Bonneville, a name used for 35 years by Pontiac Motor Division, is going on a brand-new car for the 1992 model run.

Pontiac put everything into high gear for this vehicle, combining snaky-looking styling with upstream trappings.

Offering something for everyone performance wise, Pontiac has available a 3.8-liter V-6 with a sequential-tuned-port fuel injection system in its SE and SSE models. For the flyers, there will be a supercharged version of the 3.8 in an SSEi sedan.

Any derivative of the ’92 Bonneville will impress. The car sports a world-car flavor in both looks and handling characteristics. Yet former Pontiac drivers will find the four-door sort of like an old friend wearing a new suit of clothes.

Inside, almost all buttons, switches, levers and the like are basically where they have been located in the past.

Everything fell almost immediately to hand in the Bonneville SE provided for a test car by Jim Poindexter, general manager of Don Sisk Pontiac.

The car was a couple of inches longer than its predecessor, length that translated into more interior room. With a power seat and tilt wheel, I’d say it would be virtually impossible not to find a comfortable driving position.

One nice touch was a little dot of light on the shift console picking out what gear the shift quadrant was in. But Pontiac should have gone a little further and illuminated the shift positions for night driving.

Handling was better than in a lot of big front-drivers. That could be credited to the optional sports package that upgraded the suspension. It’s a $551 item well worth the investment, because it markedly improves the car’s road characteristics.

The V-6 has been given 5 horsepower more than its 1991 brethren. Acceleration off-the-line is a little on the soft side until the engine speed rises to where the motor begins doing some work. For quick passes at around 40 miles per hour or so, the V-6 has a lot of punch.

A Bonneville overall is a luxury automobile with a price in the higher end of the medium-cost bracket. When you add in optional packages, all the whistles and bells contribute to the pleasure of driving the machine.

Split bucket seats are standard, but if your motoring habits include numerous cross-country jaunts, I would recommended a look at the 45/55 optional split bench seat.

The five-passenger test car’s aerodynamic styling afforded easy entrance and exit. The upper door sill is cut into the roof, eliminating the need to duck unless you play forward for the Pacers.

Next year is the 35th anniversary of the Bonneville, and the first complete makeover since the car’s H-body series was introduced five years ago. Pontiac appears to have done just about everything right with this SE, and it may well bring some new owners into the Pontiac fold.

1992 Pontiac Bonnevile SEBase price: $18,599.As tested: $21,901.Type: Front-engine, front-drive, five-passenger luxury sedan.Engine: 3.8-liter, 12-valve fuel-inj ected V-6, 170-horsepower.Mileage: 18 mpg city, 28 mpg highway.Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds.Length: 200.6 inches.Wheelbase: 110.8 inches.Curb weight: 3,362 pounds.Options: Stereo with cassette player, preferred option package, sport package, 45/45 split seats with overhead console, rear defogger.Area dealers: Don Sisk, Ed Martin, Tom Wood, Dave Mason, Wiese, Jaggers-Harris, Dugan, Russ Dellen, Sandman. Pontiac makes its 1992 Bonneville sedan a brand-new car for the model’s 35th anniversary.

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