Pontiac Trans Am “Bandit” BMW X3 M Is a 600 HP Tribute Dinan Built for This Famous Racer

Nobody could hold anything against you for thinking that the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and the BMW X3 M don’t have too much in common, aside from the four wheels, the steering wheel, and the two pedals. So, how is this X3 M built by North American BMW tuner Dinan a tribute to the Poncho made famous by the 1977 Smokie and the Banding movie?

In this era of crossover and electrification dominance, many people turn to the old values when seeking an identity that stands out. And while that may sound like a mere dream, it can be backed by real-world facts.

For one, the 1977 Trans Am that cemented Burt Reynolds’ image as the king of cool following the leading role in the said motion picture sold for nearly $500,000 back in January. Just to make things clear, that was the actual movie car (one of them) and the vehicle was owned by the actor himself.

The following month, Barret-Jackson, the same auction house that moved the cult classic movie machine, sold a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado Bandit Edition, a fully customized truck paying homage to the Holywood-famed muscle car, for $286,000. So, the recipe works.

Returning to the Bavarian crossover, with its twin-turbo straight-six, this has been tuned by Dinan and fellow tuner APR, having jumped from 503 to 600 hp.

The car was showcased on Dinan’s Instagram page back on April 1st, but this is no April Fools (unlike HRE Wheels’ coilover wheels).

Nicknamed Trans X3M (no spacing here, as it should be with the factory model), the go-fast crossover features a full Bandit appearance, minus the wheels, which are black rather than the golden units that graced the silver screen back in the day.

The black finish of the machine, which should be the factory one, features golden details, with the infamous screaming chicken decal adorning the hood.

The car also features custom Dinan bits like the carbon engine cover and perhaps a few cabin details, with all these bits featuring “Randit” branding in (of course) gold.

The unveiling event saw an actual ’77 Pontiac Trans Am attending, which brought an extra layer of Bandit-ism to the whole thing—you’ll find two photos of the muscle car in the gallery below.

So, what’s up with the “Randit”?

The car is destined for Randy Pobst. The racing driver, who’s also a Motor trend journo, is now 64 and he can’t seem to stop hooning, no matter what kind of vehicle we’re talking about. For one, some of his most notorious recent adventures saw the enthusiast hooning Teslas at Pikes Peak and winning.

Randy happens to be working on a 1977 Trans Am these days, with the Poncho being dubbed (you guessed it) Randit. Of course, his schedule means he can’t sit under that classic all day and the YouTube video at the bottom of the page shows a US Air Force pilot working on the muscle machine.

Randy will be putting the Trans X3 M through its paces in early May, at The One Lap of America event, so this one isn’t just for the show.



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