The GTO is the car of the day and will continue to be the COTD for some time since I now have one my garage.
After years of following the Pontiac GTO and its rebirth with the 350hp LS1 to the next year with 400hp LS2 and the subsequent addition of the dual exhausts and hood scoops. I was at GM’s Auto-Show-In-Motion and drove the 2004 GTO. 4 years ago I remember being impressed with the GTO’s interior treatments. Everything I touched a feeling of quality that belied it’s Pontiac badge. There was a Blaupunkt stereo staring at me from the cockpit. Blaupunkt was the same company that was supplying stereos to BMW in years past. It was a big surprise to see the German stereo in an American car.
A couple of years ago Jeremy Clarkson did a special where he came to America looking for a good car. He only found two cars worth praising one was the Ford GT, the other was the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette has a long history of being the American automotive benchmark of performance and power. Sometimes the Corvette engine finds its way into other GM vehicles. The GTO was blessed with the same LS2 engine that powers the Corvette.
There is definitely something to be said about 400hp, it makes for an extremely quick vehicle. Are there cars faster than the GTO? Sure. Is the car next to you faster than the GTO? Probably not. The list of cars that can actually outrun GTO is a short and exclusive list of the most powerful cars on the planet. Cars in the same price bracket that can outrun the GTO are nearly non-existent.
The short drives I did tonight gave me a taste of how ridiculous 400hp is on the street. The GTO already comes with too much power to easily put down on the pavement, which may be one of the first places I look. Some drag bags and stickier tires may just be the ticket. That plus a couple of simple mods seem like a nice place to start.
A big thanks to the previous owner taking car of the GTO, for putting the car up for sale and being cool to deal with. He even gave me recommendation on the best sticky tire for the GTO. You should see the car he is looking at replacing his GTO with….but that’s another article.
You can read a little bit of Laura’s point of view on the GTO on Laura’s Blog.