Today I had the good fortune to test drive an enthusiast’s GTO. The nice thing about the enthusiast and a test drive with one is that they want you to really “test out” the car.
The owner even had secluded test drive route where a person could really wring out a GTO without worrying about traffic or law enforcement.
Now this wasn’t my first experience with driving a GTO. It actually was my 4th. I drove the 2004 LS1 GTO and the 2005 LS2 GTO at a couple of the GM “Auto-Shows-in-Motion”. And in 2006 I drove the last edition of the GTO. Today I drove another 2006 GTO.
The GTO was a 6-speed manual, Impulse Blue Metallic with black leather interior, it is one of 529 in that color combination and transmission.
The GTO is one of those cars that looks better in real life than in pictures. There is a strength and power that is conveyed in person that isn’t shown in two dimensions. Once you step inside the car you are met with one of highest quality interiors in an American car. The driver and passenger are supported by a couple of leather buckets that give away the car’s sporting intentions. Even the backseat area is surprisingly roomy with two similar bucket style seats molded into the rear bench.
But the reason a I’m looking at a GTO isn’t because of its styling, it isn’t its interior or mildly roomy backseat, it is for the 400 horses under the hood, it is for the drive, and boy what a drive! The LS2 really pins you back into your seat during hard accelleration. The rear tires are simply a gas pedal stomp away from breaking loose and allowing the driver to enjoy some tail-sliding fun. The GTO has an electronic nanny in the form of traction control to keep you safe, but like all good sports cars you shut off the traction control with the push of a button.
Now the GTO isn’t a canyon carver, it isn’t a super luxury automobile, it is a powerful sports car from Pontiac that has plenty of “Go” to match its “Show”. The GTO is a great mix comfort, speed, price and performance.
And I think I just might buy one.