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#153289 - 09/30/02 09:59 AM Re: From showroom floor to street - what will be changed?!?!
Neo GTP Offline
Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 45
Loc: Niagara Falls
This was taken from a Toronto news paper on Sat 28/02

Pontiac cleans up Grand Prix sedan

Model gets racing-inspired features, new styling and added versatility
General Motors revealed its 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix sports sedan (the coupe is gone) this week in Oshawa, where it will start rolling off the assembly line in February and into dealerships by spring.

In general, the new model has about the same dimensions as the current car but has a cleaner look and is supposed to be the most flexible car in the mid-size sedan segment.

According to Peter Bannon, director of sales and marketing for General Motors of Canada, the new Grand Prix "designed for people who want the ultimate in performance, style and handling, but also need the flexibility to transport large or long items.''

As for that new style, Bannon says, it's meant to demonstrate Pontiac's 21st-century contemporary design direction.

Bannon says the car's smooth "Coke-bottle'' sides extend into twin-port grilles with a two-tone lower fascia, while the large, aggressive driving and park/turn lamps accentuate the car's "wide track'' stance.

At the rear, large corner-mounted taillamps integrate into the deck lid and bookend the rear spoiler, while twin-styled dual exhaust outlets are standard on all models.

Grand Prix's interior fabrics and leather are richer and more contemporary, Bannon claims, and that's supposed to give it "a more refined look and feel.''

Also, there are larger analogue gauges with a three-dimensional appearance, and satin nickel accents on the doors, wheels and shifter that "give the car a stylish, upscale feel.''

One of the big changes in the new Grand Prix is the standard Driver Information Centre and optional trip computer and Head Up Display (HUD) units. They feature view-screen reconfigurability with more capability than the previous model, Bannon says.

The HUD features a more readable green backlighting and displays more information, including speed, turn signals, high-beam indicator, warning messages, radio/CD/tape status, ice warning, outside air temperature and compass. An innovative stealth mode for the HUD extinguishes the instrument panel cluster lights, allowing the driver to navigate solely using the HUD.

For 2004, the SE model has been eliminated, and customers can choose from the GT, GTP and GTP with the Competition Group package.

Bannon says the 2004 Grand Prix was designed for best-ever, best-in-class handling in its segment.

For those truly serious driving enthusiasts, Bannon says, the all-new Competition Group (or Comp G) option only on the GTP model provides "maximum grip (0.83 lateral g), the sharpest possible steering response and peak road holding with a firm, yet supple ride.''

Grand Prix is the first GM model to get the latest version of the 3.8-litre V6, called 3800 Series III, which means the base GT model comes with 200 hp and the GTP with 250 hp (at press time) and a best-in-class 280 lb-ft of torque.

"Another racing-inspired feature that is sure to spice up the driving experience is the all-new Formula One-style TAPshift (Touch Activated Power)'' on the steering wheel of the GTP with the Comp G package, says Bannon.

"Drivers can engage a paddle on the steering wheel and switch from the ease of an automatic transmission to the fun-to-drive quality of a manual,'' Bannon says. "The system has the fastest fingertip shifting response in the industry,'' he adds, "and better simulates a manual driving experience than any other car.''

Designers tried to build as much versatility into the Grand Prix as possible, Bannon says, to allow the car to give it some of the range of an SUV.

So rear doors now swing open to 82 degrees, compared to the previous 67 degrees, which makes it easier to enter and exit the car as well as load bulky items, such as TV sets or computers, into the back seat

It's also now easier to load large cargo like bicycles or extra wide boxes into the trunk, because the opening is nearly 25 cm wider, and the lift-over height is almost 15 cm lower.

The 60/40 split-folding rear seats fold nearly flat, extending the load floor well into the interior.

Bannon says a nine-foot kayak and other long items such as skis now fit securely inside the vehicle with the trunk closed, thanks to an optional double-hinged front passenger seat that also folds flat and extends the load floor to the instrument panel.
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