GM reveals the American Holden Commodore that never was

Posted on June 25, 2024Comments Off on GM reveals the American Holden Commodore that never was

GM Design has revealed a concept it never had the chance to unveil – and it wears a familiar name.

On its Instagram account, GM Design has published a series of images of the Pontiac G8 concept designed by its Advanced Studio in California, which was the final concept from the brand.

Completed in 2008, it never had a chance to be revealed – General Motors announced it was shuttering the Pontiac brand on April 27, 2009, shortly before the American giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 8, 2009.

Pontiac had introduced the G8, a rebadged Holden VE Commodore, in early 2008. It’s unclear when this concept, which previews a next-generation model, was set to make its motor show debut.

It’s also unclear just how much of the G8 concept’s design would have filtered through to a second-generation model.

GM Design does, however, say the concept was “a fully functioning vision of the future design language of Pontiac from 2008”.

It’s a bold design, too. Pontiac’s trademark twin-nostril grille features, but there are vertically oriented headlights with more of a Cadillac flavour.

There’s a rakish, coupe-like roofline, a sharp crease running down the side, and prominent hips, culminating in a hatchback rear that bears a passing resemblance to GM’s Mazda MX-5 rivals of the time, the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.

Inside, there’s a dramatic, driver-focused dash, with a minimalist centre stack, chrome-ringed analogue gauges, and a Corvette-like look overall.

The G8 concept is a pillarless hardtop, and any production vehicle derived from this would have almost certainly gained a B-pillar.

Pre-bankruptcy, GM had grand plans for the Australian-engineered Zeta platform underpinning the Commodore and G8, and which may have underpinned this concept.

It was set to be rolled out to the Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac and reportedly even Saab brands, underpinning everything from sedans to coupes to utes.

In the end, it only underpinned the Holden Commodore and its derivatives, as well as the Chevrolet Camaro.

GM also had grand plans for the Pontiac brand, repositioning it as a more focused, performance brand – much as Dodge has become.

The company’s former vice chairman of product development, Bob Lutz, told Motor1 if Pontiac had survived, it would still have the Solstice roadster, plus a second-generation G6 sedan on the rear-wheel drive Alpha architecture.

Click an image to view the full gallery, and check out the GM Design Instagram account for more behind-the-scenes imagery.