Pontiac is going after the segment created by the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V with the Vibe sport wagon.
Aimed at under-30s, the Vibe features a front passenger seat that can be folded down to accommodate a ladder, chrome tie-downs in the passenger compartment to secure a bike and a 110-volt household-style electrical outlet in the front console for a hot comb, popcorn popper or other household appliance.
'We are confident that the Vibe will attract new young buyers to the Pontiac portfolio,' said Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC general manager. Sales are expected to begin early next year.
Jointly developed by General Motors and Toyota, the Vibe will be built off the Corolla platform. The Vibe and a matching Toyota vehicle will be assembled at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, Calif. Both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models will be offered.
'It was a true collaboration,' said Robert Reuter, GM's chief engineer for joint venture programs.
'Pontiac defined the styling. Toyota did the execution.'
Pontiac decided interior materials, interior volume, wheelbase, the creation of a functional roof rack and the engine performance attributes, he said.
Power is provided by Toyota. The base engine is a 130-hp, 16-valve 1.8-liter double overhead cam I-4.