I think the "Speedster becoming a Pontiac" is dead. The new Grand Am is on the Epsilon, not the Sigma platform. The Bonneville was to be supplanted by a sport wagon called the "Banner", but that has recently been axed (and maybe was what Road and Track was saying would be the new Grand Prix). The Buick Signia (sister car to the Banner) is dead as well. Expect many changes in GM's current plans from 2004-onward, now that Bob Lutz is running GM's product development (he can't do anything about the 2002 and 2003 cars, but 2004 onward he'll have tons of impact)...
I hope that Lutz reviews ALL GM plans! They may have got mesmerized by the huge profits made with trucks (remember when trucks were cheaper than cars?), while foreign brands have almost displaced the Big 3 in the car market (what's a Hyundai?). Now that they are attacking the truck market (Toyota has more truck models than GM!), guess whose truck those car buyers would buy? I just hope that the Ivory Tower, I mean, Renaissance Center gets some fresh air... ;^)
GM's auto lineup is really hurting right now. You can tell by the incentives. 0.0 (36 months) or 0.9 (48-60 months) or $2000 cash back on Grand Prix's. And the GP, to me, is one of GM's best current cars, one out of about 3-4 I'd consider for my daily driver (and I'm a long-time GM fan whose dad worked for/ mother-in-law works for GM).
My wife is looking at picking one up to replace her '96 Lumina. We test drove a black GT Sedan with the 75th Anniversary package + 1SD option package. The handling was nice, the acceleration just OK (I drive a 98 Aurora so I'm used to the V-8), but there was something wrong with one of the pulleys the serpentine belt was riding on (it was squealing something fierce). Whether this robbed it of power, I don't know.
The dealer's checking that out right now, and, if they can fix it, I'd have no mechanical worries with the car (since we'd still have the 3/36 warranty). Unfortunately, the interior is so cheap and plasticy, and I worry about how well it holds up over the long term. Any '97-'99 model year owners care to share their experiences? Anything break off, or rattle? My '91 SE (older bodystyle) had much higher quality switchgear than this new one...
Was the picture of the 2003 Grand Prix in the September issue of Road and Track? I saw an article on 2003-2005 cars but couldn't find a Grand Prix in there. I was wondering if you saw it from a previous issue.
What year GP were you looking at to buy? The 97 and 98 didn't do as well in Consumer Reports because those were the first 2 years for that new styling. The rating jumped back up to "Recommended" for '99 to present. I don't know how many people have been happy/unhappy with their '97 and '98 GP's.
I have as SE so can't really give advice on the GT - completely different engines. And I've only had the car for 3 months.
evandro - I didn't get to Barnes and Noble to look through R&T again--too cheap to buy the magazine when I just want to look at that one picture!
Thanks for the picture. It is a little strange looking from the Grand Prix's we're used to. From the article I saw in R&T, it looks like it will fit right in. All those cars I saw had that "futuristic" look!