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HomeNews and EventsIs Pontiac Back?

Is Pontiac Back?

The latest Car and Driver issue may give us a hint

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If you glance at Facebook, you will still find plenty of Pontiac fans lamenting the disappearance of their favorite marque. “Why couldn’t it be Buick?” some quip, the sting feeling greater when it’s pointed out Pontiac’s market share in North America was greater than Buick’s when the axe fell. So, would you be surprised to find a Pontiac ad inside the back cover of the May/June issue of Car and Driver?

pontiac
1964 Pontiac GTO, similar to the one that made a name for itself and Car and Driver magazine.

With art direction harkening back 20-plus years, and copy that would make any Detroit-based writer fill with pride, the ad teases us with the following:

MAKE SOME NOISE

Pontiac fans, it’s been a weird 15 years since we left, hasn’t it? Now, we can’t definitely say that Pontiac’s absence influenced the events we all have been through, but c’mon. Caffeine comes out of Four Loko, and now it’s in lemonade? Everything on the road looks like an Aztek now?

You need us. America needs us. The future needs us. So Pontiac is back.

Our first model is a hybrid. Surprised? Well, it uses a battery and an electric motor to start a 667-hp supercharged 372-cubic-inch V-8. And we think you’re going to want one, because what else are you going to do? You can’t buy a new Dodge Challenger and leave the splitter guards on anymore. Don’t worry, we’ve got you—our new car’s entire front end is a splitter guard.

At Pontiac, we’re here to offer a future filled with V-8s, great sounds, gold pinstripes, and window louvers. And if someone shouts “Last call,” we’ll just smuggle in some Coors from Colorado and keep the party going.

PONTIAC IS BACK

Then, the small-print:

DISCLAIMER: Do you need to be told that this advertisement is fake and not to be taken seriously? Our lawyers think you do.

This Firebird Firehawk was produced in 2002, the last model year of the Firebird.

So, the ad is not quite real, but General Motors has spent tens of thousands of dollars to promote a dead brand and not any car that’s currently available in the American market. Is there something GM knows that we don’t? Is this a teaser of things to come? Pontiac’s 100th anniversary is coming up for 2026 so, for now, let’s sit back and see if more of these pop up.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.

68 COMMENTS

  1. C’mon GM. Show some balls and steal some thunder from Ford and Dodge. Start the lineup with new Trans Am, using the Camaro underpinnings but with a cabin you can actually see out of and a Hybridized LS3. And while I’d love to see a new Grand Prix or Bonneville on the CT 5 chassis, the consumer demands a crossover. How about a new LeMans, sized like a Cayenne or X5 but with a sleek but squared off style like a Range Rover Sport. AWD and a turbo hybrid based on the 3.0 in the CT5. I guy can dream, right?

  2. In the 60s and 70s, the competition was strong, Chevy 427, Pontiac 428, Ford 429, then in the later underpowered 70s, we started to loose our Pontiac identity, Trans Ams were now Oldsmobile powered, the Chevy powered, the competition was over, and so was Pontiac, I’ve still got my 73 455 powered Grand Prix, never an LS in there while I’m still breathing

  3. WTF is wrong with GM? Why do they feel the need to tease Pontiac fans like this? Isn’t it torture enough that they killed the brand? Asshats.

  4. I miss my PONTIAC’S I had a lot of them years ago- Truth to to be told Shame Shame GM What’s GM without Pontiacs & er Oldsmobiles’ Are you listening Mary Barra?

  5. I have a numbers matching 1967 GTO convertible. I’ll never give it up and to hear that Pontiac may come back is music to my ears.

  6. They’d have impossibly large shoes to fill to bring back the firebird but I would be at the front of the line for one of they pulled it off correctly.

  7. GM should bring back the Pontiac marque and make it the face of a newly formed General Motors ‘Performance Division’. Just as Dodge’s trucks are now called ‘Ram’, which was a newly created Chrysler (now Stellantis North America) Division, the Pontiac marque would work in a similar and separate manner allowing GM to flex their historic and futuristic muscles. This new Pontiac Division would entail ALL types of performance vehicles: petroleum powered, electric powered and hybrid vehicles.

    To appease the existing GM marques, Cadillac, Buick and Chevy could choose to retain any current (Corvette, Camaro, etc.) or past (Chevelle, Buick Grand Sport, etc.) performance vehicles. However, Pontiac would be put in charge of any newly created vehicle models, as well as resurrecting historic muscle cars, like the GTO, Grand Prix, 2+2 (Catalina and stand alone versions), Firebird (including Trans Am, GTA, Formula, etc), LeMans (including the T-37 and GT-37), CanAm (does anyone remember that car from 1977?), Bonneville, the Banshee prototype, and maybe even a beefier version of the Solstice. Pontiac would also be put in charge of overseeing the defunct Oldsmobile Division’s high performance cars, like the 442, as well as Saturn’s Sky.

