Update: Rumors circulating around the web have indicated the 2009 Pontiac G8 GT was to receive a six-speed Tremec manual transmission option, but the official word from Pontiac's communications manager Jim Hopson is that no such option will be available. Only the G8 GXP, the LS3-equipped performance version of the Australian-built sedan, will have the option of a stick-shift. That car will make its debut late this year.

Because the Pontiac is based on the Holden Commodore sedan, which offers both six-speed manual and automatic versions in several trims, it appeared a given that GM would import those options unchanged to America. Unfortunately for fans of rowing their own cogs, American tastes tend almost exclusively toward slush boxes, and so the Tremec TR6060 manual has been reserved for the limited-volume, enthusiast-targeted G8 GXP. A spec sheet available on GM's PR site makes this fact abundantly clear.

The G8 GT and V6-powered base G8 will still be equipped with manual-shift capable automatics, however. The base model gets a 5L40 five-speed unit, and the V8 models get 6L80 six-speed 'boxes standard.

Original: Currently touted by Pontiac as the fastest car under $30,000, the 2009 Pontiac G8 GT will no longer be able to claim that title after its $1,365 price rise. New standard equipment being added to car adds some value, though the weakening dollar is likely at least in part to blame.

Priced at $29,995 in base form the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT is essentially a rebadged and slightly reworked Holden Commodore, designed and built by General Motors' Australia operations. The new price rise places the car's MSRP at $31,360. Though the U.S. and Australia have free trade agreements, the weakening U.S. dollar means the nominal cost of the car is rising, and so too must its retail price. The addition of standard XM radio and possibly Bluetooth device connectivity are also part of the price rise, adding some value for the $1,365 extra dollars, reports GM Inside News.

The base model G8 sedan will also receive a price bump to $27,995, a jump of $400 over the 2008 model. Option packages and prices are expected to remain the same for the 2009 model year, however, so the modest price rises and additional standard features will be the only additions to the G8 lineup for the year. Pricing for the high-performance G8 GXP wasn't included in the information.