List: Ten GM Performance Cars That Will Never Exist

By Steven J. Ewing

February 19, 2009


PONTIAC G8 ST GXP When GM killed off plans for the G8 ST, we were sort of upset, but we were more saddened by the fact that we’d never be able to see a GXP-branded sport truck. While Australia gets this very product in the form of a Holden Ute SS-V, we Americans won’t even be able to experience six-sylinder Sport Truckin.’ Drat.


SAAB 9-5 VIGGEN We were really hoping that Saab would bring back the Viggen name on the 9-3 instead of calling it the Turbo X. Still, in keeping with the 1999 Viggen’s funky characteristics, we think a high-output turbo might be just what the current 9-5 needs to boost sales and get back on enthusiasts’ radars.


CHEVROLET CAMARO ZR1 Here at NextAutos, we’ve had countless discussions about the many of vehicles that we’d like to shove GM’s LS9 powerplant into. While these conversations have mostly been an exercise in exuberance (LS9 Tata Nano, etc.), we think that if there were any vehicle properly suited to get the Corvette ZR1’s engine, it would have to be the Camaro. Eat dust, Shelby.


PONTIAC G3 GXP See also: Aveo SS. However, we think that because it’s a GXP, Pontiac would up the horsepower ever so slightly — maybe 200 ponies? Either way, it’d be a hoot, though some drastic chassis modifications would need to take place in order to make it really fun to drive.


CHEVROLET AVEO SS While it would probably be a terrible idea to shoehorn the Cobalt SS’s turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec engine into the diminutive Aveo, we think a de-tuned example that hits the 180 horsepower mark would do just fine. Besides, the Fiat 500 Abarth will need something to compete with when it comes to the States someday. (Someday!)


CADILLAC DTS-V Picture it: Grandma-and-Grandpa styling, 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, 556 horsepower, and a front-drive configuration. And don’t worry about big production volumes, GM — it would only need to be sold in Florida.


BUICK ENCLAVE SUPER As it currently stands, there isn’t a whole lot that really separates the Buick Enclave apart from its Lambda platform mates. If GM added a Northstar V-8 powertrain to this crossover’s lineup and paired it with an all-wheel-drive layout, America would indeed have a worthy competitor for the BMW X5 4.8i and Mercedes-Benz ML550.


CADILLAC CTS-V SPORTWAGON This one hurts us a little, because it’s not too far-fetched of an idea. The Cadillac CTS-V sedan offers BMW M5-like performance at a much more affordable price, and the CTS SportWagon means that you can pack it full of goodies and take the family on vacation. So, why not combine the two? It would indeed be reminiscent of the days when GM made V-8-powered station wagons (Roadmaster, anyone?), though this one would surely be the most entertaining to drive.


SATURN ASTRA RED LINE In Europe, the Vauxhall Astra VXR is a mighty player in the hot-hatch segment, and we wish that America had something to throw into the ring against good performers like the Volkswagen GTI and Mazdaspeed3. Put a turbocharged 2.4-liter Ecotec under the hood, leave the output at 260 horsepower, and watch the sport compact enthusiasts line up outside of the Pontiac dealer.


CHEVROLET MALIBU SS In the ‘Bu’s previous generation, an SS-badged sedan and wagon were available, but GM decided to do away with that configuration when the Malibu was completely overhauled for 2008. And while we wouldn’t be looking for V-8 power, we think that GM’s 3.6-liter direct-injection V-8 would provide the extra boost of power that the Malibu SS would need.


The news has already broken that GM is putting all of its high-performance vehicles (save the Corvette) on an indefinite hold, so don't expect to see anything new with an SS or V badge on it. That's right -- all SS-badged Chevys, V-series Cadillacs, and eight-cylinder Colorados are being suspended until further notice, leaving GM to instead focus on fuel-efficient offerings and bringing up the overall quality on its bread-and-butter models.

With this in mind, we've gone through and outlined ten potential performance-oriented GM vehicles that will never see the light of day, as interesting and fun as they may be. Click through the gallery above to read our predictions for future GM performers that you won't be able to drive anytime soon.