    I feel making this move and resurrecting these splendid cars from their past would help GM recreate the much needed excitement and fun for nearly all age groups, which they lost by erroneously dropping the Pontiac marque. Just my humble opinion, as a former owner of a magnificent 1967 Pontiac GTO for 20 years!!!

  8. Let me buy a real Olds 98 and a Pontiac Grand Prix. I’ll then buy GM stock I unloaded when they dropped Pontiac then Olds.

  9. I have 7 pontiacs and would love #8 but let’s face it Pontiac hasn’t been Pontiac since before they put olds engines in trans ams

  10. When the go to the toaster cars, I am going to buy a fully restored mid 60s Catalina or late 60s Grand Prix and drive it until I die.

  11. Please let there be an awesome new Trans-am. I don’t even care of it’s a hybrid, if it looks good I’m buying it.

  12. I would love a car with t-tops, agreed with that, but let’s face it – generic hybrid crossover SUVs with glass roofs that turn the car into a microwave is all we’re gonna get. “excitement” now comes from new slate colors that remind me of “what colorblind people see” photos.

  13. GM always treated Pontiac as a red headed step child. Letting the designers and engineers only sporadicly putting out head turners. It was a shame, they had great innovative people in their ranks over the years.
    Let us hope they bring in a new generation of thinkers that reignited the Pontiac passion. They will also will need a sizable budget. That has always been the problem though, Pontiac’s budget compared to other GM brands.
    Come on GM there’re enough monster size trucks and large SUV’s in the market.
    Also, as long as we are in the midst of a wonderlust moment. bring back manual transmissions.
    For the record my daily driver is a Pontiac Solstice GPX.

  14. They got my hopes up…I’ve only ever had the one, a 75 Firebird, first car I ever bought myself. I wish I hadn’t let it go…then it was teased about that it would come back as a twin to the Camaro, but nothing. I’d stand in line if they ever brought the Firebird back.

  15. I’ve had Oldsmobile’s in my garage since 1973. And my Father before him. And my Grandfather before him.
    Haven’t bought a GM product since 2000.
    Still have that Custom 1500 Express.
    Still have my 1970, 98 Olds Convertible.

  16. Actually, I forgot about our AWD Pontiac Vibe that my wife rolled. But we all know that was actually a rebadged Toyota.
    And…my father in law is a retired GM Delco employee and Union Rep.
    So we get the good discount.
    Can’t find anything worth our money.
    We’ve been Honda and Toyota since my first 1989 Camry wagon 5 speed for our daily driven vehicles.
    2 Hondas in our garage now with over 10 years and 200k+ on both.
    Never got that kind of longevity with just oil changes on ANY domestic.

  17. May the legacy continue and return to reality.
    I still have my 1940 Torpedo 8 model 29 Touring car. And like the Native America name Pontiac as my Native American ancestry continue with flawless performance and pride.
    Long live Pontiac!

  18. Sounds like we just about need to have a pontiac. I had a few Grand Prix’s and loved them. I hope they bring back Pontiac but.it may be hard with Toyota at the lead. I wish them all success. A former G.M. owner. I would be there again.

  19. If Pontiac returns they’re just gonna build electric SUV’s so why bother? I miss what Buick used to be: near luxury coupes and sedans.

  20. With the end of Holden and the relationship they had with Pontiac G8 ( commodore) and GTO ( Monaro) could there be an option there? Rear wheel drive sedan manual please. Maybe even a wagon and Ute.

  21. My work requires I drive around every day, almost all day. Can I tell you how many Pontiacs I still see being driven in the city every friggin day(mostly G5s) fourteen years after the brand has gone. They still look clean, and, oddly enough, they fit in with the current models style(hmmm….).

  22. Funny that, (even humorously) GM admits that loyal fans don’t want or need EV’s. It’s as if the whole marketing dept. did some bongs at lunch, then went back to write the ad copy they wanted, instead of having to apologize for “exciting new electric SUVs” that all look like an Aztec.

  23. If I told you I grew up in the back seats of a Pontiacs I wouldn’t be lying my Dad only bought Pontiacs from his sky blue Catalina to his Ventura and Grand Ville. Those are wonderful memories for me. Now I have a thought what if they bring back the Fiero and make it a EV there goes 90% if it’s problems and with its aerodynamic shape and ease of cost to produce this could be a way back for Pontiac to get back into the market. Let me know what you think. Later

  24. All these comments should tell GM something. They got rid of the performance brand (Pontiac) and kept the old person’s brand (Buick). That is what happens when you let the government manage a business.

  25. I have still my Pontiac 2007 G6 GT hard top convertible and look for them to come back with a better Trans in them. Thank you for bringing Pontiac back but NO Electric ones. Booo!!

