura were ultimately replaced by GM's revived Buick Regal nameplate. The convertible Pontiac G6 was later replaced by the Opel Cascada, marketed as a Buick in the U.S. in early 2016.

The last Pontiac ever manufactured, a 2010 G6, was built in early 2010 when GM restarted the Orion Assembly Line to manufacture one final 2010 Pontiac G6. [4]

Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Pontiac G6 an overall Good score in the frontal offset crash test [5] but an Acceptable score in the side impact crash test even though side airbags were introduced late in the 2006 model year. The lower side impact score was due in part to a marginal rating for the structure/safety cage category. [6]

2005 GXP concept

The 2005 GXP concept was built by General Motors Performance Division. It includes a 3.6 L HO VVTI V6 engine rated at 275 hp , F40 six-speed manual transmission, performance intake, GM Performance cat-back exhaust with bright tips, and 19-inch wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE040 255 series tires. It was unveiled at the 2004 SEMA show, and was later sold on the eBay Motors website. [7] The auction ended on May 3, 2009 with winning bid price of US$ 16 500.00 . [23]

Marketing

The launch of the G6 was a major publicity stunt: 276 of the cars were given away to audience members of The Oprah Winfrey Show on the talk show's fall 2004 season premiere. This promotion, alongside a reported US$110 million publicity campaign, attempted to garner national attention for the brand-new G6.

On September 12, 2014, Autoblog did a follow up on the individuals who won the vehicle on the tenth anniversary of the telecast. The winners interviewed learned that although they did "get a car" from Winfrey during the broadcast, in actuality they had to go to the Pontiac dealership in their area to pick up the G6 because the vehicles that were shown outside the studio's parking lot were used as a promotion. One couple had to sell their G6s because they learned of tax implications that came with owning the car, while another kept hers even though her two friends who came with her to the taping no longer have theirs (one was sold, another was totaled in an accident) and hopes to give the G6 to her daughter in time for college, saying "I'm hoping to drive it until we can't drive it any more." [9]

Motorsports

The G6 was used in the GT class of Rolex Sports Car Series as a replacement for the Pontiac GTO.R after the GTO went out of production. The cars are referred to as GXP.R s and built by GM's endorsed chassis constructor, Pratt & Miller. [10]

It is powered by LS2 V8 engine that produces approximately 450 horsepower (340 kW). Weight saving features include carbon fiber body panels, shatter-resistant polycarbonate windows. The custom tube-frame chassis is not at all based on the road car's chassis and the 6-speed gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels. The front and rear fenders flared to cover the wide, 18-inch wheels and class-spec Hoosier racing tires. A rear wing reminiscent of sports option package on the race car is fitted at the back, underneath the proper racing rear wing. [11]

The G6 GXP also races in the NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock class for Warren Johnson Racing.

Yearly United States sales

Calendar Year Total American sales
2004 [55] 16,185
2005 124,844
2006 [57] 157,644
2007 150,001
2008 [59] 140,240
2009 [60] 87,171
2010 [26] 479
Total 676,564

Recalls

There have been four NHTSA formal recalls for the Pontiac G6.

The first recall (NHTSA Campaign 06V417000) was for Pontiac G6 cars with aftermarket seat upgrades. To expedite sales at some dealerships, GM authorized seats to be replaced with leather seats as a dealer-installed option. This change could cause the passenger air bag sensor to not detect an occupant. GM took the rare step of buying back any cars that had this dealer installed option.

The second recall (NHTSA Campaign 09V036000) affected 8,012 MY 2005-2006 G6 vehicles, and corrected a potential corrosion that affected brake light wiring, and could cause brake lights to not illuminate.

On September 21, 2012, General Motors recalled 473,841 vehicles involving the Chevy Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura from model years 2007 through 2010 equipped with four-speed automatic transmissions. The problem is a condition that could make cars roll when in park. The recall affects 426,240 in the United States, 40,029 in Canada and 7,572 in other markets.

This recall is an expansion of a much smaller 2011 recall on certain 2009/2009.5 MY vehicles which experienced the same condition. GM expanded the recall in 2012 after finding the problem was not isolated to that model year.

In 2014 GM has recalled the vehicle regarding a condition in which the transmission shift cable may fracture. The fracture prevents the driver from selecting gears and may cause the vehicle to move in an unintended direction.