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Auto blogTue, 28 Aug 2012 17:14:00 EST
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:45:00 EST
Do not adjust your computer screen, you are not seeing the rebirth of the Pontiac brand. General Motors has chosen to use a G8 to disguise a test mule for the latest prototype of the forthcoming Chevrolet SS. The G8 was closely related to the Holden Commodore and Vauxhall VXR, the platform upon which the new Chevrolet performance model will be based. It should come as little surprise, then, that GM has opted to use the cladding from the former G8.
Thought the front clip of this mule is pure Pontiac, note the vents immediately behind the front wheel. That is a distinctive design hallmark of the Vauxhall VXR. Also note that this vehicle is right-hand drive, as the Holden and its Chevy counterpart will be very closely related. That likely includes potential drivetrains. The spy photos of this mule also reveal very wide rear tires, and rear wheels that do not match the fronts.
Where else would you expect the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to show up first? Although this time it isn't exactly in Jay Leno's Garage, Leno instead playing an away game at Brown's Classic Auto in Scottsdale, Arizona. Nor does Leno drive the car, instead taking an 11-minute walkaround of the new American sports car with General Motors design head Ed Welburn, the same man who recently brought by a string of classic Corvettes to the talk show host's California compound.
It is, admittedly, a love-fest for the American sports car now featuring 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, but one that also features admissions about previous Corvette seats like "they were kinda rough," and the explanation that labeling the coupe "Stingray" means not having to call it "the base Corvette." On top of that, Welburn also explains the proper application of the term "dashboard." You can watch it all in the video below.
Full Disclosure: in my younger days, I loved nothing more than tormenting passengers with my behind-the-wheel hijinks. Once, after a particularly artful handbrake turn on a two-lane at around 50 miles per hour, I left one backseat occupant crying in their own lap. This isn't necessarily something to be proud of, but it gives you a glimpse into why it is that I find this ad from Pepsi so damn disappointing. The premise is beautiful. Take NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, give him a disguise and set him loose upon some unsuspecting used car dealer. Hilarity ensues.
Except that this Pepsi Max commercial is so obviously staged, it can't help but feel like some ham-fisted marketing fail. From the strategically placed aftermarket cupholder mounted mid-dash for the hidden camera to the fact that the supposed dealer Camaro is displayed as a 2009 model (Hint: Chevrolet didn't make any), this clip is about as organic as a Twinkie. Still, we would never turn down a chance to watch Gordon thrash on a rental-spec coupe - only problem is, he probably didn't even do the driving himself. Check it out below.