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Pontiac Grand Prix - 2000-2005



  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    A 91 W-body with the 3.4 DOHC V6 was a great performer for it's day no doubt and yes, probably about as quick as a current day Intrigue. But, part of the Intrigue's beauty is how smooth and refined it feels and sounds at full throttle. Aside from the platform's shortcomings, the engine really makes the Intrigue feel like a more expensive car. The old 3.4 may have been quick, but it seemed to lack refinement. This is pretty obvious if the pushrod 3800 was chosen as the better engine for first year Intrigues. As for Intrigue sales, 98 and 99 were both very good years sales wise. In 00 sales slipped a bit then in 01 took a nose dive. I guess cancelling the entire brand certainly won't help sales.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    Lets take a trip back in time! I've got the October 1990 isuue of MT in front of me. In it you will find new car reviews on such forgotten cars like the Buick Roadmaster, a spy shot of the upcoming 92 Bonneville, the Chevy Lumina Z34 coupe(this review included a write-up on the DOHC 3.4), Dodge Spirit R/T(224 h, 0-60 in 6.8 seconds), Dodge Stealth R/T turbo, and Chrysler's first redesign of the mini-vans. The article is too long for me to re-type here(I don't have a scanner) but I'll post some of the highlights. "The twin Dual Cam (TDC) V6 purposely relies on proven technology to offer customers the utmost in reliability and excellent performance at a reasonable price. In fact, the basic architecture of the engine- bore center, V-angle, and deck height dimensions- is common with the 2.8-3.1 family of General Motors V6 engines that have existed for more than a decade"..... "The application of four overhaed camshafts necessitated a completely new two-stage drive system. To cut crankshaft speed in half and power the spur-gear oil pump, GM engineers devised an "intermediate" shaft that spins in the original(3.1 liter) camshaft location"..."The 3.1 liter V6's distributorless ignition is used without modification"...and the closing paragraph of the review began "The 3.4 liter Twin Dual Cam by GM won't send Ferrari, Yamaha, or Nissan back to their dynamometer cells..." In MT's test of a 91 Lumina Z34 coupe with the 5 speed manual, 0-60 was 7.5 with the 1/4 in 15.8. Idling in neutral they reported the car's noise level was 50 db and a steady 60 MPH in top gear was 66 dBA. Engine specs were 210 HP @ 5200 RPM and 215 lb-ft torque @ 4400 RPM.
  • Yes - horsepower does help sell. Just watch any car commercial and they'll either state the HP rating or the fact that is has the most power in its class, etc.

    But let's get to the issue here. I had a 95 Eagle Vision TSi with 214 HP. The car was slow as a dog. My 99 Grand Am GT has 175 HP and I can get to 60 in less than 8 seconds.

    HP on its own is not the only factor. You have to take into consideration the cars weight and gearing ratios. I'm nore concerned with how fast I can accelerate, not the exact HP of the engine.

    I test drove an Intrepid SXT with 240 HP. I was not impressed, because the car was so big.

    Get me to 60 mph in 8 seconds or less and I'll be happy. The GTP does it in 6.6 seconds. I think the GT2 I have on order is a little over 8 seconds, so I may need to do some mods to get me where I want to be.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    If HP was so important to so many people then no one would be driving 4 bangers. Yes, HP is important (mostly to enthusiasts) but there are so many other factors. For most, as long as a car's HP is competitive in their price range that is all that matters.

    Droping a K&N in the GP should get you up to 60 a touch faster off the bat.
  • hillflahillfla Posts: 90
    Thanks for the responses! I'll check back in a couple of months and let you know what we are getting for gas mileage.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    HP does help to sell, not for all, but especially if you are an enthusiast like me, also torque is important but most people don't advertise that. The GP in '97 was impressive, in '04 just average. 6yrs later to still have the same 200hp is not good, the competition has not stood still like GM.

