Back when Pontiac went the way of the dodo bird, we didn’t so much mourn the loss of the brand as much we did the finality of the Trans Am’s death. Sure, the Trans Am was gone following the 2002 model year – along with its cousin, the Camaro – but there was still a glimmer of hope for it to return, much like the Camaro has. Well, when GM finally boarded up the windows and doors at Pontiac in 2010, we laid the Trans Am name to rest.
We have seen many people attempt to turn the new-generation Camaro into Firebirds and Trans Ams, but none have really done the model’s heritage justice. The folks over at Trans Am Depot, on the other hand, have done rather well in converting the Camaro into something that at least somewhat resembles what the Trans Am would likely look like, if it existed today.
The Trans Am is available in three models, so far, and they include: 2012 7T7 Trans Am, 2013 6T9 Trans Am and 2013 Hurst Trans Am. These bad boys not only give the model its due attention, but they also punish the pavement better than Trans Ams of yesteryear with the 6T9 version punching out 1,100 horsepower. Simply amazing.
To help promote its models, Trans Am Depot has released a series of videos about the cars they offer. Above, you will see the promo video for the Trans Am lineup, which includes some shoddy acting, but the cars are sexy as hell and the women are, well… “nice.” The two videos after the jump are mini documentaries about the production of the cars.
In our weekly scrounge to try and dig up an interesting photo for you folks, we came across something rather interesting that we had forgotten all about. In 1995, GM decided it was time to overhaul the Cavalier and axe the Sunbird altogether. With the exit of the Sunbird came the introduction of the “sportier” Pontiac Sunfire – ah, GM’s creative naming department struck gold there. What we tend to forget is that the Sunfire project started in the early-1990s and was far different than the end result.
To think that the crappy Sunfire was actually a hot concept car with true sports car appearance and likely matching performance numbers seems preposterous, but it’s true. From this photo, you can see just what GM was working on and, on the outside, it was a stunner. Now, inside was a different story. You can see the huge, clunky 1990s GM buttons on the center of the steering wheel and a plethora of these eyesores on the center console too.
One of the advertising gimmicks on this flier, which was distributed at car shows, was the remote-control CD player. This was for those people that just did not have the energy to move their arm the foot or so, needed to touch the CD player’s buttons. What innovative thinkers GM was in the 1990s, right?
Anywho, we need to thank Flickr user Hugo90 for the laughs we got from this blast from the past. Make sure to check out his entire photo stream here, as he has tons of awesome pictures and fliers from various car shows.
The Dark Knight Rises has been heating up cinemas for the past few days, so it seems only fitting that with the last part of the trilogy in cinemas today, we take a look at one of the most enduring stars of the famed DC super hero movie franchise. No, we’re not talking about Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl character from Batman and Robin. What we’re referring to is the Batmobile, the Dark Knight’s very own ride-of-choice.
In this section though, we’re going to pay tribute - we use that word loosely - to the five worst Batmobile replicas we’ve ever seen. Some are more eye-cringing than the others, but rest assured, none of them would pass the standards of Bruce Wayne.
Heck, we don’t even think the Joker would be caught dead riding in one of these so-called Batmobiles.
So here it is, folks. Prepare to cringe, laugh, or whatever emotion these pictures will do to you.
Find out TopSpeed’s five worst Batmobile replicas after the jump
The Pontiac Firebird was a cool sports car built between 1967 and 2002. The model saw four generations, with the most amazing version being the Trans Am - a model offered from 1969 with upgraded handling, suspension, and horsepower, as well as minor appearance modifications.
Of course, since production ended in 2002 and Pontiac has been defunct since 2010, the creative possibilities for the Firebird are seemingly endless, with none ever getting the chance to see production...ever. That, however, hasn’t stopped Circassian designer Kasim Tlibekov from coming up with the Firebird TT Black Edition Concept - a model that gives a new look to a historic sports car.
Tlibekov’s concept is based on the 1969 Firebird, but adds more aggressive styling, including a very wide body, an aggressive front splitter and front-end, new side air exhausts, and a duck tail spoiler with a massive rear diffuser. The concept was designed to be powered by a supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 650 HP and can hit a top speed of 200 mph.
If the Pontiac Firebird ever had a chance of getting a fresh breath of life, this is the kind of transformation we would like it to undergo. Sadly, that’s just not going to happen so we’ll settle for ogling these images for a little while longer.
Turn 10 Studios, the makers of the Forza Motorsport gaming franchise, have released an early holiday present for rabid Forza 4 gamers out there. The December IGN Pack for Forza 4 was made available last week and comes with a grocery list of some of the finest digital rides you can have in the game.
Among the highlight vehicles included in the December IGN Pack are the Suzuki Monster Sport SX4 Hill Climb Special, the very same car that Monster Tajima used to break the ten-minute barrier at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb earlier this year.
All in all, the December IGN Pack will include 10 new vehicles that you can enjoy over the holidays. The pack is available through XBox Live so if you want to get your hands on a new set of awesome rides to put in your Forza garage, Turn 10 Studios is your hook-up.
