This approach may work in Europe and Asia, but it may take more time until American consumers come to embrace frugal cars with sporty looks.

As a sign of the times, Pontiac has announced the all-new downstream model, the G3, will arrive in U.S. showrooms by spring 2009. First revealed as the Pontiac Wave5 earlier this year for the Canadian market, the G3 is essentially a repackaged Daewoo Gentra, Holden Barina or Chevrolet Aveo5.

Consistent with the sport orientated Pontiac brand, the G3 is wearing sporty attire, however, the G3 simultaneously fills an additional spot in Pontiac's "over 30 mpg" club which already includes the 2009 Vibe (32 mpg), 2009 G6 sedan (33 mpg) and G5 coupe (37 mpg) models. The G3 has a 106 horsepower (79 kW) 1.6L Ecotec four-cylinder engine which is mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission.

To the dismay of enthusiasts, the G3 signals GM's intentions to meet demand for the rapidly growing fuel efficient small car segment. Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC said, "The small car segment has literally exploded in recent months, with sales up nearly 33 percent in the first six months of 2008 alone. With its proven success in other markets, we felt the time was right to bring the G3 into the BPG portfolio for our U.S. customers."

Docherty continues, "More than ever, fuel economy is an important factor in Pontiac's formula of style and performance. The Vibe, G3, G5, and G6 prove that you don't have to sacrifice sporty design and responsive driving to achieve impressive fuel economy." 

This approachy may work in Europe and Asia, but it may take more time until American consumers come to embrace frugal cars with sporty looks.

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Pontiac G3 Revealed for U.S. Market