1986 Pontiac Trans Sport Concept Car – High Performance Pontiac Magazine

29 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 1986 Pontiac Trans Sport Concept Car – High Performance Pontiac Magazine
Pontiac Trans Sport

Pontiac Returns To The Concept Car World With A Sneak Peek Of Its Innovative Minivan

The gullwing rear side door really added a futuristic touch. Even after 20 years, the Tran

The late ’70s and early ’80s were particularly difficult times for Pontiac. Indeed, they were among the darkest hours in the division’s history.

After so many years at the coveted No. 3 position for sales after Chevrolet and Ford, the Wide Track Division had fallen on hard times. The combination of misdirected management, ill-advised platform consolidation, and the near-disappearance of the performance that Pontiac had become known for had taken its toll.

True, the Trans Am and the Grand Prix were doing well sales-wise, but these two cars were carrying the division on their backs, and the cracks in the facade were becoming all too visible.

Arrival of the Third-Gen Trans Am in 1982 brought with it a new mindset and a new promotional campaign-Driving Excitement. While the T/A wasn’t a barn-burner like it was a decade before, it was clearly a step in the right direction and would greatly improve in subsequent years. More specialty cars like the 6000 STE, the Sunbird Turbo, and the Fiero would come to help recapture the swagger that Pontiac had lost.

This new mindset had taken hold with enough force that within a few years, Pontiac was once again able to show off its ideas on future vehicles and technology.

Pontiac product planners were also intent on upgrading its divisional image in the marketplace. They wanted the car-buying public to get the message that they were indeed taking a leading role in design and technological innovation.

After an absence of nearly a decade, Pontiac resumed concept car development with a new mission in mind. In the past, the division had wowed the world with over-the-top, futuristic, and highly impractical machines like the ’54 Bonneville Special and the ’56 Club de Mer. Each did a great job of bolstering Pontiac’s image, but they were dead-ends as far as production was concerned.

Concept cars were now being designed with an eye toward actual production. While manufacturing and cost limitations would not allow for a given production descendant to be an exact copy of the original concept vehicle, there was a much closer relationship than there had been in the past.

Pontiac Trans Sport

The new generation of Pontiac concept vehicles began with the introduction of what many believe is still one of the most radical minivans ever designed, the ’86 Trans Sport. With the runaway success of the Chrysler minivans in the marketplace at the time, Pontiac was itching to check in with its interpretation of what a minivan should be. The new mission was accomplished-a production version of the Trans Sport was in dealer showrooms in less than four years.

Based on a lengthened version of the front-drive A-body Pontiac 6000, the composite-bodied Trans Sport featured a 116-inch wheelbase and a low overall height of 59.6 inches. Though it was lower than most production minivans at the time, with a 12.5-inch step-up height, its interior walk-through height of 48 inches was comparable to others in that market segment. Photos of the Trans Sport don’t really convey just how low and sleek its proportions really appeared.

The first thing one noticed on the Trans Sport was its radical windshield, which closely resembled a helicopter canopy. In actuality, that is precisely what it was. The windshield’s profile bulged above the roofline behind it.

Combined with the convex side glass, the helicopter motif was further accentuated. A-pillars were hidden behind the windshield, lending a smooth, aerodynamic look.

Up front, the Trans Sport featured the familiar Pontiac split grille theme, updated with multi-element composite headlamps, with driving lamps set in the front fascia. Ribbed lower body cladding finished in a contrasting silver gave a distinctive touch as well as offering protection from parking-lot dings.

The gullwing rear side door really added a futuristic touch. Even after 20 years, the Trans Sport is still one of the most radical minivan designs ever created.

Pontiac Trans Sport
Pontiac Trans Sport
Pontiac Trans Sport
Pontiac Trans Sport
Pontiac Trans Sport
Pontiac Trans Sport
Pontiac Trans Sport
Pontiac Trans Sport

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