Right off the bat, we have to admit that this week’s episode of Top Gear USA was a lot funnier than any other episode this season. The majority of the episode was spent trying to figure out which of the three hosts chose a better luxury car. However, instead of being the long and drawn out segment as found in previous episodes, this challenge made us laugh out loud a few times. The guys were driving around the Hamptons in a 1972 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, a 1982 Jaguar XJS, and a 1988 Pontiac Fiero turned Ferrari 308. Oh yeah, the Hamptonites just loved that.
In between the search for the best luxury car for $5,000, Tanner Foust got to take a spin in "the Beast," the Porsche 911 GT2 RS and Torchwood star, Arlene Tur took a speedy trip around the Top Gear test track in the Suzuki SX4.
Hit the jump for full details on Top Gear USA: Season 2 Episode 5.
Engine transplants have been around since time immemorial. After all, if you have an old classic with an outdated powertrain, wouldn’t you want to keep it up to date and give it something that fits more to our times?
Raybestos Garage certainly understands this thought. That’s why they took it upon themselves to take a 1964 Pontiac GTO-R, one of the most iconic American muscles in history, and give it a modern powertrain make-over to the tune of an LSX 454-powered 700-horsepower modern-day maniac. Raybestos and Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle used the frame from the ’64 GTO-R and added a few noteworthy parts, including a GM-sourced LSX crate engine, a Tremec six-speed manual transmission, a Moser 9-inch rear-end, custom fabricated body and suspension, $20,000 Raybestos NASCAR brakes, and a reverse-sweep 180-mph speedometer.
After all the work done on this American beast, we’re left with a 700-horsepower machine that, get this, is being given away for free by Raybestos! That’s right, you can drool over this car and have it in your garage in as easy as a few clicks. All you have to do is sign up for the contest on Raybestos’ site and you stand a chance to win a one-of-a-kind classic with a modern twist. We’re still trying to figure out what’s in it for them, but it may just be the crazy amount of advertising the group is getting for this contest alone.
There’s also plenty of videos detailing the build of the car and some behind-the-scenes looks at how this tuned-up workhorse became the head-turning monster it is today.
UPDATE 08/11/11: We’ve updated our video line-up of this monster-infused Pontiac GTO-R with some more tidbits on how the car is doing! Give it a watch, folks! It’s mighty interesting, to say the least.
In this episode, Adam Corolla (comedian and car enthusiast), Dan Neil (automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal), John Salley (4-time NBA Champion and actor), and Matt Farah (SmokingTire.com) take part in a number of segments that made us laugh at loud, literally. Mixed in with the good times and "Lambo-quality comedy," the guys take part in a test comparing the automated driving versus actual driving in a 2007 BMW 328i sedan, a comparison of the Audi R8 and the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, and an interview with racing legend, Pete Brock.
The fun doesn’t stop there as the boys go through their 0-60 and Adam’s America segments, as well as a trip to North Carolina for some dirt track racing.
Hit the jump for details on The Car Show: Season 1 Episode Three.
It’s apparent that cars of the future receive a lot of attention from would-be auto designers and, although many of these ideas will never see a production line, the designers behind them are still out to get noticed. Our latest futuristic find is actually a car that was already in existence: the Pontiac Solstice. This cool roadster was produced from 2005-2009, but came to a quick and tragic end, much like the automaker itself. Now, Macedonian designer, Dejan Hristov, is going to battle for the Solstice with his modern design study, the Solstice Concept II.
The Solstice II Concept combines the core proportions of the original model, but adds a sculptural design language. At the front, Hristov’s concept features vertical headlights and a complexly-shaped carbon spoiler, while the rear end combines sharp lines with circular tail lights and exhaust pipes. It also has a targa layout, leaving the hard top to fold out of sight by rotating behind the seats.
No mention was made on what would be powering the theoretical future Soltice, but if the times are any inclination, we’d guess a hybrid or electric setup. Either way the concept looks rather aggressive and could have potential. That is, if any other automaker felt like picking it up.
A little over a year ago at the 2009 SEMA show, Trans Am Depot introduced a conversion kit for the Chevrolet Camaro, affectionately turning it from modern-day Bumblebee muscle to an iteration of what a Pontiac Firebird would look like. They even had a name for it: the Phoenix Trans Am.
Fast forward about 20 months and Trans Am Depot has returned for their next Camaro-based Pontiac conversion kit. The car of choice this time is the 1969 GTO Judge, although you certainly wouldn’t mistake this one for the real deal.
In any case, Trans Am Depot’s work is called the “6T9 Goat” and looking at the renderings sent over by TAD, the new conversion kit comes with plenty of styling elements, including a bespoke front end with its own split grille.
There’s also a revised hood with air scoops, a new tail lamp, a restyled ‘old-school’ trunk with a small rear wing, quad tail pipes, and a new set of alloy wheels.
“The 6T9 Goat concept was created by designer Kevin Morgan to capture the look and feel of the classic ’69 GTO Judge,” Grand Am Depot said in a statement. “The 1969 GTO is considered by many to be one of the top ten muscle cars of all time. Available this fall, this modern day version incorporates the look of yesteryear with the modern convenience and technology of today.”
Hardened fans of the classic GTO Judge – and the Camaro, for that matter – will probably snicker at the thought of driving a kit version of the old classic, but as the market has shown in recent years, there are some people that will still pay for conversion kits, even if it isn’t the real thing. If you’re one of these folks, here’s your chance to own a modern-day iteration of an all-time classic. Just make sure you don’t promote it as an original.