GTP Cool Wall: 1989-1990 Pontiac Grand Prix Turbo ASC McLaren

Discussion in 'Cars in General' started by GranTurNismo, Sep 14, 2019.

?

1989-1990 Pontiac Grand Prix Turbo ASC McLaren

Poll closed Sep 24, 2019.
  1. Sub-Zero

    5.0%
  2. Cool

    38.3%
  3. Meh

    20.0%
  4. Uncool

    30.0%
  5. Seriously Uncool

    6.7%
  1. GranTurNismo

    GranTurNismo Premium

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    United States
    1989-1990 Pontiac Grand Prix Turbo ASC McLaren nominated by @ZGBox

    [​IMG]

    Body Style:
    2-door coupe
    Engine: 3.1L turbocharged V6
    Power: 205hp
    Torque: 220 lb-ft
    Weight: 1610kg
    Transmission: 4-speed automatic
    Drivetrain: front-engine, front-wheel drive
     
  2. GranTurNismo

    GranTurNismo Premium

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    United States
    I've got to be honest, I have a guilty pleasure for GM's "euro sport" style mid-size cars of the late-80s and early-to-mid '90s; as un-European as they may be, they still do have a certain charm that was lacking in other 80s and 90s American cars. I'd bargain that the GP McLaren is my favorite of the "euro sport" cars, as it is relatively handsome but also quite flashy and chintzy at the same time. And the interior is also pretty fascinating, having a million different buttons on the steering wheel as well as an electronic display screen (the only other car to this in '89 was the Buick Reatta). Perhaps this was GM's vision of a mid-size car of the future?

    But, the Pontiac Grand Prix Turbo ASC McLaren is quite far from cool; a standard '89-96 GP would be plain old uncool, while this variant is about as seriously uncool as you could get. First of all, a poorly-made American car that calls itself a "euro sport' car, yet has absolutely zero in common with actual European sporty coupes is seriously uncool by default. But the GP McLaren was the epitome of how ridiculous the GM-10 project really was, and I don't say that as a compliment. I mean, what competition did a car like this even have? Though it might look fast on the outside, in reality it's a bloated, heavy turd, which didn't even have a manual transmission option. The only people who actually own these today are boomer American car nerds, or maybe a sketchy meth addict or two, neither of which are remotely cool.
     
    Lilium and ZGBox like this.
  3. Snikle

    Snikle

    Messages:
    198
    This is very, very uncool. But it's uncool in such stupid ways that I would love to have it. I still rated it uncool, of course, but not seriously so. An FWD Pontiac with funky bumpers and rims and "McLaren" in the name is just too funny to send to Hell.
     
    ZGBox likes this.
  4. ROAD_DOGG33J

    ROAD_DOGG33J Premium

    Messages:
    9,264
    Location:
    United States
    Personally, I would put it in Lord Kelvin's Ice Box. It's like the 80s were summarized and dropped into one car. It even has a McLaren turbocharged engine. But there's no other way to go here than uncool or lower.
     
    Lilium, ZGBox and Snikle like this.
  5. Joey D

    Joey D Premium

    Messages:
    40,930
    Location:
    United States
    Cool. It's back when GM had a sense of humor about the cars it was building, or at the very least contracting out to be built and/or tuned. I put it right up there with the GMC Typhoon and Syclone as a vehicle that has no business existing, but the late 80s/early 90s are better off because it did.
     
    KinLM, ZGBox and Cowboy like this.
  6. 05XR8

    05XR8

    Messages:
    28,329
    Location:
    Australia
    It's cool. Definitely wanted one when i graduated high school in '89. Then, one of my friends got an '89 Mustang GT as a graduation present.

    GM used those mesh styled wheels for some of their cars: Firebird GTA, Calais I4(turbo?), GNX.
     
  7. bremics

    bremics

    Messages:
    1,930
    How much did these things cost brand new?
     
  8. Gotbeefboy564

    Gotbeefboy564

    Messages:
    12,968
    Location:
    United States
    Haven’t seen one of those yet but I have seen these Mclarens
    3B91A87A-8E51-4C0C-A10C-1750543454DC.jpeg 04DD36D9-1393-478F-A4A4-18994C60FC5A.jpeg
    Bottom one is a prototype.
     
    GranTurNismo likes this.
  9. kikie

    kikie Premium

    Messages:
    20,225
    Location:
    Belgium
    Meh, definitely Meh. I'm not a fan of these cars. I can even say that I don't like them.
     
  10. FT-1

    FT-1 Premium

    Messages:
    6,479
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Usually I wouldn't care much for this sort of car, but the McLaren association is just enough to nudge this into a low cool.
     