  26. I had 4 Pontiacs a 67 GTO, 74 Catalina, a 76 Grand Prix and a 78 Bonniville and I loved them all. If they still made Grand Prix’s I would probably still drive one. The GTO and the Bonniville were also very nice cars, but in my opinion the Grand Prix combined the best of both. Luxury and Sport!!!

  27. I have a o9 Pontiac G8(yes it was built down under) it’s a GT , bought it new in 09 puts a smile on my face everytime I drive it as far as I’m concerned it’s like a 4door Corvette. Truly love it. GMBring back the TIN INDIAN.

  28. Don’t be mucking about with my emotions like that….. It’s the only new GM product that I would even consider buying. I gave them the old one finger salute 15 years ago and started buying Chrysler products. So don’t be threatening me with a good time….

  29. Bring back the 2nd generation Firebird with a full length frame and deepened floorpan

    Also bring back the 68-69/1970-72 GTO/Lemans 2 door and 4 door hardtops and station wagons (preferably redeveloped as hardtop, 2 and 4 door with inner tubular cage for crash protection).

    And bring back the Pontiac V-8 with a 4″ stroke with 4.255 standard bore, with refined design Ram Air IV style heads.

    Combine with a 5 or 6 speed automatic transmission with improved design camshaft Kobe profiles for considerably greater fuel efficiency.

  30. Build ANY Trans Am you want. This time *Get it Right*. GM allow the youth to lead. Give us some dignity.. Standard no thrills blank canvas coupe. Give us steel wheels. Give us manual windows. Give us just a provision for an AM/FM radio in a normal fit. Hell, give it vinyl floor for all we care. Light. 5.3 V8 and manual trans standard issue, posi rear, and for less than $25k YOU’VE BEGUN A RED BLOODED AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

  31. So who paid for the ad? GM? Nothing I see says GM paid for the ad, so why are we assuming GM is behind this? Maybe, maybe not.

  32. Omg please. Love the Trans am grand prix gto please start production again and bring back some stylish muscle love my Pontiacs

  33. General Motors should not killed off Pontiac and Oldsmobiles. Both of those divisions created the Muscle Car . The Rocket 88 and the GTO were the first GM Muscle cars. The General made outstanding cars in their own divisions. I believe that Chevrolet planned to be the number #1 in the division , thus the phase out of Pontiac, Oldsmobile , and even Buick to seat themselves as the Performance division , and Cadillac as the luxury division. Now , Cadillacs don’t sell except the Cadillac with ‘ Vette engines, and the Chevys with LS engines can’t outrun the Hemis ( Dodge ) With the advent of Electric motors , GM will die an accelerated death unless GM can compete with the Tesla in price. I’m a Buick man ( ’71 Skylark Special * ’72 GS 350* ’74 Riviera GS Stage 1* 2011 Regal CXL ) I loved my old Buicks- TORQUE. The Musclecar era was what made GM SPECIAL .
    What has Chevy made lately* a Camaro that can’t outrun a Dodge , and a Corvette that looks like a Ferrari… No thank You.
    Thank you for reading this. Mr.J.B.Britt, Jr.
    P.S. The LAST Dodge Killer made by GM* THE GRAND NATIONAL/ GNX * A BUICK.

  34. Never thought I would enjoy a car better than my 1964 Chevy Chevelle Malibu but after buying my 05 Grand Prix I will have to say that I’m just as impressed 😃

  35. This is definitely a joke. Domestic car manufacturers don’t make cars, they make trucks and SUV’s. Pontiac coming back at a time when GM “car” models consist of a handful of mid size 4 doors and only one model with 2 doors, the rear engine Corvette. I love Pontiacs but GM doesn’t have the capacity or the willing to risk making a 2 door car (good luck selling a 4 door GTO, Firebird, Trans Am, or Fiero to a Pontiac fan). No domestic brand makes a station wagons either, good luck with a Safari wagon marketing plan also!

    If GM was smart they would come up with a platform chassis/skid and license the brands Pontiac, Buick, etc.. and provide resources (seats, dashes, etc..) for 3rd party coach builders to finish cars. These cars will cost 150-250k, but allow the public to buy a 2026 Firebird with a LT1 paired with a Tremec 6 speed and it look like a 70’s Trans Am.

  36. If GM brings back a trans am like trans am specialities is doing with the Camaro at a high production scale, imagine the price appreciation of old trans am classics. Happened recently with the bronco….

  37. As an owner of a 1st gen Firebird for 30 years and previous owner of 3 Trans Ams. Funny. But serioulsy. BRING BACK PONTIAC. The world needs you right now.

  38. As an owner of a 1st gen Firebird for 30 years and previous owner of 3 Trans Ams. Funny. But serioulsy. BRING BACK PONTIAC. The world needs you right now.

