Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#211621 - 05/05/05 05:38 PM GXP Review
Mike Lewis Offline
Moderator
Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 1
Loc: Sammamish, WA
Pontiac was nice enough to have me and a few others down to Arizona to put their new Grand Prix GXP to the test around the road course at Bob Bondurant School of High Speed Driving last weekend. Here’s a review of the weekend.

I’ll start with the people.

I got to meet a lot of screen names I’d never had the pleasure of meeting, spend time with some I had only spent a short amount of time with before and see friends I don’t get to see enough of. It was great to put faces to some names. What a kick in the ass group to hang with.

I was sure when we started the autocross that all these drag racers would have cones flying everywhere. I was totally wrong. Everyone pulled through the course pretty well. Mike Walters got a cone award he didn’t deserve. He wasn’t anywhere near the cones. Ed Morad broke every rule in Autocross and pulled out a win. Go figure but I guess it’s fitting. I might have kicked some ass on the go-kart track but one guy kept blowing by me. I heard he’s from North Carolina and is Robert Yates’s son so I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad.

Thanks have to go out to Larry Pryg from Pontiac for the invitation, opportunity, coordination of the event and being a part of the team that made the car what it is. Jim and Phil from Pontiac for their time and knowledge, answering all the questions coming at them from every direction. To Mike Napurano and Chris Green for helping Larry to coordinate the event. To Roger Sears for doing what he did to make this car what it is. As fun as it was, it would have been better with Roger there. To everyone who attended for a great time, the people really made the event. Last but not least to Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving for their hospitality, professionalism and courtesy. Put a trip to Bondurant’s on your wish list and just pray you get an opportunity to spend some time there, you’ll never forget it.

On to the car. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I get to drive some pretty nice stuff on the road course somewhat regularly; V8, rear wheel drive, 6 speed. Corvette, GTO, even a Lotus and a Viper. So a FWD automatic isn’t something that I get goosebumps anticipating. But if someone invites me to a nice track to run a car hard, I don’t need to be asked twice, especially if that someone is with Pontiac and they’re inviting me to Bondurant’s.

Two words really come to mind fast. Balance and braking. It was evident early on that the car was very well balanced. Roger Sears pulled a coup getting the larger wheel/tire combo on the front of this car. I was able to pull some very nicely balanced 4 wheel drifts in a couple of corners, one good enough to scare the crap out of one of the track personnel coming out of the last turn onto the straight with some really good speed. A huge part of the handling capabilities are due to that wheel/tire setup. Anyone with a FWD car that is looking for handling should take notice of this setup.

The brakes have been mentioned plenty but are worth mentioning over and over again. Big, badass brakes are just sexy. They were jumped on hard, over and over again and just kept their poise. They are the best brakes you’ll find on any American sedan and better than what you’ll find on most sport coupes as well. A very well engineered package. Again, something Roger Sears should be applauded for.

The Bilsteins are incredible. I haven’t seen anyone mention it but these are a direct bolt on to the 97-03 GP as well as the 04/05 GP. Kudos to the team for not only getting those on the car but getting them done right. Another engineering feat conquered.

The 5.3L was sweet. Smooth and powerful, it is a nice package. To tell you the truth, I forgot all about the DOD during the drive on the highways. I never noticed it at all which could be because it was very seamless or because with Napurano and I at the wheel, it never kicked in. As mentioned, the exhaust was sweet. Listening to the car pull away at full throttle, it sounded like a Grand Prix should sound. I have a new answer to all those people who ask us how to make their Grand Prix sound like a V8…go buy a GXP, you’ll have a Grand Prix that sounds like a V8.
_________________________
Mike Lewis
PFYC - Grand Prix Store
Top
#211622 - 05/05/05 06:20 PM Re: GXP Review
AustinGTP Offline
Member
Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 8077
Loc: Austin, TX
Pics!
You can't come in here with info like this and not supply any pics!
Sounds like it was a blast.
thumbsup
_________________________
Bobby

Died 5/1/08, resurrected 5/15/08
ASCD SD hood, 17" Bullitts, Overkill PCM, 3.4" Pulley, NGK TR55IX, K&N 9" cone filter, JimmyC D/P, U-bend removed, Flowmaster 40 series, Hooker big bore tips with resonators, S/B brake lines, drilled/slot rotors, GMPP handling kit, KYB struts, F&R strut supports, HID's, LED's, 2.5" Air Dam, red GTP overlays on custom badges, white rear insert.
Top
#211623 - 05/06/05 10:12 AM Re: GXP Review
framos242 Offline
Member
Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 3141
Loc: Chicago, IL
I can only of the event since there are no pics. wink

Would have loved to been there.

