No Trans Am planned for Pontiac

Pontiac's return to General Motors' performance division may be underway with the upcoming launch of the G8, but the brand's performance revival could stall after the car's introduction. GM announced at a dealer meeting this week that stricter CAFE regulations has the Detroit-based automaker reconsidering Pontiac's future.

While Chevrolet dealers will soon get the all new Camaro, Pontiac dealers will not get a version of the car in the form of a Trans Am. Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers -- which are usually housed under one roof -- were hoping to get a version of the Camaro to serve as a halo vehicle and drive traffic into dealerships.

Moreover, other Pontiac rear-wheel drive models have also been put on hold because of the new 35 mpg standard. "The plan is being tweaked because of the gas situation," Lynn Thompson, owner of Thompson Motor Sales in Springfield, Missouri, told Automotive News. "I hope they don't give up on performance because they don't have to. You can use four-cylinder engines to achieve incredible power."

GM has already announced that it will turn its focus to smaller, turbocharged engines and cross-town rival, Ford, is banking on its EcoBoost family of engines to provide improved fuel economy without sacrificing performance. But GM's planned 1.4L turbo engine is probably too small for a performance vehicle.

But despite the lack of a halo car, GM promised B-P-G dealers 12 new models or special edition vehicles over the next two years -- including the GMC Sierra Pro Grade. GM will also boost Buick Enclave production to 55,000 units annually, a 41% increase over planned production.