The 2005 Pontiac GTO Was The Ultimate Sleeper In The Mid-2000s

When GM reintroduced the Pontiac GTO for the 2004 model year, it was a big deal, and yet, at the same time, it somehow wasn’t. It had the same name as the original American muscle car, but it was actually based on the Australian-market Holden Monaro, and its styling could probably best be described as “understated.” Without a brash, in-your-face design, the GTO struggled to sell even 14,000 GTOs in the first model year.

Bob Lutz wasn’t ready to give up, though, so for 2005, Pontiac gave the GTO a set of nostrils and, most importantly, a bigger engine. Instead of a 5.7-liter LS1 V8 that made 350 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque, you got a 6.0-liter LS2 that was good for 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That may not sound like much power by today’s standards, but if you remember, the 2005 Ford Mustang GT still had a 4.6-liter V8 that only made 300 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.

Beyond its bigger engine, the 2005 Pontiac GTO also got larger brakes borrowed from the Chevrolet Corvette, as well as a few other improvements. It wasn’t a full refresh, but it did make the 2005 GTO more desirable, and if you’re buying one today, used prices generally reflect that. Especially if you want one with a manual transmission.

When MotorWeek got a chance to review the new GTO, it recorded a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 13.5 seconds. Other outlets found it was even quicker, although the difference could possibly be attributed to those outlets including rollout in their acceleration tests. Either way, you’re looking at one quick coupe by 2005 standards.

These days, 6.0-liter GTOs can occasionally be found for less than $20,000, although nicer examples tend to be selling for a good bit more. If you want a car that everyone’s going to notice, then it’s definitely not the car from you. And as you can see from the video below, if you want a high-quality, luxurious interior, you’ll come up short there, too. If, on the other hand, you love the idea of a muscular, athletic American coupe that can completely fly under the radar, then it might be the perfect bargain buy.

2005 Pontiac GTO | Retro Review

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