Looking forward to the GXP.
_________________________
DHP V1.0, Slotted rotors, S/S Brake Lines, Custom CAI, GMPP Handling Kit, KYB's, Jimmy C DP (U-Bend delete w/ Hi-flow cat), Flowmaster Super 40's, drilled 180° T-Stat, Alt. Rewire & Alt. Voltage Booster Combo, 605's, ZZP Motor Mounts

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I am NOT mad!" - Dali
Top
#211624 - 05/06/05 03:27 PM Re: GXP Review
rayainsw Offline
Member
Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 51
Loc: atlanta
The approach of the GXP does intrigue me. A lot.

Here is what I see:
(Subject to change without notice.)

I see additional value in several areas that justifies the MSRP.

(Note: All “value” I refer to here is based on specs and reports from those who have driven Pilot Production copies . . Subject to modification after my own test drives.)

1 – All-aluminum LS4 - 5.3 V8 – 303 HP / 323 TQ w/DoD.
Value to me here is:
A - Additional 43 HP and 43 TQ over the 3800 S/C at 260 / 280 – with no increase in weight.
B – V8 exhaust burble (I hope).
C – V8 smoothness.
D – Plus same EPA gas mileage estimates as CompG: 18 / 27.
[[ edit: Pontiac.com = 17 / 28 ]]

2 – Significantly upgraded / strengthened 4T65-E trans.
Value to me here is:
I expect that the upgrades mean this trans. would last longer (all other factors being the same) compared to a 3800 S/C modified via aftermarket to approx. this HP / TQ level.

4 – Lowered.
A - I expect that it will look better – to me.
B – I will not be tempted to buy lowering springs – and risk screwing up the suspension geometry.

5 – Bilstein gas-charged dampers and higher rate springs.
Value to me is a better ride / handling compromise than the CompG.

5.1 – Stiffer rear stabilizer bar.
Again, better ride / handling.

6 – 18” wheels / W-rated tires.
I will not be tempted to buy 18” wheels and tires to replace the 17”-ers on the CompG. And I happen to like the wheel style chosen.

7 – Significant brake upgrade over CompG. Including larger, cross-drilled rotors.
A good thing.

8 - Restyled front and rear. (In effect, this also includes the $675 PDC group of after production accessories - grill inserts, larger spoiler and exhaust tips.)

Although I do find that I can only fairly judge a 3D object like a car by seeing it in person, (and styling is clearly VERY subjective) the styling changes as I have seen in the pictures released indicate something that appeals to me better than the CompG.

So – if the CompG version was worthy of the MSRP assigned, I think the GXP is clearly worth more – to me.

Current rumor has it (from the guy that ran the Grand Prix ’04 re-do) that this will likely be a 5.7 sec. 0 – 60 car. Based on the C+D CompG test numbers (0 – 60: 6.6 and Quarter: 15.0 at 93) I still expect a stock GXP to post low 14s (at close to 100) . .

[[ edit: MT current issue published times:
0 - 60 6.0
1/4 = 14.3 at 98.1
Lateral Accel = 0.85G]]

And I also expect that it will be entertaining to drive.

I could be wrong.

Again, TMV / eventual transaction cost of a GXP (after any discounts, incentives, etc.) will be a key factor.

We will see . . .

- Ray
Waiting (oh, so patiently) to see one and drive one . . .
Top
#211625 - 05/09/05 07:40 AM Re: GXP Review
Jizz Offline
Member
Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 766
Loc: Central Maryland
I am courious to see on after a dyno.
_________________________
S's? Oh it has SS's!!!
Top
#211626 - 05/09/05 10:58 PM Re: GXP Review
TastyBake Offline
Member
Registered: 07/29/04
Posts: 1560
Loc: Ohio
I'm upset other car companies got v6's smaller than ours making 300. But we got to go to a v8 that is over 5 liters. frown
_________________________


GenV, 12" Brakes, CAI, 3" DP with HighFlo Cat, 180 T-Stat, Sylvania Silverstars, Aeroforce Gauge, Front STB, Stinger Fiberglass hood, Reflective Graphics.
Top
#211627 - 05/10/05 02:46 PM Re: GXP Review
rayainsw Offline
Member
Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 51
Loc: atlanta
“I'm upset other car companies got v6's smaller than ours making 300. But we got to go to a v8 that is over 5 liters. “

I am confused.

