February 7, 2001

Chicago auto show
Pontiac REV!

Pontiac REV concept car
Click image to enlarge

Previously unveiled in CanadianDriver, but only in an illustration, the real Pontiac REV concept car will be unveiled today at the Chicago auto show

Take a “rally” sports coupe, mix in the versatility to carry friends and cargo and you arrive at the Pontiac REV – a bold, GM concept with a go-anywhere attitude.

GM says the REV is as capable and surefooted on smooth, twisty pavement as it is on the dirt trail headed to a favourite getaway. All-wheel-drive and on-the-fly adjustable suspension give it traction on all sorts of surfaces.

“Inspired by the flexibility and performance of rally cars, REV is equally at home on trails and asphalt,” said Phil Zak, 35, brand character chief designer for Pontiac.

Under the front hinged clamshell hood sits a transverse mounted 3.0-liter, 245 horsepower OHC V6. The electronic sequential manual transmission with automatic mode smoothly shifts through five speeds with a sequential “joystick” operated by wire. “It’s almost like a video game,” Zak said.

The adjustable suspension has two settings, low and high. When the going gets rough, the car can be raised two inches. Wide 19-inch wheels in front and 20-inchers in the rear expose large ventilated disc brakes and high performance calipers.

“REV’s look is that of high-tech sporting goods — fenders and rocker panels are made from ultra-tough composite material that extends into the wheel wells, under the hood and to the deck lid,” said Adam Barry, 24, lead designer of the show car. “Interior and exterior are truly integrated through shared materials, colors and forms.”

To achieve compact cat-eye-like headlights, the light sources are placed in a 90-degree angle in the engine compartment. The light beams are reflected outward by mirrors, which respond to steering inputs and thus provide optimal light on the road even in turns. Additional “off-road-lights” are positioned on the front of the aerodynamic outside rear view mirror housings.

REV comes with a practical door concept, and without B-pillars. The rear doors slide open out and backwards parallel to the rear quarters and can be operated independently of the standard front doors. With all four doors open, people and their gear can enter and load easily.

The interior offers room for a mountain of sporting equipment. A combined lift- and tailgate gives access to the cargo area. The lower gate, including the characteristic, wide taillamp comprised of 560 LED’s, swings down behind the rear bumper in a parallel action for ease of loading and unloading. The clamshell glass liftgate swings up and reveals storage bins in the upper portions of the rear fenders.

Four radios with integrated GPS receivers ride along there in special cradles. They can be removed quickly to keep driver and passengers in touch with each other and the car when they hit the trail. An integrated first aid kit and a toolbox are also on standby if needed. The built-in roof rack holds items such as mountain bikes and cleverly conceals the retractable sunroof.

Four people ride firmly in individual, thin, yet supple body-contour moulded seats combining featherweight carbon fibre structure with Lycra covered gel padding of bicycle saddles. Four-point belts are seat integrated and the backrests of the rear and front passenger seats can be folded forward to store long items, such as surfboards, in the interior.

The door panels and dashboard also feature ultra-tough, lightweight carbon fiber combined with metallic accent surfaces. The instrument panel links the A-pillars like a bridge with a wide “see-through” opening on the passenger side in front of the firewall.

The engine revs up with a push of the red start button, once the driver has identified himself via a coded mini chip-card. In the centre console, a detachable, combined GPS-navigation, cell-phone, two-way radio with integrated Internet access keeps the driver on top of things on and off the road as well as in business.

On a three-screen reconfigurable LCD display the driver selects with a simple toggling action which data is on the centre screen, for example speedometer, rev-counter or GPS, and which data is relegated to the side panels. The displays are round and look like traditional instruments, but can display vastly more information.

Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC General Manager said, “The Pontiac REV showcases a new dimension of driving excitement with its coupe-like body, outstanding performance and surprisingly integrated functionality. It meets the needs of younger buyers who want athletic performance and exhilaration from their vehicles.”

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