Since 1967, the rear-wheel-drive Firebird powered by a big-block V-8 has been the halo car for Pontiac's performance image.
Not anymore. The Rev concept displayed in Chicago shows how Pontiac will refine its performance image over the next several years.
'A lot of young people tell us that it is not just flat-out raw horsepower they are after,' said Wayne Cherry, General Motors vice president of vehicle design. 'It is the agility, handling, the dynamics on road and off road, and being able to take their friends with them.'
'We really believe that vehicles like this are the next wave of sport-utility kind of vehicles,' Cherry said. And the Rev is Pontiac's new definition of performance.
Pontiac describes the four-passenger Rev as a bold, athletic concept with a go-anywhere attitude. It features all-wheel-drive, an adjustable suspension that raises the vehicle 2 inches for off-roading, rear doors that slide toward the back to make it easier to enter and exit the passenger area, and an interior that can be washed out with a garden hose.
The Rev's instrument panel has a three-screen, re-configurable LCD display. The driver selects what data should appear on the center screen - the speedometer, for example - and what data is relegated to the side screens. That might include oil pressure, CD selections or the image of a loved one.
Comparing the instrument clusters in future Pontiac and Buick products, Cherry said: 'Pontiac is more about an interaction with the vehicle, whereas Buick is `set it and forget it.' On the Pontiac we would say, `set it and set it again' because people like to have that interaction, that activity, whereas in Buick (which caters to older buyers) it is a very calm interior.'
The Rev is powered by a supercharged, 245-hp 3.0-liter V-6. The concept is built off General Motors' new global Epsilon platform, a small-car platform that will be used for the next generation Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac Grand Am as well as the Opel Vectra and Omega in Europe.