Watch: When Pontiac Teamed Up With ASC-McLaren to Become GM’s Excitement Division

The history of the Pontiac Grand Prix stretches back to 1962 and finds its origins in the Advanced Engineering department that was headed by John De Lorean. So it makes sense that in 1989, Pontiac wanted to give its Grand Prix Turbo real performance bona fides.

The brand teamed up with ASC-McLaren to make sure its performance version of the car was up to snuff.

Powered by a 3.1-liter V6, the engine was tuned by McLaren to make 205 hp, up 65 hp over a standard Grand Prix. That allowed it to get to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and down the quarter-mile in 15.7 seconds—both respectable figures for the time.

To alert passers-by its specialness, Pontiac also fitted it with wild bodywork and functional hood vents. Inside, meanwhile, it was futuristic buttons and heads up displays.

It made for a car that Motorweek called flashier than its exotic competition in this retro review. And it ensured that Pontiac, for a little bit anyway, was back to being GM’s “excitement division.”

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