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GTO coupe proves Pontiac still builds excitement

By Tom Keane
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES​

In 1964, the car that created Pontiac's reputation for excitement was the GTO coupe. Now Pontiac has a new version and the 2005 GTO is much more exciting.
The fun and excitement of the 2005 GTO comes from a powerful engine, even compared to the 2004 model. Under the hood is a 6.0-liter V-8 engine that produces a whopping 400 horsepower and 395 foot-pounds of torque almost instantly. This puts it in the elite class of a car that can do 0-to-60 mph in less than five seconds. That's a thrill.

This powerful engine was linked to a six-speed manual transmission on the test car. However, for those who prefer to remain shiftless, a four-speed automatic transmission is available as standard equipment. The manual is a $695 option and playing around with a manual transmission provides a lot more fun -- most of the time.
Every once in awhile, I found myself getting "hung up" when shifting as the gear box was notchy, and unless I was precise with my shift pattern, I sometimes failed to get into gear.
Even though the GTO isn't a large vehicle, it looks mean, with a pair of stylish scoops on the new hood design, allowing more air to be drawn into the engine compartment. The coupe sits on 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. It also has a new dual-exhaust system and both exhaust tips are polished to give this $32,990 beauty a touch of class.
Because of it overall size, it's a real struggle to get into the rear seats of this four-passenger coupe -- and the trunk space is not very large. But the two leather sport bucket seats in the front were not only inviting, they were civilized to get into. After using eight-way power to adjust the driver's seat, I examined the clear-cut instrument panel and checked out the other controls including cruise control and the tilt and telescopic steering wheel. I noted there were plenty of storage compartments, plus a couple of cup holders. It even had a convenient power outlet in the front console area.
The GTO has safety features that made me feel comfortable as I was stepping on the gas pedal: front and rear disc brakes and traction control. The sound system also had power, featuring a Blaupunkt 200-watt, 10-speaker audio system, including a six-disc in-dash CD changer. But the really enjoyable sounds came from the deep tones of the exhaust pipes. These tones were not the loud, annoying sounds that some sports cars have, but reverberating tones that were music to my ears. So I turned off the sound system, even though audio controls on the steering wheel were a nice convenience.
As I drove, I observed the instrument panel had readouts for average speed, average miles per gallon, trip odometer, trip time remaining, fuel used and fuel remaining.
This car also had daytime running lamps and automatic headlamp control. It had a theft and content deterrent system, plus all the latest safety features.
In addition to the enjoyment of zipping around rural roads in an exciting coupe with precise steering and strong engine, I attributed the fun to how easily the car handled.
The Pontiac engineers did a great job assembling a coupe that feels secure when making hard, sharp turns. I'm told the GTO has a unitized body frame and four-wheel independent construction.
I had no problem when hitting hard bumps, as the suspension system seemed to absorb the jolts of the road.
Obviously, the GTO has come a long way -- as have all vehicles. The difference, however, is this GTO retains its exciting image.
 

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It doesn't really matter, you see. GM engineers move around the company and its affiliates, and I know for a fact that some of GM's U.S. folks have had stints down-under (and visa versa).

Who cares . . . it's probably the first article I've read that could be classified as a "glowing report" of the Goat . . . agree or not with how the author decided to dole out the credit, it goes to show that some folks can have a clear mind when approaching this car.
 

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Agreed PWR_SHIFT...the point is the good report.

Personally, I'm happy with my Pontiac, I mean Vauxhall, I mean Holden...whatever. It says GTO on my grille, didn't cost way too much, less people around have it than alot of other cars, and I like having a more unique car than most others out there...and damn happy to see great reviews on it.
 

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fergyflyer said:
I was talking about the article.
It states " Pontiac engineers did a great job assembling a coupe...."
Wow! This writer needs a Pulitzer for Journalistic Nimrodicity. Two incorrect statements in an eight word phrase! At least he's efficient!

1) Engineers assemble nothing beyond the prototype phase.

