Almost 10 years on from the untimely death of Pontiac, the G8 SLP Firehawk is a reminder that the beloved GM division left on a high note. So when one comes up for sale, it piques the interest of the Pontiac faithful. It turns out the latest Firehawk to hit the market is a tribute, but an unbelievably accurate tribute. This makes us think this is more than just an enthusiast’s car—the owner had someone on the inside.
The G8 was introduced to the U.S. in 2008 and became one of Pontiac’s last breaths. An import from GM’s Australian sister company Holden, the G8’s four-door platform packed aggressive-yet-understated styling and a 6.0-liter V-8 engine option that packed a 361-horsepower punch. The GXP models could be optioned with a six-speed Tremec manual trans or GM’s 6L80 automatic to back the hearty 415-hp LS3 engine.
For buyers who desired more—because you need more than 361 hp to get the kids to school—SLP stepped up to the plate in 2009 and pressurized the situation. Bolting on a Magnuson supercharger added 7 psi of boost, which combined with the increased flow from a set of headers and methanol injection to bump total output on the 6.0-liter V-8 to 500 hp and 489 lb-ft of torque. Cost for the complete package was a significant $18,995.
“These cars are as much unicorns as the original Formula-based Firehawks from 1992,” says Pontiac enthusiast and Hagerty auction editor Greg Ingold. “They rarely come up for sale publicly, and just as few people realize SLP made a Firehawk that wasn’t ’94–02 Firebird-based.”
SLP didn’t stop there. Suspension upgrades, unique wheels, a dash plaque, and Firehawk-specific Baer brakes round out the package.
Which brings up the interesting point of this tribute car currently listed on Bring a Trailer. It’s not one of the 28 (27 production and a pilot car) that SLP built, according to the Firehawk owners’ registry, but it has all the right stuff. A keen eye will notice its tribute status immediately, as all of the SLP cars were 2009 models, and this is a 2008. Some of those parts can be purchased from SLP, but the current owner claims that SLP will only sell the parts to registered Firehawk owners. A call to SLP did not clarify if that is indeed the case, but either way, these parts are difficult to get.
“The fact that someone took the time to make a proper clone of a G8 Firehawk is astonishing,” Ingold says. “The parts used are absolutely correct and are near unobtanium. At the current $9000 bid, this is a bargain for a clean G8, let alone one with all the correct Firehawk bits.”
Almost as difficult as getting one of the Firehawks. This tribute might be just the right car if a nearly 600-hp four-door is just the car you need, since the real thing doesn’t hit the market often.