  11. ZGBox

    ZGBox

    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Italy
    It's one of the most '80s car in existence.
    I'd REALLY love to have one, my kid self would love it so much.
    I mean, it has a turbo and it has the McLaren name, and it's red, it has all of the coolest gadgets, and it has no good reason to exist...
    It can't be cool at all, but I'd rock one.
    And here in Europe it's so obscure and eye-catching it's amazing.
     
    Darla Starch likes this.
  12. -Fred-

    -Fred- Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    22,990
    Location:
    Canada
    It's not the McLaren you guys are thinking of that handled the business here...
     
    VXR, ZGBox, Silver Arrows and 2 others like this.
  13. MikeV27

    MikeV27

    Messages:
    1,482
    Location:
    Canada
    It's about as cool as a sunfire GT
     
  14. GTV0819

    GTV0819

    Messages:
    4,530
    Meh.
     
  15. TenEightyOne

    TenEightyOne Premium

    Messages:
    18,692
    Meh. And it looks like the back wheel's in the wrong place.
     
  16. Aerocoupe

    Aerocoupe

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    United States
    Where are you getting this from? Nowhere have I ever seen Pontiac advertising the Grand Prix as Euro-anything, much less any other GM models of the time. The closest thing I can think of are the Euro-Sport trims for the Lumina and Celebrity, but having that doesn't necessarily mean they were positioning them as direct opposition to European brands. The styling also wasn't meant to be European, rather hopping onto the 'aero-look' trend that was popular after the Taurus took off.

    See, not everything needs direct competition to justify it's existence. You could make an argument for the Taurus SHO, Thunderbird Super Coupe, Dodge Daytona Turbo, and "insert affordable performance coupe" here being the Turbo Grand Prix's rivals, but this was more of a brand exercise. The 80s and 90s were the height of Pontiac's performance revival after their slump in the 70s, hence why they plastered "We Build Excitement" over everything and made their products look as aggressive as possible. And it's why cars like this, the Bonneville SSE, Turbo Grand Am/Sunbird, and 6000 STE existed in the first place regardless of how many competitors there were.

    The little overlay in the center console didn't hold a candle to the Visual Information Center in the Reatta/Riviera/Toronado. The Grand Prix's had a few functions like a compass, ajar door indicators, date, time, MPG, but it didn't have a touch screen, built-in climate/radio control, or the large number of statistics the VIC could keep track of.

    It really wasn't slow for it's time. Power wise it's pretty much right there with a TPI 305 Trans Am. 3,500lbs makes it no featherweight, but it's about par for the course for a mid-size car. The lack of a standard transmission came down to GM not having access to any transaxles that fit the 60 degree V6 bellhousing that could also handle the torque of the turbo 3.1. Plus, having a slushbox probably helped it accelerate faster since the turbo could stay on boost.


    As for my own opinion, I've always really liked the way the first gen W-Bodies looked, and the Grand Prix is my favorite. I mean, it has rear bucket seats, that's an instant cool in my book.
    1990-pontiac-turbo-grand-prix-mclarenasc-5.jpg
    Only thing holding it back from Sub-Zero is that it isn't the more obscure STE Turbo (basically the same engine in a sedan body that was only dressed in all white).
     
  17. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,118
    Location:
    Iran
    Improbably cool. In the context of 80s obsessed 2019, I think it would be a hit at Radwood.
     
  18. Darla Starch

    Darla Starch Premium

    Messages:
    1,664
    Location:
    Chad
    Eh, why not give it a cool rating?
     
  19. mustafur

    mustafur

    Messages:
    8,521
    Location:
    Australia
    Seriously uncool, something about 80s American Cars rubs me the wrong way and I can't put my finger on it.
     
  20. KinLM

    KinLM

    Messages:
    1,984
    Location:
    United States
    I totally understand the uncool votes, but I had to vote this as cool, let me see if I can explain why.

    It’s a special edition car that you don’t *have* to explain to non-car people, but that you certainly *can* explain to people who actually are into cars.

    It passes the Kristen Scott Thomas/Scarlet Johanssen test while also passing the “cool backstory and quirky specialness” test.






    (This is coming from someone with a hawkeye STI, where almost every day I have to explain to a friend “No, it came with a giant wing,” or, “No, I didn’t put the hood scoop on it,” or best of all, “No, I don’t have a sexually transmitted infection, it stands for something else, cherry blossom red, etc etc”. The idea of having a “special” car without all the faff is nice).
     
  21. CLowndes888

    CLowndes888

    Messages:
    7,860
    Location:
    Australia
    No hard feelings for this car. In fact I didn't know it existed until I saw this thread. Meh.
     
  22. LivingWithGames

    LivingWithGames

    Messages:
    2,965
    Location:
    Brazil
    The butttons on the steering wheel are a turn off, but exterior wise, damn, another car I never heard of from these 80's times. Times where Camaros, the Buick GNX even Foxbody 'Stangs were still the ****. I think.

    Low cool, just barely.