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2004-2006 Pontiac GTO – Is It Worthy of the GTO Name?

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2004-2006 Pontiac GTO – Is It Worthy of the GTO Name?

Pontiac is guilty of revisionist record in the 2005 GTO sales brochure. In the brochure, a timeline of sizeable milestones in the 41 yr background of the GTO is presented. The 1964 product obviously potential customers off the timeline. Just after all, this auto flagrantly violated GM’s anti-racing edict of 1957 and one handedly described an entirely new class of cars. The 1966 GTO also earns point out as the 1st of the Ram-Air versions, followed by the 400 cubic inch 1967 and then the fabled GTO Decide in 1969. However, from 1970 right until the 2004 rebirth – the timeline is blank. It is really as if Pontiac has excised all memory of the powerful-but-porcine 1971-72 GTO or the underachieving Nova derived 1973 versions. And, of course there is zero point out of the puerile Grand-Am dependent GTO notion that GM paraded all-around the demonstrate circuit in the early nineties.

With the missteps that sullied the name of the most famed icon in muscle motor vehicle historical past, we can value Pontiac’s selective company memory. They do nevertheless elevate authentic concerns about the 2005 GTO. Is this car or truck deserving of the GTO identify? Will the new GTO be remembered 20 yrs that’s why as a person of the “terrific kinds” or will its memory be the sufferer of a Stalinist purge from the file?

In our impression, the 2005 GTO is the genuine article – and in several means a perfect modern day interpretation of the legendary 1964 GTO. We urge you to drive just one, mainly because to push this auto is to enjoy this auto.

We had the honor of driving an Impulse Blue 2005 GTO six velocity at Josephs Pontiac in Norwell, Massachusetts. Josephs has been promoting and servicing Pontiacs since 1928 and to this day it really is an honored and loved south shore landmark with some of the friendliest people today you are likely to satisfy. This family members appreciates Pontiac, and discuss about typical and long run Pontiacs with noticeable enthusiasm. It truly is a spot where by neighbors fall by to chat about coffee and you’re just as most likely to see Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler prevent in for a tank of gas. In comparison to the soulless car mega malls, Josephs Pontiac is a direct backlink again to a far better time – and no finer position exists to test drive a famous Pontiac marque.

Let’s start out with styling – arguably the most contentious difficulty bordering the 2005 GTO. The motor vehicle journals have roundly criticized Pontiac for ultra conservative styling that belies the general performance abilities of the car. We say the critics are idiots – or at the the very least fully ignorant of the first GTO layout philosophy. The 1964-67 GTO was Never about visible flash. John DeLorean and Jim Wangers begun with the spare and unadorned Tempest physique. They added a tasteful scooped hood, appealing wheelcovers and delicate sophisticated badges on the grille, fender and decklid. You had to appear intently to select up the visible clues, and we would bet a excellent many people today walked ideal by those early GTO’s with nary a second look. The GTO was not marketed to push-by posers. It was a severe effectiveness equipment that held a very low visual profile and did it can be speaking at the stoplight and dragstrip.

Economic and political factors also played a section in the GTOs preliminary styling restraint. The marketplace for the GTO was uncertain, so to lessen capital investments Pontiac wanted to make due with the sleekest mid-sized coupe in the current product portfolio. Pontiac division main John DeLorean also had to tread flippantly for fear of attracting unfavorable awareness from the horsepower-phobic GM Government group. Whichever the factors, the 1964-67 GTO stands as a person of the most tasteful and timelessly styled muscle mass cars and trucks of the era.

The 2005 GTO is a ideal stylistic and financial interpretation of the original. To maintain expenditures low and time to current market small, Pontiac raided it really is all over the world parts bin to come up with the most handsome rear travel coupe in the steady, the Australian Holden Monaro. Its traces are limited, cleanse and tasteful. The GTO badging is refined as are the twin non-functional hood bulges. As in 1964, you have look for the delicate visible clues as to the accurate mother nature of this car or truck. Again in the working day, gearheads acquired to promptly differentiate the heavyweights from the palookas. It seldom was about shiny paint, garish graphics and chrome wheels. The most severe autos ended up generally the most visually unremarkable – and you uncovered to search for the small “426 Hemi” fender emblems, or the metal wheels with DOT lawful Mickey Thompsons. You uncovered to listen for or the choppy idle of a 305 degree reliable cam. And so it is with the 2005 GTO. You’ve got bought to know what to appear for.

Automotive posers won’t get it and they possible will not likely realize it. And that is high-quality with us. The 2005 GTO is for people assured in their own pores and skin – people who prefer to kick ass and consider names less than the radar display. Persons like you and me.

In 2005, Pontiac responded to styling criticisms by incorporating the aforementioned hood scoops and an optional Sport Appearance Bundle. Our take a look at vehicle was luckily absent this choice. We urge you to boycott the Sport Physical appearance package as it represents an ominous return of Pontiac’s worst styling excesses in the 1980s. The front fascia is blocky and ham-handed, as are the vestigial “gills” around the quad outlet exhaust guidelines. Our problem is that if ample people today buy this foolish possibility, GM will interpret this as market place approval of flash above material and we will be back again to the times of the “Screaming Rooster” and the Mustang Cobra II. Just say NO!

