Pontiac, the now-deceased subsidiary of General Motors, was working on a fifth-generation GTO before the car maker was killed off in 2009, it has been revealed.
In a Road and Track magazine report, former GM vice-president Bob Lutz revealed Pontiac was working on a new four-seat GTO coupe based on the Pontiac G8, confirming development had progressed to the point of Pontiac building a full-scale clay model.
Had Pontiac built a new-generation GTO, it would have marked the second time the Holden Commodore was used as the basis for the iconic V8 muscle-car nameplate.
After a 30-year hiatus, the GTO nameplate returned in 2004, with Pontiac launching a rebadged, lightly reskinned Holden Monaro for the US market. The car was on sale for three years but had little success, criticised at the time for its perceived bland styling and a high purchase price.
Lutz told Road and Track the stillborn GTO would have addressed the previous car’s main criticisms. Based on the Pontiac G8 (above), itself a rebadged Holden VE Commodore SS, the GTO would have essentially been a Monaro successor, and was slated for sale from 2008.
The GTO badge was born in 1964, and is credited by many as having been the first in a series of classic US muscle cars. Holden’s planned export of the VE Commodore to foreign markets, including as the Pontiac G8, was a major reason it was able to invest$1 billion in that car’s development.
Interestingly, we have already seen what a VE Commodore-based Monaro coupe might have looked like; in 2010 Holden revealed the Coupe 60 concept (pictured top). Is that the form the fifth-generation GTO would have taken?