June 18, 2003

2004 Pontiac GTO to offer 350 horsepower

2004 Pontiac GTO
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Detroit, Michigan – The new Pontiac GTO will produce 350 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 365 ft.-lb. of torque at 4000 rpm, says General Motors. The GTO is expected to achieve performance times of 0 to 60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds and a 1/4 mile run in under 14 seconds.

“There’s no doubt that outstanding power and launch feel was the priority for this vehicle right from the start,” explained Dave Himmelberg, GTO program engineering manager. “The original GTO was the standard bearer of its class in terms of power – and that’s exactly the standard we set for ourselves when developing the modern version.

GM engineers took the 5.7 litre Gen III LS1 V8 engine and refined it for substantially more power and low-end torque, with special exhaust tuning to emphasize its performance-oriented character. GM engineers adopted the LS1 V8’s high-lift camshaft (increasing low-end torque, without giving up power). They then took advantage of the engine’s torque on the low end and changed the transmission gear ratios and final drive ratio.

In addition to off-the-line launch feel, the higher lift camshaft also boosts torque over most of the rev range by an average 5 percent thereby ensuring great reserves of power for sudden acceleration and freeway passing. Compared to the original camshaft, the new configuration provides 20 ft-lb more torque from idle up to 4400 rpm.

On the GTO, the LS1 can be mated to GM’s most aggressively geared (M12) six-speed manual transmission. The electronically controlled Hydra-Matic 4L60-E transmission is standard. Both the manual and automatic transmissions use the same low-geared 3.46 final drive axle ratio to maximize off-line acceleration. The GTO also offers a conventional limited slip differential, which increases available traction by using both rear wheels to transfer power when one loses traction.

The 2004 Pontiac GTO will be available in Pontiac dealer showrooms before the end of 2003 in limited numbers. Pricing has not yet been finalized but is expected to be less than U.S.$35,000.

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