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Pontiac Firebird Trans Am: The Legend Reborn?

By Feann Torr - 8/May/2009

2011 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
2011 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

2011 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
The 2011 Pontiac Trans Am concept could
be powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre V8

2011 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
ASC worked on the conversion of the Pontiac
Trans Am but will it ever see the light of day?

Warren, America – When the original Chevy Camaro was first introduced in the United States in 1966, Pontiac took the Camaro platform to create the Firebird a year later.

In 1969 the go-ahead was given to develop a high performance handling package for the Firebird pony car, not unlike the Ford Falcon GT's 'HO' package from 1971 in Australia.

The 'Trans Am' package was offered with the Firebird and became part of the Pontiac line-up for more than three decades, ending production in 2002.

But one American company wants to bring the iconic Pontiac Trans Am back, and it's creating a lot of talk - some of it positive, some of it not.

Last month Chevrolet unleashed what was one of the most highly anticipated cars in North America in decades, the 2010 model Chevrolet Camaro.

Having received largely positive reviews from the U.S. media - some of the credit should be attributed to the car's Australian chassis development that was carried out by Holden - the new generation Camaro is one of the few bright spots for General Motors at the moment.

And this new Chevy Camaro could also be the donor car for a next generation Pontiac Trans Am, which is being proposed by an American outfit called ASC Creative Services.

The company has come up with a conversion kit of what the new car could look like, and has created both joy and angst amongst die-hard Trans Ammers.

In the past ASC has worked closely with General Motors to design other performance cars, including the Cadillac STS-V and Chevrolet Malibu SS.

If built, the Trans Am is unlikely to be badged a Pontiac - more likely a Chevy - because General Motors has already killed off the Pontiac brand as part of its restructuring process.

Featuring a range of cosmetic upgrades, the proposed 2011 Trans Am has a suitably aggressive stance and the shaker on the bonnet suggests that some engine tuning has been/will be carried out.

Based on the Chevy Camaro SS, which is powered by a 6.2-litre pushrod V8 outputting 318kW (426hp) and more than 550Nm, the Trans Am concept could boost this figure by a significant amount, once again creating a formidable sports coupe.

Having road tested a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am (albeit with a modified 7.6-litre [463ci] V8), I for one would love to see a reborn version of the car, and like the classic models it would likely benefit from a number of handling improvements.

Getting back to the design, and a new front fascia has been designed for the Trans Am concept, featuring the classic twin kidney grille and rectangular headlight nacelles and a low front lip.

The back end of the car features quad exhaust pipes and a shows off new look brake light clusters in the vein of the classic mid '70 Trans Am models, complete with a boot lid spoiler.

Pronounced side skirts and rear wheel arch air vents round out the look which transforms the Chevy Camaro into something resembling a Trans Am.

At this stage ASC hasn't confirmed or denied that it will work on the vehicle, but considering General Motors financial situation it's unlikely to be offered as an official Chevrolet.

A more likely scenario is that the vehicle would be a conversion kit that would be offered at a premium to Camaro SS owners, but at this stage it appears as though it's still just a conceptual design.

Related Links:
Chevrolet Camaro (2010)
- Pontiac 1977 Trans Am (Road Test)
- Chevrolet Volt (2011)
- Chevrolet Cruze (2009)
Chevrolet Camaro (2010)
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (2009)
Chevrolet Corvette C6 (2008)
Chevrolet Camaro Convertible (concept)
- Chevrolet WTCC Ultra (concept)
Chevrolet Camaro (concept)
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (2006)

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