- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Remember when Pontiacs and Chevrolets looked a lot alike? Then Pontiac pulled ahead in terms of style and performance — particularly performance.

For a time, it seemed as though the Pontiac image lost its luster in the automotive world, and along came a resurrected version of the GTO, which is a very nice car but still lacking a certain pizzazz in the eyes of many fans.

Enter the new Pontiac G6 Sedan — an all-new midsize sedan based on the General’s global Episilon platform architecture.

The developmental goal of the G6 project was to come up with a midsize sedan that offered both a sporty look and sporty feel.

The design is fresh and contemporary inside and outside as well.

According to Bob Lutz, who seems to be calling the design and developmental shots at General Motors these days, “the G6 is the first manifestation of ‘We can do it’ at GM, proving that GM can produce ‘best-in-class’ vehicles as well, if not better than anybody.”

The G6 rides on a class-leading 112.3-inch wheelbase, stretching it out five inches longer than key competitors in the midsize sedan category.

Wheels are pushed out to all four corners, providing crisp responsiveness with minimal body roll — definitely a sporty attribute.

The overhangs both front and rear are short, and the G6 sits low, with a very pronounced rake to its sleek, wedge-shaped form.

The “A” pillar is pulled forward, giving the windshield an increased slant, and making the car look as if it’s in motion even at a standstill.

The cat’s-eye, reflective optic headlamps flank the twin-port signature grille openings with chrome accents and mesh inserts.

The nose and tail are both smooth and rounded with a contemporary flavor.

The drag coefficient is a slippery 0.29.

The interior appointments are just as impressive as the car’s exterior styling. The cockpit reflects a driver-oriented sports-car approach, with user-friendly control placement.

Refinement and quality are in evidence throughout the G6, which comes in two trim levels: the base G6 and the G6 GT.

Both G6 models draw their motive power from the new 3500 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 200 horsepower and 220 foot-pounds of torque.

The 3500 engine mates to a Hydra-Matic 4T65-E, electronically controlled four-speed automatic in the base G6, while the G6 GT’s automatic comes equipped with a manual shift mode that allows the driver to select gears manually without the use of a clutch (because there isn’t one).

In 2006, the G6 will be available in another trim level — the G6 GTP, which will debut with an all-new 3900 3.9 liter V-6 delivering an estimated 240 horsepower and 245 foot-pounds of torque.

The engine may be coupled to a manually shiftable four-speed automatic or an all-new European-designed high-performance six-speed manual gearbox.

In addition to the souped-up GTP model for 2006, you can also expect coupe and convertible body styles to join the sedan models.

There are lots of things to like about the G6, aside from its exceptionally good looks.

For one thing, the optional market-exclusive Panoramic Roof that features four sliding glass panels that open to offer a convertiblelike fresh-air experience.

A conventional single panel sunroof is also available. Other admirable issues include the agility provided in the handling department, along with the engine’s smooth responsiveness and the linear, almost imperceptible gear transitions made by the transmission.

The Pontiac G6 Sports Sedan is a superior value at the projected price point.

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