Pontiac GTO 2. Generation 455/260 Hardtop 1971

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GTO 2. Generation 455/260 Hardtop 1971





The 1971 GTO had another modest facelift, this time with wire-mesh grilles, horizontal bumper bars on either side of the grille opening, more closely spaced headlamps, and a new hood with the dual scoops relocated to the leading edge, not far above the grille. Overall length grew slightly to 203.3 in (5,164 mm).

A new corporate edict, aimed at preparing GM for no-lead gasoline, forced an across-the-board reduction in compression ratios. The Ram Air engines did not return for 1971. The standard GTO engine was still the 400 CID V8, but now with 8.2:1 compression. Power was rated at 300hp (220 kW) SAE gross at 4,800 rpm and torque at 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) at 3,600 rpm. It had 255hp (190 kW) SAE net at 4,400 rpm in the GTO and 250hp (190 kW) SAE net at 4,400 rpm in the Firebird.

An engine option was the 455 CID V8 with four-barrel carburetor, 8.4 to 1 compression ratio and 325hp (242 kW) at 4,400 rpm, which was only available with the Turbo Hydra-matic TH-400 transmission. It had 260hp (190 kW) SAE net at 4,000 rpm in the GTO and 255hp (190 kW) SAE net in the Firebird. This engine was not available with air induction.

The top GTO engine for 1971 was the new 455 HO with 8.4 compression, rated at 335hp (250 kW) at 4,800 rpm and 480 lb·ft (651 N·m) at 3,600 rpm. It had 310hp (230 kW) SAE net at 4,400 rpm in the GTO and 305hp (227 kW) SAE net in the Firebird Trans Am or Formula 455 with air induction. The 1971 Pontiac brochure declared that this engine produced more NET horsepower than any other engine in its history. That would imply the 400 CID V8 Ram Air engines had less than 310hp net.

For 1971, the standard rear-end was an open 10 bolt. Positraction 10 bolt rear ends were available as an option on 400 CI engine equipped GTO's, while all 455 CI GTO's were available with a 12 bolt open or optional 12 bolt Positraction rear-end.

Motor Trend tested a 1971 GTO with the 455, four-speed transmission, and 3.90 axle, and obtained a 0–60 mph time of 6.1 seconds and a quarter mile acceleration of 13.4 seconds at 102 mph (164 km/h).

The Judge returned for a final year, with the standard equipment being the Mountain Performance package was the 455 HO. Only 357 were sold, including 17 convertibles, before The Judge was discontinued in February 1971. Only 10,532 GTOs were sold in 1971, 661 of which were non-Judge equipped convertibles.

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