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NEW GTO LEADS PONTIAC'S PERFORMANCE RENAISSANCE
DETROIT - With 350 horsepower, fully independent front and rear suspensions, and an exhaust note reminiscent of Pontiac's classic performance vehicles, the GTO is back - and Pontiac is reintroducing the legend to a whole new generation of performance enthusiasts.

Reborn as a premium high-performance sports coupe with a balanced package of awesome power, nimble handling and passenger comfort, the 2004 GTO is the flagship of Pontiac's performance renaissance. It will be available in Pontiac dealers in December 2003.

"The GTO exemplifies the renewed spirit of performance at Pontiac," said Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC general manager. "Its bold character and detailed execution are the stuff dreams are made of. We expect there will be plenty of new GTO posters adorning the walls of enthusiasts of all ages."

In keeping with Pontiac's contemporary styling direction, the GTO's exterior is smooth and sensuous. Sporting a standard rear spoiler, the vehicle has an aggressive stance accented by large wheels and tires. The prominent five-spoke wheel design evokes performance wheels of the past, while projector-beam headlamps, flanking a dual-port grille and large outboard fog lamps, place the GTO firmly in the Pontiac family.

Under the skin, the GTO boasts a comprehensive list of standard features:

LS1 V-8 engine producing 350 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 365 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm
Choice of Hydra-Matic 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission or M12 close-ratio six-speed manual transmission
Independent front and rear suspensions with limited slip differential
Four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS
Three-channel traction control system
Seventeen-inch aluminum wheels and P245/45ZR17 W-rated tires
Premium interior with 2+2 configuration and color-coordinated leather seating
Blaupunkt 200-watt audio system with 6-disc in-dash CD changer and 10 speakers
Seven exterior colors are available: Quicksilver Metallic, Phantom Black Metallic, Torrid Red, Impulse Blue Metallic, Barbados Blue Metallic, Cosmos Purple Metallic and Yellow Jacket.

Powerful powertrain

An award-winning engine design, the LS1 provides a broad power band and plenty of low-rpm torque. The exhaust was tuned to give the GTO a distinctive sound and the available transmissions were geared to enhance the car's launch feel.

Pontiac estimates the 0-60 times of approximately 5.3 seconds and a quarter-mile run in about 13.8 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission.

Backing up that impressive power is a handling system tuned to deliver crisp performance. The fully independent suspension features MacPherson struts in front and a semi-trailing arm design in the rear, with specially tuned strut valving and spring rates. Direct-acting stabilizer bars and a variable ratio power steering system also are tuned to provide a sporty feel and increased driver feedback.

The drivetrain rides on a 109.8-inch (2788-mm) wheelbase, with a low stance that enhances the wide track feel behind the wheel. The front track measures 61.4 inches (1559 mm) and the rear track is 62.1 inches (1577 mm) wide.

"We deliberately positioned the GTO to look like it's hugging the ground," said Dave Himmelberg, program engineering manager. "The vehicle is subtly raked forward to hint at the performance attributes of the car."

Inside story

The GTO's premium interior is accented by a harmonious blend of details, complementing its dynamic driving experience. All-leather seating, as well as a leather-covered steering wheel and shifter knob, immediately conveys luxury, while items such as stainless steel sill plates, metallic-look steering wheel styling, satin nickel-look accent trim, and racing-inspired drilled metallic pedals add sportiness to the environment.

The front and rear sports seats are configured in a traditional 2+2 configuration, with side bolsters and the "GTO" name embroidered on the front seats. Interior seat and trim colors may be coordinated to the exterior color, with red, blue, purple and black interiors available. This splash of color extends from the seats to the door inserts to the lower part of the instrument panel to the gage cluster.

Color coordination extends to the upholstery stitching and instrument cluster color, too. For example, a GTO painted Torrid Red is available with a red or black interior color and comes with red upholstery stitching and red gage cluster; a Yellow Jacket-painted vehicle receives a black interior with yellow stitching and a yellow gage cluster.

Every GTO comes well equipped with a thoughtful package of interior amenities and safety features, including:

Air conditioning
Console with storage compartment, accessory power outlet and two cupholders
Cruise control
Rear defogger
Power door locks with lockout protection
Programmable keyless entry with laser-etched key for added security
Eight-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats with power-assisted rear seat access feature
Tilting and telescoping adjustable steering wheel
Power windows with driver and passenger express-down feature
Driver and passenger front air bags
Daytime running lamps with automatic headlamp control
Three-point safety belts in all seating positions
Rear-seat child seat anchor points
Theft and content deterrent system
The integrated driver information center located below the instrument cluster includes readouts for average speed, average miles per gallon, trip odometer, trip time remaining, trip distance remaining, fuel used and instant fuel mileage. There's even a stopwatch feature and a user-programmable overspeed alarm.

Global development

The GTO is based on the Holden Monaro and is built in Australia. By leveraging GM's global resources, approximately 100 engineers and support personnel in Australia and the United States developed the GTO in less than two years.

"With engineers working on two continents and opposite hemispheres, development and testing occurred virtually 24 hours a day," said Himmelberg. "It was a smooth process that highlighted the integration of GM's global facilities."

Transforming the Monaro platform into the GTO required the conversion to federal and state requirements for items such as the headlamps, bumpers and fuel tank. To account for the United States' more varied climates, additional corrosion protection was added to more than 140 components. In all, the GTO has more than 450 unique components.

Engineers also had the task of making the car a true GTO. To that end, the LS1's horsepower was raised by almost 50 horsepower, the transmissions were revamped to provide quicker acceleration and a more aggressive launch feel, and new tires were selected specifically for all-season traction and superior handling dynamics.

"There's a mystique to the GTO that we had to make sure we captured," said Myers. "We've maintained a reverence for the heritage, but built a thoroughly modern, premium performance vehicle worthy to lead Pontiac into the 21st century."

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, employs 342,000 people globally in its core automotive business and subsidiaries. Founded in 1908, GM has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in more than 190 countries. In 2002, GM sold more than 8.6 million cars and trucks, nearly 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters is at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM and its products can be found on the company's consumer web site at www.gm.com
 

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and I have been going back and forth between the GM media page and here 'cause I knew it would be here first!!!!!!

:drink: :drink: :drink: :drink:
 

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Man, it still hasn't quite settled in yet that the GTO is back :cool:

I think they are being pretty modest on that "13.8" quarter mile time. In that hands of the right driver, ie. one of us ;) , I'm sure that thing could turn some low 13s all day long.

I'm also curious to see initial dyno numbers.
 

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Notice the confirmation on tire size people!?!?!?
 

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Anybody notice the difference between the front and rear track on this release and the booklet from the dealer?
 

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Guess Im a little less worried about the curb weight than some because it will weigh lots more with my big butt in it. Anyway, Im not expecting a car with a power to weight ratio like a vette or lotus or something. I want a nice GT that when I stomp on the gas in the change lane it goes like hell. I want as much hp as possible but to be honest I dont see myself out there racing the damn thing. Lots cheaper to hotrod a small car or just buy one of those new hotrod neons. Besides, insurance is going to be bad enough anyway....
 

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I hear ya Jim. I think many of us are in that same situation. I'm going to be getting rid of the aftermarket supercharged Mustang GT that is too bumpy, loud. leaky, cramped, etc. for a more comfortable but still very fast car.

I think my measure of the GTO (mine's an automatic) meeting my expectations will be that it at least chirps the tires at the 1-2 shift.
 
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