2) Even if they did, it was Holden division employees that assembled the coupe. GM employees all-- but they work for Holden.
 

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A Name Is Given Not Chosen

The best way to insult a man is by purposely calling him by the wrong name or mispronouncing it. This means you don't respect him enough to care about the details. What we call a GTO is not a Holden even though it is made by them. They put the name on it when they made it, Pontiac didn't strip off the Holden label and put a new one on. The GTO is an awesome machine and deserves more respect than you are giving it.

Remember that what we have here in the U.S. is different, even if only slightly than what is sold down under as HOLDEN. Stop looking a gift horse in the mouth and thank Pontiac for offering you this great machine made at the HOLDEN plant.
 

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mumrah said:
The best way to insult a man is by purposely calling him by the wrong name or mispronouncing it. This means you don't respect him enough to care about the details.
No...calling him a "nimrod" is a far better way to insult a man. Try it sometime.

mumrah said:
What we call a GTO is not a Holden even though it is made by them. They put the name on it when they made it, Pontiac didn't strip off the Holden label and put a new one on. The GTO is an awesome machine and deserves more respect than you are giving it.
I respect this car, which represents possibly best value in performance automobiles to hit the market in some time. I do not repect the given label-- Pontiac. Pontiac hasn't conceived, designed or built anything in the past three decades to deserve respect. In fact, it has become a punchline for Jeff Foxworthy jokes.

mumrah said:
Remember that what we have here in the U.S. is different, even if only slightly than what is sold down under as HOLDEN. Stop looking a gift horse in the mouth and thank Pontiac for offering you this great machine made at the HOLDEN plant.
Please. Pontiac can blow me. This car was designed and built on another continent, thankfully left alone and allowed to develop in isolation far from the inept management, engineering, and styling staff employed by the Pontiac division.
 

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I'm gonna start saying my "Corvette" beat x, y and z...hey, same motor :cheers Hey if it wasn't for this American motor, this Holden wouldn't have the 'go'.

This back and forth is getting rediculous. The fact is, my Pontiac GTO is an awesome car, case closed.
 

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One thing to be thankful for is the discount given to it by calling it a Pontiac, the GTO cost us $13,800 less than the Holden version does in the country it is made in. This is based on todays exchange rate. 60,500 Aus$= 47,190 US$.
 

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Groucho,

1) No such thing as a left-hand-drive Monaro. So no matter how much you want to call it something else, the only one that comes this way is a Pontiac.
2) GM is GM, and all of its divisions are basically just marketing arms. The fact is it's a GM baby, whichever division puts its badge on it (in Gr. Britain they have a Vauxhall version . . . but it's still GM)
3) Many GM engineers and designers move between the continents. As a matter of fact the Monaro/GTO designer is in Detroit currently and he personally stated that the market here needs more vivid styling (for whatever that's worth)
4) The GTO/Monaro could never be unless GM Powertrain designed the awesome LS2 (and the LS1), built it in North America, and allowed it to be stuffed into the body shell down under.
5) You're in some painful denial, which is fairly transparent to onlookers, even to your buddies that you had to rationalize the purchase to. However, you otherwise seem like a bright guy, so I have confidence that some day you will get over it.

Hope you don't kill yourself over it, and can still enjoy the car . . .
 

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Geeeeezzz guys.....knock it off, will ya??? The bottom line, to some of the points made above, is that GM has a stake in Holden. We've got 2...TWO real American car companies left...Ford and GM. With the global economy the way it is today, who gives a rat's ass if "Holden" had the designed product first?? The engine/drivetrain is pure American as is the company (GM) that owns and markets it. Be proud, relax, and SCREW the Germans, Japanese, Chinese, and (mostly) the French. There are fewer consumers like us today than ever that actually care about supporting the U.S.A., so shut up and stick together! :rofl:

By the way, my decent is German mixed with French, so I don't want to hear from anyone who's "offended."

I don't care.

:cool
 
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