Pontiac is a name that will not fail to come up in a discussion of the history of solid, affordable, and fast muscle cars. Though defunct, the brand remains one of the most iconic muscle car brands in American history. Notably, General Motors pulled the plug on the Pontiac and some of its other subsidiaries in the late 2000s, due to some economic issues.
General Motors introduced the Pontiac GTO in 1964 after its decision to discontinue the production of cars that are strictly for track duties and are not fitted with components that made them suitable for daily driving. Hence, the mid-size Pontiac Tempest/LeMans. Car enthusiasts even tag this model as the first-ever “real muscle car” and some consider it the muscle car of the masses. Pontiac LeMans itself wasn’t a GTO, but it had a GTO option with a juicy 6.4-liter V8 engine with an output of 325 horsepower.
The second generation Pontiac GTO is the 1968 to 1972 Pontiac GTO models. It received a new body design and was built on an A-body platform, with small differences in what was under the hood. The Third and Fourth Generational Pontiac GTO models only received fresh designs, but both had one production year to their badge. The Fourth-Generation GTO models were moved from the A-body platform to the General Motors X-body platform. Notably, this generation received the weakest engine in all the generations of Pontiac — a V8 engine that can generates just 250 horsepower.
To compensate for the weak engine, there was a reduction in the car’s weight, and this helped a little with the speed and acceleration. However, compared to other Pontiac GTO models, it didn’t really win hearts and never had a strong reputation like its predecessors. However, it had better handling thanks to the special performance suspension it was fitted with.
The Pontiac GTO had a 30-year break until it was reintroduced in 2004 – for the fifth and final generation of the iconic model.
The Pontiac GTO’s Speed Champion
Pontiac has built many remarkable cars that are known for speed and acceleration in the course of their storied history. The Pontiac Firebird Trans AM 455 Super Duty, the Pontiac Firehawk, and a host of other Pontiac muscle beasts have outstanding speed records during their era, putting the fear of hell in their competitors. However, of all Pontiac production models, none is as fast as the 2006 Pontiac GTO, a budget-friendly fastback Coupe.
According to Accelerationtimes, "the 2006 Pontiac GTO has a top speed of 170mph, it can accelerate from rest to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds and to 160 mph in 11.2 seconds.
Overview Of The Fastest Pontiac Model Ever: The 2006 Pontiac GTO
The 2006 Pontiac GTO is a fifth-generation Pontiac GTO. It is offered with only a single engine option available — the monstrous 6.0-liter naturally aspirated LS2 V8 engine that generates 400 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 400 pound-feet of torque. This spec is identical to what is found on the base model of the C6 Corvette. It is fitted with a standard 4-speed overdrive automatic, with the option of a six-speed manual transmission feeding its incredible output to the rear wheels. A limited-slip differential and traction control is standard on the 2006 Pontiac GTO. Impressively, the GTO will give you an old school thrill, an experience reminiscent of the classic muscle car era.
Safety Features And Comfort
In the 2006 Pontiac GTO, the focus is not only on speed, comfort, and occupant safety, but also on the design. The car comes with four-wheel antilock disc brakes and has a multistage front airbag for occupant’s safety. It is equipped with an emergency mode that shuts down the vehicle’s system and an anti-jam door function in case of an emergency or after the airbag has been deployed. There are also climate control and cruise control options on the Pontiac 2006 Pontiac GTO.
Furthermore, the cabin of the 2006 Pontiac GTO is unlike anything in the previous Pontiac models. It oozes luxury and class, highlighted by the leather-trimmed front seat. However, the model has a tight back seat and a mere 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space. But that could be forgiven; nobody buys the GTO for haulage duties anyway. The speedster is known for reliability and notorious dependability.
The Pontiac GTO sports a premium Blaupunkt Audio System with a six-disc CD changer and power windows. On the exterior, there is an option of a 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheel, but the car has no sunroof.
One of the high-point that endeared the car to Pontiac enthusiasts is that it is relatively cheap for what it has to offer; it has power and poise to stand shoulder to shoulder with its more expensive competitors in speed, style, and comfort. It moves gracefully, and it's very comfortable to drive, even for daily commuting. The 2006 Pontiac GTO is well-built with nice interiors, and it remains a dream car for anyone who loves the speed and durability of muscle cars.
The 2006 Pontiac GTO was offered at a base price of $31,290. However, in the market now, it is available within the range of $4,000 and $11,000.
Pontiac was discontinued in 2010 due to internal problems and a string of production of bad cars, most especially the Aztek which performed far below expectation. This led to the eventual demise of the Pontiac brand — the end of the name that produced some of the most remarkable muscle cars in the American automotive market.