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It is time for my weekly rant about dull GM vehicle styling, inspired by Car and Driver's comparison of the GTO vs. Mustang found in the following link:

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=15&article_id=8908&page_number=1

Reading the article, the Goat is better in nearly every respect - horsepower, acceleration, ride, suspension (IRS), steering, real world handling, interior design and materials. There were only 2 criticisms: a long shifter throw and lower skidpad numbers.

Yet the Mustang wins. Based on Performance? Hell, no. Based on Styling. They admit as much in the article. Obviously the Mustang is a fantastic performance GT, but the Goat is better still in most every way. And if the Mustang is the least expensive 300HP you can buy then the GTO is the least expensive FOUR HUNDRED HP you can buy!

Quite obviously, if the Goat was gorgeous it would be the clear winner both among the automotive press AND in the court of public opinion, selling strongly I'm sure. If GM can get a clue from their Solstice and begin to make gorgeous cars again, people will test drive them, love them and buy their cars in droves. None of their cars have inspired, sports cars & Caddies excepted - not the Goat, not the G6, not the Cobalt.
 

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Yeah, that GTO...more horsepower than a 2005 CLK55 AMG (AMG!) coupe, and half the price, too. It's truly a beast, just incredibly short on beauty.
 

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Car and Driver printed some letters to the editor in a recent issue, maybe last months, regarding that article. The number of people who wrote in to tell them that the GTO should have won, and handing the victory to the Mustang based on styling outnumbered the Mustang supporting letters 100 to 2. Any article comparing two muscle cars should be comparing them on their performance. Not their image. At least not as much as that article did. In fact, the deciding factor was the “got to have it” category.

I think it’s another example of how the rags disrespect GM. The goat doesn’t look bad. It just doesn’t look retro. So they don’t like it. Fine. However, this comparison wasn’t a beauty pageant either. A couple years ago they compared a Corvette to a BMW M3, and the results were similar. The M3 won, despite getting its tail handed to it in performance tests, because it had a nicer interior than the Corvette. Bah!

Maybe the GTO is about to have the last laugh. The 2005’s have gotten off to a much better start than the 2004’s did. Through March, sales of GTO’s were up 81% over last year, with total volume this year hitting 3261 units. I doubt sales will remain up 81% for the whole year, but that puts them on pace to sell 13,044 and the weather has not even cleared up in the northeast. It appears the proper tail pipes, hood scoopes, and extra HP has done the trick. Maybe some of the naysayers have actually gone to drive one and found out how good they really are too! Its not going to sell like the Mustang, but GM never intended it to either.
 

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After seeing the GTO at a car show along side other GM vehicles, it just didn't stand out. Looks to me too much like a ca. 1999 Grand AM. But if anyone wants a sleeper Mustang killer in sheeps clothing the GTO is certainly the car!

Pontiac, is you do restyle it please don't go the retro route! Give us something that is unique and modern and doesn't look like a through-back to the '60s!
 
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