So what is actually the 2005 GTO like to travel? Mana toddler, pure mana! The complete frame doors open up and shut with a reliable thunk – and the higher window body guarantees wind, rattle and leak proof glass. The interior is fairly merely GM’s very best. At any time. The entire instrument cluster is legible – rimmed in brushed nickel and coloration keyed to the exterior paint. On our Impulse Blue tester this was an unforeseen and classy touch. The interior panels are finished in matte gloss gentle touch padding – a remarkable advancement from GM’s regular glossy challenging plastic interior trimming. Inside space is excellent, seat ease and comfort outstanding and visible sightlines superior. About the only criticism we could levy at the inside is the steering wheel. Although it feels fantastic in your hand, the center pad seems like a big goofy Shriners hat. This car or truck requirements a steering wheel that much better emulates the beautiful GM rosewood wheels from the 1960s.

Twist the vital and the starter engages with a satisfying and substantial whirr – like it is really spinning above a higher compression large block. The 6. LS2 V8 roars to everyday living and the exhaust take note is intoxicating. Deep, mellow and throaty with not a hint of tinniness. Blip the throttle and the the pipes pop and spit as the revs slide. Believe big block electrical power boat and you’d be shut to the result. Near your eyes and it truly is 1969 all around once more!

Clutch takeup is smooth and lifeless precise. With 400 Lb/ft of torque (SAE internet!!) the GTO ways off cleanly and crisply with small driveline lash. The 6 velocity Tremec trans shifts simply, with just the suitable quantity of mechanical notchiness to remind you what is actually taking place on the other conclude of the lever. An primarily good contact is the slight shifter vibration you come to feel while accelerating tricky in third equipment. Any one who’s at any time rowed a Muncie M22, Ford Toploader or MoPar A833 as a result of a Hurst shifter is familiar with that emotion. There’s a generation of drivers lifted on cable shifted, rubber insulated transaxles that have no clue what this feels like!

The ride is business and exact with no impact harshness more than sharp bumps. The steering is satisfyingly sharp with superb turn in and excellent street really feel. The GTO tracks straight and correct with little dartiness on tough pavement. There are no squeaks and rattles and the GTO exudes a hefty solidity and stiffness reminiscent of the Porsche 928. This is a car or truck you could very easily are living with on a day by day foundation – equally adept at ferrying Grandma to Bingo as ripping up the again roads.

The GTO LS2 can make a correct 400 horsepower. In pre-1972 SAE gross scores the amount is possible all-around 470 BHP at the flywheel. Compression is a stratospheric 10.9 and the lightweight valvetrain, successful cylinder head port style and design and 90mm throttle body make this motor a easy, torquey and rev content screamer. Assume about that for a minute. 400 horsepower for $33,000 – or about $82.50 per pony. And, you can assistance it at any of countless numbers of GM stores nationwide for pocket alter. And it gets 25 MPG for each the EPA freeway cycle. Provided the monumental strides in GM merchandise high quality in the earlier ten years, it’s a reasonable expectation that the GTO will need only regimen maintenance in the program of prudent, conscientious ownership.

The 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo designed 400 horsepower and stickered for about $120,000 ($300 for each). The 2000 BMW M5 designed 400 horses and stickered at about $80,000 ($200 per). And the sticker rate of these Teutonic supercars was just the minimum amount ante. Think $200 oil adjustments, $1,000 regime servicing payments and you get strategy. These are not cars for you and me. These are cars for the trust fund young ones you understood and hated in college. The GTO is a motor vehicle for regular people today, just like in 1964.

This car or truck flat cranks – and the LS2 pulls cleanly in every single gear from idle to the 6,500 redline. The LS2 truly will come alive at in excess of 3,000 RPM, and when you stand on the pedal in very first or next you ought to have the wheel pointing straight ahead – since the tires are going to crack unfastened. Less than far more mild throttle inputs the GTO accelerates without the need of histrionics – just a liquid, seemingly limitless rush to the higher limitations of the speedometer. Present day motor management assures that there are no flat places in the gas and spark shipping. Consider very well tuned LS-6 Chevelle and you may be in the small-conclusion ballpark of just how very easily the GTO accelerates. The shifter is immediate with nicely-defined gates and change hard work ideal for a supercar. The exhaust notice is heavenly, but no so loud as to trigger your spouse to shrink in her seat from embarrassment.

This is a extremely critical overall performance car, and we would be stunned if the GTO wasn’t fantastic for a sub-5 2nd sprint to 60. The quarter mile times should to be around 13.30 at 108 MPH. These are big quantities, and vastly remarkable to ANY inventory GTO from the past – like the fabled 1969-70 Ram-Air IV. It really is simply a subject of time before organizations like Lingenfelter start out promoting supercharger kits and stroker LS2 motors – so if inventory isn’t really quick ample the days of 500 HP GTOs can not be considerably off.

So, what is the conclusion? We consider that the 2005 GTO is for genuine and in most strategies a genuine religious successor to the initial. The styling is handsome, inside outstanding and the driving encounter is concurrently at ease and thrilling. This is NOT a car or truck for the “bling bling” group who live to be witnessed and endlessly chase the acceptance of their peer group. It can be a automobile for self self-confident performance enthusiasts who worth compound above design and style. It can be a motor vehicle for GTO people.

We want this vehicle to triumph since it will presage the long-lasting return of this sort of cars and trucks not only by GM but Ford and Daimler-Chrysler. We urge you to drive it – due to the fact you’ll most likely buy it!

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