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

Pontiac is guilty of revisionist heritage in the 2005 GTO gross sales brochure. In the brochure, a timeline of sizeable milestones in the 41 year heritage of the GTO is introduced. The 1964 design by natural means potential customers off the timeline. Soon after all, this car or truck flagrantly violated GM’s anti-racing edict of 1957 and single handedly defined an totally new classification of automobiles. The 1966 GTO also earns point out as the first of the Ram-Air models, followed by the 400 cubic inch 1967 and then the fabled GTO Judge in 1969. However, from 1970 right up until the 2004 rebirth – the timeline is blank. It is as if Pontiac has excised all memory of the strong-but-porcine 1971-72 GTO or the underachieving Nova derived 1973 types. And, of course there is zero mention of the puerile Grand-Am based mostly GTO concept that GM paraded about the present circuit in the early nineties.

With the missteps that sullied the status of the most famous icon in muscle mass automobile record, we can value Pontiac’s selective company memory. They do even so elevate legitimate concerns about the 2005 GTO. Is this car worthy of the GTO title? Will the new GTO be remembered 20 years consequently as just one of the “terrific ones” or will its memory be the target of a Stalinist purge from the file?

In our opinion, the 2005 GTO is the genuine article – and in many strategies a ideal modern interpretation of the legendary 1964 GTO. We urge you to travel a person, because to travel this car is to enjoy this auto.

We experienced the honor of driving an Impulse Blue 2005 GTO 6 speed at Josephs Pontiac in Norwell, Massachusetts. Josephs has been marketing and servicing Pontiacs because 1928 and to this working day it really is an honored and beloved south shore landmark with some of the friendliest persons you happen to be probably to meet. This household is aware Pontiac, and converse about classic and long term Pontiacs with clear passion. It really is a put where by neighbors fall by to chat about espresso and you happen to be just as very likely to see Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler prevent in for a tank of gasoline. Compared to the soulless auto mega malls, Josephs Pontiac is a direct connection back to a greater time – and no finer spot exists to check generate a famous Pontiac marque.

Let us start out with styling – arguably the most contentious issue surrounding the 2005 GTO. The automobile publications have roundly criticized Pontiac for ultra conservative styling that belies the general performance abilities of the auto. We say the critics are idiots – or at the the very least completely ignorant of the primary GTO layout philosophy. The 1964-67 GTO was Never ever about visual flash. John DeLorean and Jim Wangers begun with the spare and unadorned Tempest body. They additional a tasteful scooped hood, beautiful wheelcovers and refined subtle badges on the grille, fender and decklid. You had to seem closely to choose up the visual clues, and we might bet a superior many persons walked right by individuals early GTO’s with nary a second glance. The GTO wasn’t marketed to travel-as a result of posers. It was a really serious effectiveness machine that retained a small visual profile and did it truly is chatting at the stoplight and dragstrip.

Economic and political factors also played a aspect in the GTOs initial styling restraint. The industry for the GTO was uncertain, so to limit capital investments Pontiac essential to make thanks with the sleekest mid-sized coupe in the current product or service portfolio. Pontiac division chief John DeLorean also experienced to tread lightly for anxiety of attracting unfavorable consideration from the horsepower-phobic GM Government team. No matter what the reasons, the 1964-67 GTO stands as just one of the most tasteful and timelessly styled muscle automobiles of the era.

The 2005 GTO is a ideal stylistic and economic interpretation of the primary. To keep prices small and time to marketplace brief, Pontiac raided it is really around the globe pieces bin to occur up with the most handsome rear drive coupe in the steady, the Australian Holden Monaro. Its traces are restricted, cleanse and tasteful. The GTO badging is subtle as are the twin non-purposeful hood bulges. As in 1964, you have seem for the delicate visible clues as to the true nature of this car or truck. Back again in the day, gearheads discovered to quickly differentiate the heavyweights from the palookas. It seldom was about shiny paint, garish graphics and chrome wheels. The most serious cars and trucks had been typically the most visually unremarkable – and you discovered to glance for the tiny “426 Hemi” fender emblems, or the steel wheels with DOT authorized Mickey Thompsons. You figured out to pay attention for or the choppy idle of a 305 degree stable cam. And so it is with the 2005 GTO. You have acquired to know what to glance for.

Automotive posers will not get it and they likely would not recognize it. And that is wonderful with us. The 2005 GTO is for men and women assured in their own pores and skin – persons who like to kick ass and acquire names less than the radar monitor. People like you and me.

In 2005, Pontiac responded to styling criticisms by incorporating the aforementioned hood scoops and an optional Activity Physical appearance Package. Our examination auto was luckily absent this option. 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 recommendations. Our worry is that if plenty of folks invest in this silly alternative, GM will interpret this as market acceptance of flash over substance and we are going to be back to the times of the “Screaming Chicken” and the Mustang Cobra II. Just say NO!

