"Born great." —Pontiac GTO magazine ad, c.1969

Pontiac's Gran Turismo Omologato, the legendary GTO, is returning to the United States in the 2004 model year. Approximately equal to Australia's Holden Monaro CV8 (which itself returned to the Australian market after decades, in 2001), the '04 GTO is visibly distant from the original "Goats" which appeared in 1964 as a performance package of the Pontiac Tempest and disappeared completely in 1971, and now looks more like a long, two-door Grand Prix.

Though a far cry from the 389, 400, and Ram Air 455 cubic inch V8s you would typically find in the GTOs back in the day, the new rear-wheel drive GTO sports a 5.7-liter aluminum block LS1 V8 — the same engine you'll find in Chevrolet Corvettes, and huge by today's standards. It looks to have just as much horsepower under the hood as its ancestors (think about 330 hp, and about as much torque), but exactly how much is yet to be seen. It looks quite ready to take on just about any American sports car short of a Dodge Viper or a 'vette. Holden plans to export around 18,000 Monaros to the United States a year, and will probably sell for a somewhere in the area of $32,000 USD.

While its looks are understated, the Pontiac GTO is set up perfectly to become the new king of the road — reclaiming the throne it gave up way back in `74.

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