Return to Luxury
Totally redesigned in 1997, the Grand Prix sports a
muscular, aggressive look in both coupe and sedan versions. Loaded with standard
safety features, and available in a potent supercharged 240-horsepower edition, Pontiac's
Grand Prix successfully blends form, function and performance into one very appealing and
Buyers can select from one of three available Grand
Prix models: SE sedan, GT coupe or GT sedan. The SE sedan is
powered by a 3.1-liter V6 engine good for 160 horsepower. Optional on SE sedan and
standard on GT coupe and sedan is GM's 3800 Series II 3.8-liter V6, which kicks out 195
horsepower while delivering 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, figures that
nearly match the base powerplant. GT models can be equipped with the GTP package,
which includes a supercharged 3800 V6 that makes 240 horsepower.
Included with the GTP package is a transmission that
allows the driver to select Normal or Performance shift modes. The antilock brake
system includes thick rotors and state-of-the-art calipers for better stopping ability.
Steering wheel vibration is reduced thanks to a cross-beam steering column support
structure. All Grand Prix models benefit from long-life fluids and parts, such as
coolant designed to last five years or 50,000 miles, and platinum-tipped spark plugs that
last 100,000 miles under optimal conditions.
Interiors feature analog
instrumentation and large, easy-to-use controls in a very specious
cabin. The dashboard is busy looking in the Pontiac tradition, and is lit by a
soothing red glow at night. Optional is the Eyecue
head-up display, which projects data for speed, fuel, radio and
turn signals onto the windshield for easy viewing. The standard driver information
center includes a tire-pressure monitoring system. Standard on GT Sedan and optional
on GT Coupe is MagnaSteer variable effort steering, which uses magnetism to vary steering
Supercharged GTP models get traction control, and new
colors are available inside and out. Second-generation airbags debut as standard
The Grand Prix gets more muscle for '99 with
low-restriction air-induction components giving the naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V6 five
more horsepower, to 200. The 3800 is standard on the GT (sedan and coupe) and optional
on the SE sedan. A traction control indicator and on/off button are now standard on
GTP models. Minor revisions are in order inside, with front-door courtesy lamps and a
six-speaker sound system now standard, with an eight-speaker Bose audio unit and OnStar
mobile communications system optional. Outside, a rear deck spoiler is standard on
the GT model, and two colors have been added to the 1999 exterior paint chart.
Improvements to the base 3.1-liter V6 net a gain of 15
horsepower to 175, as well as improved durability, reduced noise and lower emissions.
New options include five-spoke silver-painted wheels, three new exterior colors and
Cyclone cloth upholstery. Also improved for 2000 is the theft-deterrent system.
With this PassKey III system, a transponder circuit in the ignition key communicates
with circuits in the car to authorize it to start. Pontiac says 137 billion different
codes make it "all but impossible" to beat the system.
All Grand Prix models benefit from new hydraulic engine
mounts to isolate noise and vibration normally transmitted into the cabin. This year,
Pontiac has dropped the split-bench front seat in SE Sedans, putting the Grand Prix out of
contention when considering a six-place four-door. But dual airbags, air conditioning,
power windows, door locks and mirrors are all standard fare. And if you like high-tech,
you can opt for the EyeCue head-up display, which projects driver data onto the windshield
for easy viewing.
Here's something new for 2000 that few if any dealer
sales personnel probably told prospective Grand Prix buyers: The fuel system pressure has
been raised nearly 30 percent to aid hot starting. That's a small but useful feature
that makes a car a little easier to live with.
New for 2000 is a Daytona Pace
Car replica coupe model option that adds $2,345 to the price of a GTP. It
features items such as special silver paint, unique aluminum wheels, functional hood vents
and an aggressive-looking rear spoiler. But Pontiac says only 2,000 of these packages
will be offered.
Major changes for 2001 include a redesigned front-end
appearance for the SE model, and the availability of OnStar in-car GPS communications and
security system for GT and GTP versions. Also new is the "WideTrack Smart Package"
for the SE sedan, which bundles a number of features into one package including a rear
spoiler, special aluminum wheels, unique seat fabrics, and other interior convenience
items. Finally, the GT and GTP models are offered with a
"Special Edition" package that comes with exterior add-ons
like a rear spoiler, hood bulges, and bright exhaust tips, as well as
two-tone leather seats and the requisite emblems and badges
that make you think that you're buying a future collector's item.
For 2002, Grand Prix GTP Coupe and Sedan models feature
the 40th Anniversary option package. Some of the special
appointments that set the 40th Anniversary Grand Prix apart on the road include: A unique
rear spoiler, exclusive hood heat extractors, dual exhaust system, roof fences that
mirror the production car's NASCAR cousin, special wheels,
special badges and unique Dark Cherry paint. Inside, the milestone year
is commemorated with unique interior seat emblems, as well as exquisite
two-tone leather seats, door trim and steering wheel all
done in Ruby Red and Graphite, as well as Ruby Red leather shift knob, and Ruby Red soft
touch paint cluster and console trim plates.
More Standard Equipment: Previously optional equipment
is now standard including fog lamps on all models, lending more value along with the vroom.
The AM/FM stereo with CD player and graphic equalizer is standard for GTP buyers along
with an Enhanced Traction System, automatic exterior lamp control, tires with built-in tread
wear indicators, and more.
Pontiac drops the 2-dr coupe version for 2003 and
makes antilock brakes and traction control optional instead of standard on most of the
remaining sedans. ABS and traction control are standard on the GTP but now are combined
as a $600 option on the SE and GT. Also for 2003, SE joins other Grand Prixs by including
a standard CD player. An overhead console, remote keyless entry, and rear-seat trunk
pass-through are now standard on all models. A head-up display is optional instead of
standard for the GTP, and is newly available for GT. A new Limited Edition option package
for SE and GT includes chrome alloy wheels and exhaust tips, blue-tint foglamps, a decklid
spoiler, and white-face gauges. GM's OnStar service is standard on the GTP, optional on