2000 Pontiac Grand Prix G8. By Ed Hellwig Date Posted 11-21-2000 Concept cars often evoke feelings of excitement, awe and a little disappointment. On one hand, their dazzling sheetmetal, pumped up engines, and futuristic technology conjure up ideas of Jetsons-like capability in a real-life model. On the other hand, their exotic components and one-off designs almost guarantee their absence from showrooms anytime in the near future. With Pontiac's Grand Prix G8, the excitement stems not only from the rakish bodywork and the onboard DVD, but the possibility, considering its use of off-the-shelf components, that some day soon we might actually get to drop in on a Pontiac dealer and order one of our own. Although the current Grand Prix Coupe is already a capable performer with its 240-horsepower supercharged V6 and sport-tuned suspension, the G8 takes Pontiac's top-of-the-line coupe to a whole other level. Central to the G8's enhanced capability is the 5.7-liter, LS1 V8 under the hood. For those of you not familiar with GM's alphanumeric engine designations, the LS1 is the same engine currently residing in the Corvette and Camaro/Firebird twins. This version thumps out 350 horsepower with the help of one and five-eighths of an inch headers, a 3-inch dual exhaust, and a Ram-air induction hood. Considering the number of 300+ horsepower coupes currently available (none), these numbers would surely draw some serious attention to the often-overlooked Grand Prix. Another surefire attention-getter is the G8's Versatrak all-wheel-drive system. Swiped from the all-wheel-drive Aztek, Pontiac engineers reconfigured the standard Grand Prix's front-wheel-drive layout to accommodate a rear axle and a fully independent suspension. Power is sent through a standard four-speed transmission, but there's little doubt that the T56 six-speed gearbox from the near-death Firebird could be easily adapted to give the G8 a true super coupe pedigree. To give the G8 a look to match its brutish drivetrain, Pontiac lowered the car an inch and added monster 19-inch by 9.5-inch wheels wrapped in 255/40ZR19 Eagle F1 tires. Flared fenders attempt to contain the massive rolling stock, while 13-inch cross-drilled brake rotors up front and 12-inch discs in the rear are employed to clamp them down. A GTO-style spoiler, hood-mounted tachometer, and oversized exhaust outlets are the finishing touches on the sinister-looking coupe. Inside, the tricked out two-door sports black chrome door handles and special dash accents to spruce up the already futuristic interior. Custom leather seats and door panels give the coupe an upscale look, while rear passengers can enjoy DVDs on the flat panel video display. So what are the chances that the G8 will grace the lot of a Pontiac dealer near you someday? Not good in our best estimation. Although the parts are there, it's doubtful that Pontiac will devote any additional resources toward a car that is set for a complete redesign in 2003. With enough positive feedback on the G8, however, Pontiac might be persuaded to devote more time to developing a similar car based on the new platform.