    Dindak, There are 4 bangers that will easily outperfrom your Intrigue, just to name a few the Sentra R, 7.1 seconds WRX sub 6 second, Ford Focus SVT 7.8 seconds & Acura TSX 6.8 seconds. Dropping in a regular K&N doesn't do much for the GP. You need to install the cone type with a cold air box like I have to see any actual gains on the track.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Sales. Any car produced for a longer time will outsell a car produced for a shorter time. And with a new model on the horizon, buyers will wait. The 1996 model year was a short year. The 1997 model year was extra long. So of course the 1997 would be the high point of that generation. Same reason the 2002 will outsell the 2003. 2003 production ended 4 months early, and buyers awaited the 2004.

    The G-Force show car was "280 squared" (hp/torque), it was never a goal to have the production 2004 GP at 280hp.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Midlifcrisis, Exactly, I'm into the 0-60 and 1/4 mile numbers, not the HP or torque ratings... The reason the Intrepid SXT with 240hp is not that fast isn't because of the size, it's Chryslers inefficient auto trannies robbing power. They are alot more inefficient then GM's auto trannies. Example.. the 300M SPECIAL with 255 hp? Still takes nearly 7.8 seconds 0-60, it only weighs 200 more pounds then a GTP. I read somewhere that a Chrysler car with 200 hp is equivalent to a GM car with 170 hp because of the tranny.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    <<<Get me to 60 mph in 8 seconds or less and I'll be happy. The GTP does it in 6.6 seconds. I think the GT2 I have on order is a little over 8 seconds, so I may need to do some mods to get me where I want to be. >>>

    As long as you can do it in 8 seconds you are ok. The new "04 GP GT is actually slower then the '97-'03 GT. Pontiac has the GT1/2 rated at 8.5 seconds 0-60. They had the old one rated at 8.0 seconds.. go figure? Wonder why? The new GP is only 50 pounds heavier? And basically the same size... weird... This was in the Pontiac Enthusiast magazine I got for free when I bought my '02 GTP.

    It is not worth it to heavily Mod. a GT, remember a GTP was only $2-$3k more new, it will take you alot more then that to get the GT to run the same as a stock GTP
    I know people that have done this to Monte carlos, which we all know don't come with the supercharger until '04, by the time they have put nearly $5k into the car, it still didn't run any faster then a stock GTP...
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469

    If that is true, why is the 2004 selling worse then the 2003 GP? Most likely the $4k rebates that are no longer there on the '04's.... I partially agree with you, but The 1997 outsold the 1996 by 50%!! That isn't because of a longer/shorter year. sorry. because it was so much different, bigger car, bigger more powerfull engines and much better looking. 1997 was NOT the high point of the '97-'03.. actually '98 or '99 was the best selling year, I will have find out. Remember, 20% of all GP sales were COUPES... there was no coupe in 2003.

    The 2004 GTP was supposed to make 280 hp/300+ ft lbs torque... it was detuned to only 260 hp and the same 280 ff lbs torque because the Tranny would not take it and GM didn't want to go the expense/risk of an all new tranny or enhancing the current one.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Another factor worth noting was that back in 1997 when I bought my first GTP coupe, the Coupe was actually $1,000 cheaper then the sedan back then. Which made the coupe a good buy. It was also anywhere from 50-100 pounds lighter. same identical sized car otherwise. Somebody had a '97 coupe tested at 6.6 seconds and a 1/4 mile of 14.9. All the magazine tests are of the sedan which was nearly 100 pounds heavier.

    In 2002 the coupe was only $100 less then the sedan to purchase? I forget. Wasn't much.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    I've always said that either Chrysler's HP numbers are overstated or something is bobbing them of power. With either the 225 hp V6 or the 255 hp V6 the Intrepid and 300M(which are no more than 200 lbs heavier) should be significantly quicker than my lowly 215 hp Intrigue. Truth is, they are not. And even once rolling at highway speeds, the Intrigue will outrun one. I hope this changes with the new 300C due out in a year or so, complete with Hemi V8 and RWD.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    oldsman01, The 215 hp Intrigue is the same or faster then the 250hp 300M, again only 200 lbs dif? It is Chryslers inefficient auto trannies... or hopefully they haven't overstated their HP like some mfg had in the past...

    The funny thing is that some people actually think that using the autostick feature makes the car faster 0-60, it does NOT. I remember motortrend doing a comparo with one 300M left in Drive and one guy using autostick.. the one in Drive was actually faster 0-60.