So what is the 2005 GTO like to push? Mana newborn, pure mana! The entire frame doors open and near with a solid thunk – and the upper window frame promises wind, rattle and leak evidence glass. The interior is quite simply just GM’s best. Ever. The total instrument cluster is legible – rimmed in brushed nickel and colour keyed to the exterior paint. On our Impulse Blue tester this was an unexpected and stylish contact. The inside panels are completed in matte gloss tender touch padding – a remarkable enhancement from GM’s common shiny challenging plastic interior trimming. Inside area is very good, seat convenience excellent and visible sightlines good. About the only criticism we could levy at the inside is the steering wheel. Even though it feels good in your hand, the heart pad seems like a giant goofy Shriners hat. This car or truck demands a steering wheel that better emulates the stunning GM rosewood wheels from the 1960s.

Twist the crucial and the starter engages with a satisfying and substantial whirr – like it’s spinning in excess of a substantial compression huge block. The 6. LS2 V8 roars to life and the exhaust 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 ability boat and you would be close to the impact. Near your eyes and it truly is 1969 all more than yet again!

Clutch takeup is easy and useless precise. With 400 Lb/ft of torque (SAE net!!) the GTO measures off cleanly and crisply with little driveline lash. The six velocity Tremec trans shifts simply, with just the appropriate total of mechanical notchiness to remind you what’s occurring on the other end of the lever. An especially awesome contact is the slight shifter vibration you really feel when accelerating difficult in 3rd equipment. Any one who’s at any time rowed a Muncie M22, Ford Toploader or MoPar A833 by a Hurst shifter understands that feeling. There’s a generation of motorists elevated on cable shifted, rubber insulated transaxles that have no clue what this feels like!

The ride is agency and precise with no effects harshness around sharp bumps. The steering is satisfyingly sharp with outstanding turn in and good street come to feel. The GTO tracks straight and genuine with small 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 automobile you could conveniently live with on a everyday foundation – equally adept at ferrying Grandma to Bingo as ripping up the back again roads.

The GTO LS2 helps make a true 400 horsepower. In pre-1972 SAE gross rankings the variety is probably 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 joyful screamer. Feel about that for a instant. 400 horsepower for $33,000 – or about $82.50 for each pony. And, you can services it at any of hundreds of GM shops nationwide for pocket modify. And it will get 25 MPG per the EPA highway cycle. Offered the monumental strides in GM item high quality in the previous ten years, it’s a reasonable expectation that the GTO will call for only schedule maintenance in the study course of prudent, conscientious possession.

The 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo built 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 for every). And the sticker price of these Teutonic supercars was just the bare minimum ante. Believe $200 oil alterations, $1,000 regime upkeep expenditures and you get notion. These aren’t vehicles for you and me. These are cars and trucks for the belief fund children you knew and hated in university. The GTO is a car for typical folks, just like in 1964.

This motor vehicle flat cranks – and the LS2 pulls cleanly in every gear from idle to the 6,500 redline. The LS2 definitely will come alive at more than 3,000 RPM, and when you stand on the pedal in initial or second you ought to have the wheel pointing straight in advance – since the tires are likely to split unfastened. Beneath much more light throttle inputs the GTO accelerates with out histrionics – just a liquid, seemingly limitless hurry to the higher boundaries of the speedometer. Modern-day motor management makes sure that there are no flat places in the gas and spark delivery. Consider perfectly tuned LS-6 Chevelle and you’ll be in the minimal-end ballpark of just how easily the GTO accelerates. The shifter is immediate with perfectly-described gates and shift effort and hard work correct for a supercar. The exhaust observe is heavenly, but no so loud as to cause your spouse to shrink in her seat from humiliation.

This is a extremely significant efficiency car or truck, and we’d be stunned if the GTO wasn’t very good for a sub-5 second sprint to 60. The quarter mile instances should to be all around 13.30 at 108 MPH. These are big figures, and vastly superior to ANY stock GTO from the previous – which includes the fabled 1969-70 Ram-Air IV. It can be just a subject of time just before providers like Lingenfelter start advertising supercharger kits and stroker LS2 motors – so if stock isn’t really quickly plenty of the times of 500 HP GTOs are not able to be considerably off.

So, what is actually the summary? We believe that the 2005 GTO is for serious and in most methods a genuine religious successor to the authentic. The styling is handsome, inside exceptional and the driving experience is simultaneously at ease and thrilling. This is NOT a car for the “bling bling” crowd who dwell to be seen and endlessly chase the approval of their peer team. It is a car for self assured performance enthusiasts who value compound about design and style. It is really a auto for GTO men and women.

We want this car or truck to realize success simply because it will presage the permanent return of these types of cars and trucks not only by GM but Ford and Daimler-Chrysler. We urge you to generate it – mainly because you will probably acquire it!