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Thread: Pontiac Grand Prix (6th Gen) 1996-2003

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    Pontiac Grand Prix (6th Gen) 1996-2003

    In 1990, work began on a redesigned Grand Prix alongside other W-body vehicles under design chief John Manoogian II. By 1993, a final design was approved and show concept developed during the latter half of 1994. On January 4, 1995, General Motors unveiled the 300 GPX Concept at the 1995 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This was a near-exact preview of a redesign for the Grand Prix, due within the 1996 calendar year. In January 1996, the 1997 Grand Prix was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Promoted for its "wide track" appearance and racy styling, the second generation W-body Grand Prix sold well. It brought back a modern interpretation of an appearance introduced in 1966, called coke bottle styling. The Duluth Police Department purchased some Grand Prix police cars in 2002.

    The first 1997 Grand Prix was built on August 12, 1996. There were two trim levels available from 1996; the SE and GT (GT available in coupe and sedan body styles). The Grand Prix came as a base SE sedan or a sportier GT coupe and sedan, as well as with a high-performance GTP package—available for GT models in either body style. Coupes and sedans shared similar styling, except for rear doors and quarter panels. The GTP was an option package under the GT trim level and later became its own trim level. The base engine on the SE was the only engine carried over from the previous generation, the 3.1 L V6. The GT had a 3.8 L V6 (3800 Series II) which was an option on the SE. The 3800 Series II was on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 1995–1997. The GTP added an Eaton M90 supercharger (also used in the 1996–2003 Bonneville) to the 3.8 L, boosting power from 195 hp (145 kW) to 240 hp (180 kW). GTP trim level featured a "performance shift" button on the shifter that raised the transmission shift points. Front bucket seats came standard, while a 45/55 split bench seat was available as an option on the SE sedan only.

    Few changes occurred in 1998, except that traction control now was available with the supercharged engine. Airbags were "depowered" to deploy with reduced force. The tire-pressure monitor was dropped. Also on models equipped with 3.8L N/A powerplants (VIN K), the 4T65E 4 speed automatic transmission was used in favor of the 4T60E previously used. To add some excitement, Pontiac also launched a special pace car model. This model celebrated the 40th running of the Daytona 500 on February 15, 1998. The pace-car replicas had special Medium Gulf Blue Metallic paint, unique "Sparkle Silver" 16-inch torque star aluminum wheels, custom decaling, a plaque notating the specific model number and custom door panels. Also standard was a heads-up-display that projected the speed onto the windshield. 1,500 were produced, with 200 of the 1,500 getting sunroofs.

    Detail changes marked the '99 editions of Pontiac's midsize coupe and sedan. New wheel choices were the main visual change this year. The non-supercharged 3800 Series V6 engine gained five horsepower. This was also the last year that the SE model had the optional non-supercharged 3800 V6. GT models got a standard rear spoiler this year. The coolant overflow reservoir was relocated from being in front of the intake box to being mounted to the passenger strut tower. Available 16 in (41 cm) alloy wheels came in a new 5-spoke design. The one new option was a Bose 8-speaker audio system.

    In 2000 the standard 3.1 L V6, installed in SE models, gained 15 horsepower (now 175). New standard equipment included rear child-seat anchors and an anti-theft system that disabled the starter unless the proper ignition key was used. Pontiac also launched a Daytona 500 pace-car replica, with silver paint, unique 16 in (41 cm) aluminum wheels, functional hood vents, a NASCAR-inspired decklid spoiler, polished quad exhaust tips, and Daytona decals. Only 2,000 were planned.

    For 2001 OnStar, formerly unavailable on the Grand Prix, was made standard on GTP, optional only on GT. The SE got revised frontal styling in the form of the GT and GTP front bumper cover in place of the older SE-specific front fascia, standard rear spoiler, and in-trunk emergency release; manual dual-zone climate-control replaced the optional electronic automatic unit previously offered.

    A Special Edition Package was added this year that could be applied to the GT and GTP models. This package adds the NASCAR-inspired rear spoiler and roof fences, hood-mounted heat extractors, and polished dual-outlet exhaust tips previously offered on the 2000 Pace Car Replica and also adds a two tone interior, 15-spoke chrome wheels, and the requisite badging. Also available for 2001 were two dealer installed "75th Anniversary" emblems, to celebrate Pontiac's 75th anniversary, they were placed in front of the badging on each door.

    A new, yet not very noticed feature for 2001 was added rear strut tower "liners". This prevented common rust of the rear strut towers of the 1997-2000 models.

    New for 2002 was a $2,695 40th Anniversary option package which included the NASCAR-inspired rear spoiler and roof fences, polished dual-outlet exhaust tips, hood with heat extractors, and 15-spoke chrome wheels previously offered with the 2001 Special Edition package. Unique elements such as the Dark Cherry Metallic paint, 40th Anniversary badges, and Ruby Red and Graphite interior trim with the 40th Anniversary logo embroidered on the front seats and floormats differentiated this option package from the previous year's offering.

    One 40th Anniversary Sedan was further customized with a lowering package, different wheels, and exhaust for SEMA and featured in Hot Rod Magazine as the GP40. The lowering package, provided by GM Accessories, consisted of new front and rear adjustable springs, adjustable front and rear dampers and 17 in (43 cm) Z-rated tires mounted on forged aluminum wheels. GM Accessories also provided performance brake pads, drilled and slotted brake rotors (front and rear), a cat-back exhaust system, and a low-restriction air filter.

    The SE gained standard cruise control and dual-zone climate control, and GTs got a standard power driver's seat and CD player. This was the last year of the two-door coupe. The SE model can be identified by a single exhaust pipe and different rear bumper cover. OnStar now an option on GTP.

    The last Coupe rolled off the assembly line on July 19, 2002.

    Pontiac dropped the coupe version (2-door) for 2003 and made anti-lock brakes and traction control optional instead of standard on most of the remaining sedans.

    The Limited Edition option package was offered for GT and GTP models made this year. This option package consisted of unique blue-tinted glass fog light lenses, "Limited Edition" badging, carbon fiber instrument cluster, two-tone cloth/leather interior, and a raised spoiler resembling the original GT/GTP/SE spoiler set atop three aerodynamic pillars.

    Source: wikipedia.org
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    Pontiac Grand Prix #2
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    Pontiac Grand Prix #3
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    This is the best version of the W body.
    It has elegance and aggression in one body. Or that's my opinion

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    Or maybe it's because of the Belgium beer and because it's time to go to bed, but it's to hot too sleep.

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    I prefer the earlier Coupé and the later saloon with the V8. If I had to choose.

    I was wondering, while posting, what would I buy if I was in the market for such a car in the US and really there is just one answer. The 300.

    EDIT Thumbs up to Belgian beer
    Last edited by Ferrer; 08-25-2016 at 03:41 PM.
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    I believe it was this generation of the Pontiac Grand Prix that was last used as a shell for Pontiac in NASCAR (I think it was in 2003).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trailbreaker View Post
    I believe it was this generation of the Pontiac Grand Prix that was last used as a shell for Pontiac in NASCAR (I think it was in 2003).
    It was indeed.
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