Four months after the Pontiac G8 went on sale in the United States, GM Holden has expanded its G8 exports to Canada, the first time that the company has undertaken a major export program to the country.

On sale now through dealers nationwide, the rear wheel drive performance sedan is available as either a V6-powered G8 model or V8-equipped G8 GT model with a host of standard features which include 18" alloy flangeless wheels, remote start, six airbags and XM Satellite Radio.

The G8 sedan is powered by a 3.6L DOHC V6 engine rated at 256 horsepower (190 kW) and 248 lb.-ft of torque (335 Nm), manufactured by Holden Engine Operations in Victoria, Australia. It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shift modes. The G8 GT is driven by a 6.0L small-block V8, rated at 361 horsepower (268 kW) and 385 lb.-ft. of torque (520 Nm). A six-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shift mode is standard and the engine features the fuel-saving Active Fuel Management system, which enhances fuel economy by alternating between eight- and four-cylinders.

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Manufactured at GM Holden's vehicle assembly plant in Elizabeth, South Australia, the Pontiac G8 features the same ride and handling qualities as the award winning Holden SS Commodore.

The introduction of the Pontiac G8 has been widely anticipated in Canada following its arrival in the United States in March this year.

"Initial media coverage from the recent Canadian G8 launch event has been highly positive," said Tony LaRocca, manager of product communications at GM of Canada.

"We expected the powerful GT model to be popular and that was definitely the case, but we're particularly pleased with the high praise for the fun, yet fuel-efficient V6 model which will represent the majority of our volume."

In the United States, the Pontiac G8 is currently one of the fastest selling vehicles in the GM portfolio with average time on a dealer's lot at 27.6 days.

Brian Shipman, US Pontiac G8 product manager says that the car is the perfect performance package. "The Pontiac G8 is currently the most powerful vehicle for the dollar in the US. It is faster 0-60mph than a BMW 5 series and has greater horsepower. This makes it a fantastic proposition for drivers looking for style and substance that isn't going to break the bank."

GM Holden's export success is underpinned by years of investment in research and development and infrastructure. Over $532 million has been spent upgrading the Holden Vehicle Operations site in South Australia to make it a world class facility while GM Holden remains the country's largest private spender on R&D with $2bn invested over the past 7 years.

In 2008, GM Holden expects to export half of all vehicles manufactured in South Australia, to be driven on roads in the USA, Canada, Middle East, Brazil, South Africa and the UK.