  39. Pontiac will always be my favorite car. The last model Camaros were too big and fat. Mustang got it right these past years with their size. I was always waiting for GM to redo the Camaro and get it right this time. Back in 2010 (if they had to make a change) they should have kept Pontiac and put them with Buick (Buick the luxury end, Pontiac the performance end). I would love to see Pontiac back in some capacity, just get it right and it could work. Have had 17 Pontiacs and would like to be able to get another “new” one. I don’t get this ad at all unless there is a plan to bring it back or they were trying to get a reaction from the ad. Base on what I have read here is that a lot of people want Pontiac back, me included.

  40. Hi. If you look back at history of General Motirs you will find some very interesting info. We did a VMCA car tour last year in Flint Micafan. One of our tours stops was at the G M Hesterage cdntef. Wow what a place. They had a speaker from the heat rage cdnter . He told the history of G M. The reason for not doing away with Buick. Because G M was first started by Willlliam Durant. If you look more about this , it is very interesting. I found out a lot about G M. If anyone is in the Fling Michigan area , please go and look at the G. M hestersge crnter. It’s worth the time spent.

  41. Okay let’s address the elephant in the room are they going to be half bastard stepchildren or they going to look like they should look like they used to look good looking cars

  42. Ive had 3 Pontiac’s and still driving one I love them right now I’m driving a 1999 Pontiac Grand am and love it I can’t wait to see what they will bring back

  43. When GM is getting Murdered by Dodge there’s only one Brand they can bring back to Life to rule then all…Oldsmobile…..ah errrr….I mean GEO…..darn it…..by the Rings of Saturn…..no that’s not it….Daewoo?….oh wait how silly of me, Saaaaaaab… no Pontiac because nothing screams successful meth lab more than a Pontiac Aztec

  44. This ad better be serious! Someone else mentioned that the country needs this and he’s right. T-tops and a screamin’ chicken! Bring on the power!

  45. Been raised on Pontiac. Restored a 65 and 68 GTO and have a 76 455 TA. Currently drive a 2018 Challenger RT but would sell it for a done up right new TA. This is prime time for the Phoenix to rise again!

  46. GM is committed to SUVs and pickups BUT Pontiac can play a role to stash an excitement Car and sports coupe( Trans am -Firebird and New version G8 into Buick dealerships) to create excitement and steer traffic and media Buz, The cars can be Hybrid for the performance angle. the pipelines are still in place for service/parts /sales, I would use Buick dealerships brick and mortar. I am a Pontiac lover with a 1979 Trans am W72 & 1981 Trans am Turbo and a 1987 Buick Grand National that sits next to my Birds, they do play nice together.

  47. It should have never been eliminated! I still own 5 Pontiacs. GM lost me briefly in 2020 when I bought a Dodge Challenger. But in 2023 sold it for a 07 Pontiac G6 GT coupe. Still have not bought a New dealer ordered car from GM since 2009, when I bought 2 Solstice Coupes. Can only hope they come to their senses and properly revive the marque.

  48. Pontiac used to be “Chief of the Sixes”.
    So… Here’s an idea:
    A car(no truck, SUV or CUV) with a naturally aspirated in-line six. No turbo or supercharger, thank you. None of this V-6 crap, either. I’ll wan a manual transmission and rear wheel drive. There’s a market out there. A market of at least one (me).

  49. I’d been out of the GM game for awhile, but I would be in the market for a new V8 Trans am if done right! Pontiac should return. That’s one leg that should have never left. But these auto makers always shoot themselves in the foot. Dodge just committed suicide axing the challenger and only offering electric and v6 charger that’s got that electric car lights look. Yuk. Ford is going to love them for that, but their lack of option for an analog dash needs to change. The instrument panel there keeps one out of my driveway. So come on Pontiac, do a car right!

  50. Please please please bring back the JUDGE and make sure it’s on top of the 1/4 mile ladder. I’ll buy one guaranteed.

  51. This is one of the most bad ass things I have ever heard. I don’t have a lot of money, but I would sell everything I own for one of these if they are to be released… I’ll be hoping, praying, and wishing on every shooting star and 11:11, that this is real. God bless America, and God bless Pontiac!!!

  52. I’d love to see Pontiac return — but only if it is done right, and under DEI hire Mary Barra’s leadership, I don’t have much hope. I can only imagine a 2026 model Pontiac Grand Prix where it is an update version of a 1986 GP. If it’s a plastic EV piece of junk, forget it.

    • Why is it if a woman is not performing to your standards, she’s a DEI hire, but a man in the same position doesn’t receive such an epithet?

  53. With mostly everyone tossing away sedans, and NASCAR needing its Camaro replacement, this feels like it could sit well in its own nieche.

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