No matter how you open up the Pontiac Rageous concept vehicle, there is a whole different world in there. The outside is a fiery red sports machine, bulging with muscle and bold Pontiac excitement. But the inside is spacious, functional and offers driver and passengers easy entry and exit while providing the driver with great visibility.

Just getting into the Rageous gives a hint about the surprising functionality of this emotion-laden package. Front seat occupants, of course, enter through doors just like any other sports coupe. But unlike any other sports coupe, the Rageous has a couple of rear-hinged access panels for easy entry/exit of the rear seating area.

An aggressive rear decklid spoiler gives no hint that underneath is a rear hatch and a drop-down tailgate that opens to 49 cubic feet of cargo space. The front passenger seat and two rear seats fold down flat to make room for all kinds of sports equipment, home improvement supplies or whatever. The rear cargo space of the Rageous can accommodate something as large as 4 x 8 sheets of drywall or plywood. A washable dirt-resistant rubberized material in the rear cargo area makes clean-up a snap.

1997 Pontiac Rageous
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Pontiac Rageous Concept

To secure the load, the Rageous provides U-shaped tie-down hooks that pull out of the floor and sides. To help organize smaller items, the Rageous has a number of multifunctional built-in storage containers and 10 net pockets.

“Anywhere we could put storage areas, we did,” said Interior Designer Tim Greig. “The Rageous opens up a whole new world of functionality for a high performance sports car.”

There are map pockets in the front and rear doors and three more in the center console. There are two large storage areas in the center console that serve as the second and third glove boxes and there is a closed, lockable storage area under the driver’s door armrest. Additionally there are molded cupholders for four occupants.

The Rageous is outfitted with four bucket seats, each equipped with a racers style four-point harness restraint. Occupants are further protected in frontal or side collisions by front and side airbags. Front seats feature 6-way adjustments including power height. Rear bucket seats have an adjustment for back angle. All four seat headrests have built-in sound system speakers.

It’s obvious that the Rageous is designed for active lifestyles. In today’s busy, time-constrained society, active people want to optimize their play time. A special communication link package in the Rageous permits the active person to stay in touch with the office via personal computer links and cellular phones while driving to the mountains for some mountain biking or skiing.

To make sure the Rageous driver gets there, the communication link includes a Global Position Sensor navigation link. Entertainment is provided through the communication link by a CD pay-to-listen service that pipes in the driver’s favorite forms of music.

1997 Pontiac Rageous
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Pontiac Rageous Concept

Monitoring and control of these and other system can be maintained without ever taking your eyes off the road thanks to the Head Up Display (HUD). A track ball mouse in the steering wheel controls electrical and electronic systems such as the sound system, cell phone, heating and cooling, seats, and lights through the HUD. Additionally, driver information such as speed, odometer and engine conditions can be displayed on the HUD.

A shrink-wrapped interior emphasizes the contours of the body and door structures and contributes to a cylindrical design motif. These cylindrical forms are evident in the center console and in the gauges and air outlets that are molded into the instrument panel.

Controls are clustered around the driver in a cockpit designed to deliver information quickly and easily to the driver. Round, pod-like gauges feature readouts in both digital and analog formats while supporting the cylindrical design theme.

The ribbed theme that portrays ruggedness and protection is carried into the interior on the shifter and on front and rear seat assist grips on the doors.

“This vehicle bristles with excitement,” said Pontiac Brand Character Director John Schinella. “We wanted to make every detail very dramatic to state Pontiac’s brand character while adding value to the sports machine.”

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