Slide behind the wheel of this Pontiac four-door and you might just think youíre in some kind of stealth fighter. Buttons and switches seem to be everywhere in the cockpit- style interior. Most noticeable on the steering wheel are the paddles for TAPshift (Touch Activated Power), part of the optional Comp G package, which also includ" />

Issue: Sep 2003


Cars Worth Noting: 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP



by John Peter

Go, go Gadget, Grand Prix.

Slide behind the wheel of this Pontiac four-door and you might just think youíre in some kind of stealth fighter. Buttons and switches seem to be everywhere in the cockpit- style interior. Most noticeable on the steering wheel are the paddles for TAPshift (Touch Activated Power), part of the optional Comp G package, which also includes StabiliTrak, (a first for GM in this segment).

While the buttons are designed to manually shift the automatic transmission, they could easily double as missile launchers, using the Grand Prixís heads-up display (HUD) as an aiming device. The HUD allows the driver to operate in Ďstealth modeí turning off the IP lights and keeping track of speed, entertainment functions, warning messages and shift indicator for TAPshift on the windshield, reducing nighttime glare.
 
The Grand Prix offers 60-40 split folding rear seats, a trunk thatís nearly 10-inches wider and a lift-over height nearly six-inches lower than the previous generation car. Could our four-door sedan actually be masquerading as a hatchback?

GM prides itself on its powertrains and they can be proud of the Eaton-supercharged 3.8L V-6 that powers the Grand Prix. The supercharger boosts horsepower to 260 and torque to 280 lbs.- ft. The V-6 has good acceleration and a nice throaty exhaust note. And yes, it will break the front tires.

Speaking of stealth looks, Iím especially pleased that Pontiac has gone away from the heavily-cladded cars of the past. The Grand Prix sports clean lines and an aggressive stance.

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