Pontiac gives the base Grand Prix engine more horsepower and adds a racy pace-car replica as a special-edition model for 2000.
The Grand Prix coupe is the foundation for Pontiac's entry in NASCAR stock-car competition, and a modified production Grand Prix paced the Daytona 500 last February. To mark the occasion, Pontiac is offering 2,000 replicas of the pace car with silver paint, checkered flag and Daytona 500 graphics on the rear flanks, a rear spoiler and hood air intakes. Under the hood will be a 240-horsepower supercharged V-6 engine.
Though usually considered a midsize car, cars.com includes the Grand Prix with full-size models because its 110.5-inch wheelbase (distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels) exceeds 110, the magic number for full-size status. The Grand Prix's overall length of 196.5 inches is in the same ballpark as the BMW 740I and Lexus LS400, full size luxury sedans.
Grand Prix is unique in this class for being available as both a two-door coupe and foor-door sedan. The curvaceous styling is the same on both except for the rear doors and rear side panels.
The Grand Prix is shorter than the Bonneville in both wheelbase and length, yet still plenty roomy. Headroom is plentiful for all seats, and there is adequate leg space in back even when the front seats are as far back as they go. The deep trunk holds 16 cubic feet of cargo. A pass-through section in the rear seatback allows storage of long items.
Under the Hood
The front-drive Grand Prix comes in three flavors: mild, spicy and hot. The mild SE sedan uses a base 3.1-liter V-6 with 175 horsepower, 15 more than last year from a variety of changes.
The spicy variety is a 200-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 that is optional on the SE and standard on GT models. The hottest is a supercharged version of the 3.8-liter with 240 horsepower that is part of the GTP Package available on GT models. All come with a four-speed automatic transmission and standard traction control.