January , 2003

Pontiac unveils GTO show car

2004 Pontiac GTO
Click image to enlarge

Los Angeles – Pontiac introduced a show car version of the 2004 GTO at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The car is one of two GTO show cars that will be shown this week and next. The other will be on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The production version of the GTO will be available in Pontiac showrooms in late 2003.

Pontiac will have three new product launches this year. The new Grand Prix debuts in the spring and the V-8-powered Bonneville GXP will bow in early 2004.

The introduction of the show car comes only seven months after GM announced it was bringing back the GTO. Sporting a special high-gloss paint in red or yellow, the GTO show cars exhibit the strong Pontiac brand character with a signature dual-port grille and a wide aggressive stance. The vehicles ride on 18-inch alloy wheels. They also sport a high-performance powertrain that makes the vehicle worthy of the “GTO” name.

2003 Pontiac GTO
Click image to enlarge

Under the hood is a specially tuned LS1 5.7-liter V-8 aluminum-block engine currently estimated at 340 horsepower @ 5200 rpm, 360 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm with an appropriately tuned Pontiac exhaust note. While sharing the same basic engine configuration with the base-level Chevrolet Corvette, the LS1 engine in the GTO has been modified with a high-lift camshaft and increased airflow induction to create greater horsepower and low-end torque than the Holden Monaro to address the needs of U.S. drivers.

All that power is mated to either an electronically controlled Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed automatic transmission or the six-speed, close ratio manual transmission available on the Corvette ZO6. Both transmissions feature the same low-geared 3.46 final drive axle ratio in a rear-wheel-drive configuration to maximize off-the-line performance, a limited slip differential, and a three-channel traction control system designed to help enhance vehicle control.

Although performance testing on the vehicle has not been completed, the production model GTO is expected have a zero-to-60 acceleration time of less than 6 seconds and run the quarter-mile in approximately 14 seconds at a speed of 105 mph. The top speed of the vehicle is estimated to be about 160 mph.

Stopping power is supplied by power-assisted four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with a standard four-channel anti-lock braking system. Additional standard safety features include: dual front air bags, side air bags, three-point seat belt systems at all seating positions and an Emergency Mode, which automatically shuts down the engine, turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors and turns on the dome light any time the air-bag system is deployed.

The GTO seats four adults in 2+2 bucket seats. A six-disc CD-changer with a premium 10-speaker sound system is standard, as is cruise control, a multi-function driver information center, keyless entry system and a host of other features that enhance the driving experience.

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