    Just like the new Tapshift will not make the GTP any faster... however though the Comp G GTP is one or 2 tenths faster, because it is has a higher gear ratio then the regular GTP. That is why it is 27 EPA highway vs 28 EPA for the regular GTP. I think the dif is 6.5 vs 6.6 ? not noticeable.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Orwoody, i won't be looking for a replacement for my '02 GTP coupe until '07, usually keep my cars about 5yrs, but not sure on the GTO...

    I would wait for the 2nd year... GM/lutz already announced they are adding an improved dual exhaust with better exhaust note. They couldn't get it done in time for the introduction.. The first yr will only have single exhaust and less of an exhaust tone, and other improvements will come for the 2nd year..

    I would wait on the GTO... you are also going to pay alot to be first as well..

    remember all those people who paid MSRP or higher for the Marauder? $35k? now you can get it for $28k... Remember all the people that paid over MSRP for the new Tbird, that only had 250 horse? you can now get it under MSRP with the enhanced 290 hp engine... suckers.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    oldsman : I agree, I think Chryslers loose power somewhere because none of their cars I have driven ever seem as peppy as they should be.

    Gunit : Yes, I know there are lots of fast 4 bangers, but they cost as much if not more than an Intrigue did also, not to mention the noise.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469

    the Dodge Neon SRT-4, Focus SVT & Civic SI are all 4 bangers that do 0-60 in 7.8 or less seconds and all cost about $20k MSRP, noticeably cheaper then your Intrigue. Yes you are right, they are noiser and I would rather the Intrigue over those cars as well. Though that Neon does 0-60 in under 6 seconds.. might be fun... Though I wouldn't want to get into an accident in a car that small, like Civic/Focus/Neon.

    I don't know how Subaru gets $25k for the WRX.. fast and fun with the manual, but cheap interior and rough engine for my tastes... that is NOT alot of car for $25k, pretty small inside. That 5.8 second 0-60 time is nice... Remember, you only get that time by dumping the clutch at high rpms, a street start is closer to 6.5 - 7.0 second range.

    The 3800 engine is one of the rare drivetrains that in 0-60 and street start 0-60 tests the numbers were near identical.. Didn't have to pwr brake it. unlike some of these cars that they have to dump the clutch at 4000+ rpm... imagine that wear on your drivetrain?
  • richm4richm4 Posts: 169
    My 2 cents...

    I traded my 98 GT for an 04 GTP and live in the city where I can rarely open it up. HP matters to me up to a point.

    When comparing a 180 HP cat to 260 HP car, yes HP matters somewhat. But comparing a 180HP car to a 200HP car, or a 240HP car to a 260HP car, I could care less obout the difference in HP.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    rich : Exactly how I feel. I don't need 260 hp, the 215 in my Intrigue is great. So long as powerful enough, smooth and handles well I'm happy.

    gunit : Those Neons will give you a headache they are so noisy, especially under hard acceleration. No many people buy those either, <5% of sales.
  • What cracks me up is the ricer that spends $15K on a Civic, then adds $10K worth of mods, and still cannot come close to a GTP. And in the end, they have....well......a Civic. Even if they could race with a GTP, they'd blow their eardrums doing it. Those cars are so annoying.....
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please don't use any rice terminology in the Town Hall. This is a long-standing Town Hall policy and we would appreciate your cooperation.

    And please don't comment about this policy here. The policy is set way above my level and a debate here about it is not appropriate and cannot happen. If anyone needs to comment, email either myself or our Community Manager, Sylvia at

    Thanks for everyone's understanding.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    gunit, I think that dindak referred to the 4-banger mid-sizes, when nothing could be lamer.

    dindak, you have to consider that if GM wants to ape Pontiac as the American BMW, HP figures are very important.

    Therefore, I think that if GM wants to stay in business, it can't afford ranking below its competition, at least not the halo version.

    Pat, can we mention rice fryers when talking about food? :-)
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Horsepower does sell.
    But most people don't actually buy the car that has the big horsepower.
    They buy the car that has the standard engine.