The Acura RL is one of the (very) few V6s in a current production car that have 300 + / - HP. And the TQ on that 3.5L V6 is only 260 – up at 5,000 rpm. I’d much prefer to have the GXP’s 300+ at low RPM (and 323 at peak, and a relatively flat curve) in most of my daily driving. . .

R&T (often posting the quickest times, recently) published a 0 – 60 time of 6.7 and a quarter mile time of 15.1 @ 95.1 for the RL. (Part of this is due to the weight: Just over 4,000 pounds. But part is certainly due to the relatively low maximum TQ - and a rather ‘peaky’ TQ curve – compared to the 5.3L V8.)

The only published GXP acceleration numbers I have seen were the MT numbers of 6.0 and 14.3 @ 98+. I’ll take the GXP’s numbers over the RL’s.

The EPA fuel mileage estimates for the RL are 18 / 26. The GXP is 17 / 28. So the smaller V6 does not appear to have much of an advantage here either.

And to buy an RL, you must take AWD (living near HotLanta, I do NOT want to carry that added weight and complexity and driveline drag around for the life of the vehicle) a NAV system – and an MSRP up near $50K.

I suppose the Infiniti G35’s V6 also qualifies, as the 2005 now is rated at 298 HP. But it is rated at 270 TQ. At 4800 rpm. And even with a 6-speed manual trans., the same article in MT quotes 0 – 60 at 5.8 and the Quarter in 14.1 at 99.7. (EPA 19 / 26.) If you really want RWD (or AWD as an option) and a manual trans., the G certainly merits a look. But I generally prefer the way a V8 goes about delivering both maximum performance and general overall driveability – compared to these V6s. But that’s just me.

And that 5.3L V8 is actually lighter than the S/C 3800.

I think the GXP – at $29.9K (base including Dest.) and widely available today for something like Invoice + $49 less current incentives in the $2,500 range = actual transaction price of approx. $25K.

This strikes me as a “screaming bargain” – if it fits what you are looking for . .

- Ray
Thinking it MAY fit what I want . . .
Top
#211628 - 05/10/05 03:05 PM Re: GXP Review
Jizz Offline
Member
Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 766
Loc: Central Maryland
Which goes right back to

No replacement for displacement
_________________________
S's? Oh it has SS's!!!
Top
#211629 - 05/10/05 03:24 PM Re: GXP Review
rayainsw Offline
Member
Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 51
Loc: atlanta
"Which goes right back to

No replacement for displacement"


There are replacements – each has pros and cons.

I was actually surprised (for several reasons) to learn that this V8 was chosen for the GXP, as opposed to an S/C 3800 ‘tuned’ to roughly the same HP / TQ levels. Combined with the ‘beefed up’ trans., I’d expected a 300 / 320 - ish version of the S/C 3800 to power any new version developed for the existing FWD Grand Prix platform. I am guessing that the 5.3 / 5300 with DoD will find its way eventually into other GM products. It is certainly going into the Impala SS and Monte Carlo this Fall.

Supercharging, combined with intercooling is (or can be) one very good way to develop 5.3L HP and TQ from 3.8L of ‘actual’ displacement.

- Ray
Who will likely take the unique V8 heterodyne beat over the V6 . . .
Top
#211630 - 05/10/05 03:41 PM Re: GXP Review
BryantGTP Offline
Member
Registered: 03/26/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Franklin, MA
Anyone have info on the engine bay? Was it modified at all, or are we going to see some people swapping the V6's for V8's?
_________________________
cbr954rr.uponone.com
Top
#211631 - 05/10/05 08:56 PM Re: GXP Review
Jizz Offline
Member
Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 766
Loc: Central Maryland
But you miss the point -- the V6 is already SUpercharged to reach the V8s performance N/A -- Ok Now SUpercharge the V8...AHHHHH EXACTLY! eek

Quote:
Originally posted by rayainsw:
"Which goes right back to

No replacement for displacement"


There are replacements – each has pros and cons.

