A Guide to Pontiac G8 Performance Upgrades

The 2008 Pontiac G8 was originally based on the Holden Commodore—an Australian subsidiary of General Motors (GM). The Commodore and the subsequent Pontiac G8 were part of GM’s Zeta Platform initiative which was a project designed to replace the V-Body line of vehicles. Even though GM ultimately discontinued this line, it would eventually lead to other cars like the Chevrolet SS.

Red Pontiac G8

So, why all the hype? What is it about this car that would compel Motor Trend to identify it as a “future classic”? The Pontiac G8 is part of a line of vehicles designed to have more power and better weight distribution than the typical mid-sized sedan. With the GXP and GT iterations of the G8, the power dial really got turned up. These two later models amplified the already powerful G8 and created a vehicle with real potential.

For anyone looking for a car that is perfect for aftermarket upgrades, the Pontiac G8 is a great option. These sedans are an ideal foundation for adding some performance upgrades that can take this car to the next level. CT Performance specializes in aftermarket upgrades for the Pontiac G8. To help you see what we can do for your G8, here is a closer look at the standard G8, GT, and GXP design specifications and the performance upgrades offered by CT Performance.

Pontiac G8, GT, and GXP Design Specs

The 2008 G8. The base-level G8 sedan from General motors features a 3.6L V6 engine with a 256 horsepower and 6,300 rpm. The 2008 G8 also comes with a standard 5-speed automatic transmission, traction control, and electronic stability control.

As the base-level model, the 2008 G8 does not have as much power as the upgraded models that would come later, but considering that this is a mid-sized sedan, it has comparatively more power than other vehicles in its class.

The 2009 GT. The 2009 Pontiac G8 GT was only a few thousand dollars more than the base-level G8 when it originally went to market. In terms of power though, the GT offered much more than the standard G8. The GT features a 6.0L small-block V8 (LS2) with a 361-horsepower output and active fuel management. The GT also featured a 6-speed transmission as opposed to the 5-speed standard G8.

According to Motor Trend, the Pontiac GT beat out the Dodge Charger and Nissan Maxima in a comparative 0-60 acceleration test. Ultimately, the GT gave consumers a lot more power than the standard G8 without breaking the bank.

The 2009 GXP. The 2009 Pontiac GXP GT was the final iteration of the G8 from GM. The GXP was the fastest and most powerful of the lot with a 6.2L 402-Horsepower, Generation 5 V8 (LS3); 6-speed manual transmission; and FE3 suspension. The GXP is capable of going 0-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. Compared to other vehicles with similar performance capabilities, the GXP was far more affordable.

Performance Upgrades for the G8, GT, and GXP

Red Pontiac G8 rear view

Bolt On. For naturally aspirated—not supercharged or turbo charged—vehicles like the Pontiac G8, GT, and GXP, the first line of upgrades to consider would be bolt-on upgrades. If you’ve never done any performance upgrades on your car, bolt-on modifications such as a cold-air intake, headers, x pipes, and mufflers can add power and performance to your vehicles.

Depending on the result you’re looking to achieve for your G8, you could do one or all of these modifications. For the best results, you should consider what your goals are for your build and consult a CT Performance expert who can help you make your build a reality.

Tuning. In addition to bolt-on upgrades, you should consider getting a tune for your G8. A tune involves accessing a car’s computer in order to optimize it for performance. In addition to optimization, CT will perform a dynamometer test that shows you exactly how a tuning improved your car’s horsepower and output.

For general modifications like bolt-on upgrades, it’s recommended that you get a tune so that you can see what impact your upgrades had. Besides a computerized optimization, a tuning also entails street driving the car to ensure that it’s drivability is intact, shift points are spot on and feels consistent overall.

Heads and Cam Install. If you’re looking to take your car to the next level of performance, then you should consider retooling the heads of your vehicles. By porting and polishing your vehicle’s heads, you can optimize the air intake of your motor and push your car to its maximum performance capability.

A cam is what controls the valves on the head, so modifying the cams should be considered whenever upgrading the heads of your car. When you opt for a heads and cam job at CT Performance, part of what you’ll get is a cam that is customized to fit your performance goals for your vehicle.

The Height of Possibility

If you’re looking to take your Pontiac G8 all out and make the most powerful car that you can, CT Performance has the expertise that you need. A CT Performance G8 currently holds the record for the half mile with a bracing 180.124 mph that was set by the CG Lantis' Torch Red G8. CG’s G8 also was able to hit speeds of 209+mph when running it out to 2km. If you want to build a car that will break records, turn heads, and go really fast, then CT Performance is the place to go.

Schedule your Build Today

Whether you’re looking to add some simple upgrades to your G8 or you want to create a record-breaking speed demon, CT Performance can help you achieve your modification goals. Our friendly team has the skills to make your dream build a reality. For more information or to schedule a build, contact our offices today.