Pontiac is responsible for some of the coolest muscle cars of all time. The GTO is one of them, and most people only associate the name with models built between 1964 and 1972, the first two generations. You’ve got the vertically-stacked headlights of a 1966 GTO or the ultra-American 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge.
The lineage doesn’t stop there, of course, but most of the other models are forgotten. There are no attempts to make coachbuilt GTOs out of Camaros like they do with the Trans Am. However, we have a rendering that shows you what such a car might look like. Digital artist Rostislav Prokop was commissioned by HotCars magazine to make a modern GTO. We’re going to call it the 2022 Pontiac GTO, even though Pontiac doesn’t exist anymore.
The car he used as inspiration didn’t appear in Smokey and the Bandit but is considered to be a modern classic. The modern GTO was part of the great Pontiac refresh of the 2000s, prompted by former GM chairman Bob Lutz.
The fifth-gen Pontiac GTO, also known as the GTO 6.0, was made from 2004 until 2006. Like with many other Pontiac models at the time, GM took advantage of its talent overseas to offer this 2-door coupe, which was just a re-badged Australian car called the Holden Monaro.
The Last GTO was a kangaroo
As a performance car, the GTO 6.0 was pretty good: 400 hp LS2, 6-speed manual. However, it didn’t look like a Pontiac should and didn’t satisfy that American retro car craving like Ford’s boxy Mustang of the time. The Holden was shaped like a bar of soap and was about as exciting to look at, so it didn’t really sell. Total production for all three years amounted to 40,808 vehicles.
This 2022 Pontiac rendering appears to have a similarly-shaped body to the Australian Holden, at least the top part. Below the line of the windshield, things get crazy thanks to a split grille that tries to bring back some of the 1969-1972 front-end design. The hood also brings back the Ram Air design, with double scoops, a setup that Pontiac coined back in 1968.
Overall, this rendering is pure entertainment, like many other Rostislav designs. But it fails to scratch the retro itch. When you say “GTO” it’s just got to look like a ’66 model or a Judge.
Pontiac could be the coolest General Motors brand of all time. It not only made powerful muscle cars with giant engines when GM didn’t want anything to do with racing but also created ambitiously machines like the mid-engined Fiero, the Solstice, G8, and of course the Aztek crossover.
I still remember the 2008 crisis as if it was yesterday because I was a young, inexperienced trader. The Dow slipped 600 points in a day, and GM was one of the hardest-hit companies. Uncle Sam gave them $30 billion but brands like Saturn, Hummer, and Pontiac were killed off. The last Pontiac was a white G6 sedan, built unceremoniously in 2010.