I was actually surprised (for several reasons) to learn that this V8 was chosen for the GXP, as opposed to an S/C 3800 ‘tuned’ to roughly the same HP / TQ levels. Combined with the ‘beefed up’ trans., I’d expected a 300 / 320 - ish version of the S/C 3800 to power any new version developed for the existing FWD Grand Prix platform. I am guessing that the 5.3 / 5300 with DoD will find its way eventually into other GM products. It is certainly going into the Impala SS and Monte Carlo this Fall.

Supercharging, combined with intercooling is (or can be) one very good way to develop 5.3L HP and TQ from 3.8L of ‘actual’ displacement.

- Ray
Who will likely take the unique V8 heterodyne beat over the V6 . . .
_________________________
S's? Oh it has SS's!!!
Top
#211632 - 05/12/05 01:56 PM Re: GXP Review
rayainsw Offline
Member
Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 51
Loc: atlanta
“But you miss the point -- the V6 is already SUpercharged to reach the V8s performance N/A -- Ok Now SUpercharge the V8...AHHHHH EXACTLY! “

Actually, I think I do get (and appreciate) the point. And a supercharged V8 (WOO-HOO!) would likely be entertaining, at least on a drag strip.

My point was that with an existing motor that could be tuned for substantial additional HP and TQ with relatively simple and proven techniques, I was (and still am) a bit surprised that GM chose to go with a completely different motor, with all the issues associated with that change.

With a smaller S/C pulley and some internal and external modification (like an intercooler) the existing L67 could certainly have produced a reliable 300 / 320. I’d have thought that would be less expensive than going the V8 route.

Please understand, though, I do like the route they did choose. A V8 that makes such lovely sounds (as well as such HP / TQ numbers) and weighs LESS than the L67 does sound yummy. Just really wish I could find one closer than 100+ miles from where I live to test drive . .

- Ray
Checking GMBuypower every day . . .
Top
#211633 - 05/12/05 04:00 PM Re: GXP Review
Arcxnus Offline
Member
Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 1921
Loc: Texas
But there's still one vital point missing ..


Where are our pictures?! laugh
_________________________
Quote:
Originally posted by HercMan:
Sounds like corrosion has had it's way with your nuts.
Top
#211634 - 05/12/05 05:51 PM Re: GXP Review
UMfan Offline
Member
Registered: 08/09/03
Posts: 3256
Loc: Oregon
Top
#211635 - 05/15/05 10:26 PM Re: GXP Review
TastyBake Offline
Member
Registered: 07/29/04
Posts: 1560
Loc: Ohio
I placed a post that was too general as I was in a hurry. My error. Let me clarify.
The replacement for displacement is increased efficiency. Sounds stupid? Well, the competitors don’t think so and prove it all the time.

I am not happy that a 5.3 V8 is being sold with those hp/tq numbers. I am basing this lack of efficiency solely on hp/liter ratio. Not completely scientific as there are other factors like low-RPM hp vs. high RPM hp. However, it’s sad when all we can do is make an engine bigger to get some numbers where the competition keeps the current size and increase MPG and HP.

Examples of hp/liter ratios:
Grand Prix V-8 5.3L 303HP: 57
Mustang V-8 4.6L: 300HP: 65
300c V-8 5.7L 345HP: 60

Grand Prix 3.8L 200HP: 52
Montana 3.4L 185HP: 54
Taurus 3.0L 153HP: 51

Accord V-6 3.0L 240HP: 80
Frontier V-6 4.0L 265HP: 66
Altima V-6 3.5L 245HP: 70

Cavalier I-4 2.2L 140HP: 63
Civic I-4 2.0L 160HP: 80
Altima I-4 2.5L 175HP: 70


I see we are getting better at it with the new models. The Lacrosse and the ford 500 are examples of some progress in the art of more power with less liters.
Buick Lacrosse 3.6L 240HP: 67
Ford five hundred 3.0L 203HP: 67

The “No replacement for displacement” ideology was good in the muscle car era but holds a lot less water when designing engines for the 21st century.
_________________________


GenV, 12" Brakes, CAI, 3" DP with HighFlo Cat, 180 T-Stat, Sylvania Silverstars, Aeroforce Gauge, Front STB, Stinger Fiberglass hood, Reflective Graphics.
Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >



Moderator:  AustinGTP, Marc Harbison, Redshift