Pontiac Grand Prix is the extrovert in GM's mid-size family, a sinewy body in a sleeveless T-shirt, flaunting a style inspired by NASCAR. The Grand Prix name may refer to European road racing, but the Pontiac Grand Prix is as American as a hot dog at the speedway on Saturday night.
Fortunately, the Grand Prix can back its styling braggadocio with plenty of driving excitement, thanks to a thoroughly modern platform, powerful engines, great brakes and excellent handling. The GTP version, in particular, puts enough horsepower through the front wheels to keep drivers interested and alert. Yet its price is impressively modest, compared to an imported sport sedan.
For 2002, Grand Prix turns 40 in fine style, with a special 40th Anniversary Edition offered on both two and four-door models in GT or GTP trim. The package includes a unique rear spoiler, hood heat extractors, dual exhausts, NASCAR-style roof fences, unique wheels, and special Dark Cherry Metallic paint. Two-tone leather seats in Ruby Red and Graphite complement the interior.
The Grand Prix line includes a four-door sedan in SE ($20,965), GT ($23,085), and GTP ($25,805) trim, plus a coupe at the GT ($22,935) and GTP ($25,625) levels. Three different V6 engines are available, along with two automatic transmissions.
SE comes standard with GM's trusty 3.1-liter aluminum-head V6. It's good for 175 horsepower and 195 foot-pounds of torque.
GT models are equipped with an iron-head, 3.8-liter V6 that produces 200 horsepower and 225 foot-pounds of torque. The GTP adds a civilized supercharger that boosts horsepower to 240 and torque to 280.
For 2002, GT models boast more standard equipment including a six-way power driver's seat, steering-wheel audio controls, a cargo net, and a security system. Also for 2002, SE models offer more value, with cruise control and a remote trunk release.