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by Alex Gibson

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?

  • JD

    The production version of the commodore coupe 60 would have sold in hotcakes. Good looking vehicle.

    • adelaide john

      still would sell like hotcakes today with a bit of good marketing

      • Bruce

        Would have sold in Oz but would die in a market competing against Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers. These pony cars look a lot like their 60s predecessors. This. GTO/Holden Coupe60 shared nothing in common with the orig muscle car – except the name badge.

        • Shak

          Well previous gen Mustangs, Charger’s and Camaro’s didnt really look like their 60’s predecessors and still sold quite well. It would have done well as a Pontiac, not a Chevrolet. Oh well no point pondering what could have been now…

          • Bert

            Charger’s is a contraction of ‘Charger is’. I think you mean Chargers. Didn’t you listen in school when they taught you about apostrophes? It’s not that hard really.

          • Shak

            Mate i come here to discuss all things cars. I honestly couldn’t care less about grammar.

    • guest

      It would have been a big seller. The car has very good proportions, good stance and is still desirable looking.

      But in America, they like their cars with grills, wings, gaping vents and holes along with lots of chrome and cladding. It’s apparently sporty.

      Previous generation Camaros and Mustangs also didn’t look like the classic models, yet it was no trouble for them. Only thing was The Pontiac (Holden) GTO suffered Not Invented Here syndrome. If they’d done the same thing themselves, criticism would have been muted.

  • O123

    GM in its infinite wisdom decides to kill a car that would have sold.

    • Shak

      Gm suffers from the ‘Not Made in the USA’ syndrome. They are very averse to letting their small foreign brands build something great then send it back home. I guess it shows them how truly lacklustre their Made in the USA cars are in some departments. Holden, SAAB and Opel have all made some great cars over the years only to have them go over to the US in some half-hearted attempt to show the brands that they care, and then flop. Gm then complains that they deserve more investment money because they cant make a global business case (US=Global). GM started to realise the potential of Holden under Lutz only to have Pontiac die and with it Holden’s last solid life line overseas.

      • JJ

        I think you have it around the wrong way. They kill off the dead weight… like Holden.

        • guest

          Dead weight? You mean the parent company that built Chevrolet SSR, named by Time as one of the 50 worst cars of all time. Or the bizarre Pontiac Rageous – a dreadful concept car. or wasted money on the Cadillac Sixteen which was never going to go anywhere or do anything and had less sophistication than a common garden E-Class Mercedes.

          Holden on the other hand is one of GMs smarter brands.

          • 3D4

            nice one mate

        • Shak

          If that were the case then Buick would have died alongside Pontiac. Also Opel would have been shut billions of dollars in losses ago. GM knows which brands they need to keep, but they face pressure from the US government and Americans in general not to invest outside of the country.

          • Des KSA

            Ah yes Buick, the sound one makes when putting your finger down you throat. “I’m sorry I just Buicked on your carpet, I’ll clean it up” Revolting cars that the name actually suits.

          • Shak

            HAve you seen any of their current line up? For the market segment they’re targeting their cars are quite good.

  • Sash

    I know for a fact that the coupe 60 was only 24 hours away for getting the green light to go into production when GM filed for chapter 11, so close yet so fare.

  • m1n1s1n