    A lot of people buy the car that has the look or the body style that appeals to them. That is why more 325i's are sold than 330i's.

    Or why the Mustang outsold the now defunct Z28 Camaro, etc.

    Gm forgot that the fbody was a passenger car and that real people need to fit in it, and that passengers don't like huge humps where their feet go.

    I hope the uncomfortable backseat does not become a liability for the GP.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 6,418
    B4Z said: "I hope the uncomfortable backseat does not become a liability for the GP."

    It, along with the uglycloth (TM Regd.) and assorted hard plastic bits in the cabin, already is a liability - unfortunately so.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I didn't buy my Intrigue because it had the most HP, I bought it because it was the most refined sport sedan for the money at the time. That said Intrigue was pretty close to the top for midsizers at the time with 215 ponies.

    I do tend to prefer OHC motors so I hope the GP gets a 3.6L derivative in the next year or two as an option at least.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    The 25K Subbie is certainly quick, but man it is ugly! And as stated before, rather cheap looking. Still, if HP is your top priority then there is certainly appeal for it. HP is important to me, but not necessarily top priority. As I've said before, I skipped on the GTP coupe for the less powerful Intrigue because the Intrigue seemed to have a better blend of luxury and refinement along with the performance.

    b4z, to add to your list, why are the bulk of all Accords sold 4 bangers rather than the excellent V6s? Why are the bulk of all Altimas sold the 4 banger? For those of us who lurk around these forums HP is important, but to the average consumer I don't think it is.
  • My parents have bought about 5 Camrys over the last 20 years - all 4 cylinder. My brother has had various Camrys and an Accord - all 4 cylinder. My neighbor just bought an Accord - 4 cylinder. I think gas prices may have something to do with it, and the tremendous price differential between the 4 and 6 cylinder car.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    As a main car, I have never had a 4 cyl sedan, always a V6. My Intrigue is the most powerful car I've owned and it has more than enough. Like oldsman said, it's was a touch more refined than the previous GP to me.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Dindak, Those neons are loud/unrefined and in my area alot of High School age kids drive them. That SR-4 does 0-60 in 6 or less that is still VERY impressive for the sub $20k price, But I would NEVER buy a Neon or a car that small. What is with putting these loud coffee can sized exhausts that make them sound like lawnmowers? Loud and annoying.

    Midlifecrisis, The people that put $15k+ in a civic/focus are out of their minds. They could have bought an entry level BMW 325 for that price. after all that $15k they aren't much faster then the GTP...

    B4Z, Not all people buy the std engine, I always buy the biggest/most powefull engine and most of the cars I buy, Aurora and I30t only have one choice. The F body gave alot of bang for the buck but was cramped, so is the Mustang.. My GTP coupe is much larger/just as fast and 20% cheaper to insure, and with FWD I can drive in the snow.

    Oldsman01, The 4 banger Accord/Altima is a waste, my opinion, if you are going to buy it, pay extra for the V6, makes a big diff. The 4 cylinder version is rougher/louder and for me just not powerfull enough.

    Drive a 4 banger Accord with 4 adults with the A/C on in the summer and try to pull out on a highway.. good luck!!

     Just like the V6 Mustang is a waste... it kind of says, I wanted a Mustang but couldnt' afford one.. No go showboat. The newer V6's are getting better but the 1997? With 140 horse.. was a joke.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Anybody know if there are any new features/improvements on the '05 GTP yet? Just curious.

    I know back in '97 I should have waited until '98 to get the Bosch traction/ABS and 2nd generation airbags. The '97's in house Delco system was very noisy for ABS and couldn't handle the traction for the s/c motor.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    I noticed the DRLS system is now the foglights on the new '04 GP.... Probably a better place for it, instead of the annoying headlights... How many times Did I hear, "your headlights are on!" back in 1997.

    Disabled the DRLS on both my '97 and '02 GTP coupes, and it is fully LEGAL in the USA to do that. You do not need them. Ever notice Honda and Toyota don't have them here. My '01 I30t doesnt' have them. My '95 Aurora did NOT have DRLS. They started that on the 1996 Aurora.

    I think in Canada you must have DRLS though...
This discussion has been closed.