Press Release :
Grand Prix performance continues to expand in 2006 with a new Special Edition package available for Grand Prix and Grand Prix GT models. With a unique look and new 17-inch wheels, the Special Edition package complements the no-holds-barred performance of the V-8-powered Grand Prix GXP, which was introduced in mid-2005.
All ’06 Grand Prix models are enhanced with an interior that reflects an increased attention to detail and commitment to comfort. These attributes bolster the traits of a family-friendly, midsize sedan that offers big car roominess with the performance and agility of a sports sedan. Grand Prix is the perfect blend of excitement and practicality.
For 2006, the Grand Prix lineup includes the well-equipped Grand Prix, the sporty Grand Prix GT and the Grand Prix GXP. The Grand Prix is powered by the renowned 3800 Series III V-6, which is rated at 200 horsepower (145 kw), while the Grand Prix GT comes with the 3800 Series III Supercharged V-6 – it delivers 260 horsepower (186 kw). The GXP comes with the new 5.3L V-8 with Displacement on Demand technology, which regulates between eight- and four-cylinder operation to enable up to 12 percent improved fuel economy in certain light-load driving situations. It is rated at 303 horsepower (226 kw).
While the GXP is the ultimate in Grand Prix performance, the new Special Edition package offers a total performance look at a value-driven price of just $1,995 MSRP. Available on Grand Prix and Grand Prix GT models, the Special Edition package includes:
– Unique ground effects package with deep air dam, flared rocker moldings and prominent rear spoiler
– Body-color twin-port grille
– Dual single round bright exhaust tips
– New 17-inch Midnight Silver 10-spoke alloy wheels with performance tires
The Special Edition package’s prominent ground effects and front spoiler help to visually lower the vehicle, creating a sportier look. Also, the $1,995 suggested MSRP reflects a value that would be hard to duplicate with individually-purchased aftermarket components. A customer could easily spend as much just on comparable wheels and tires.
Seventeen-inch wheels also are available for the first time on the base Grand Prix model. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard. Also, several new exterior colors have been added to Grand Prix’s palette for ’06.
Interior enhancements
The interior enhancements made to all ’06 Grand Prix models ratchet up the premium look and feel of the vehicles. They include:
– New Ebony and Cashmere/Ebony colors with available contrasting stitching on the steering wheel, shifter knob and center console storage top
– Available leather trim for the steering wheel, shifter handle and seat inserts is revised with new, mini-perforation leather
– All-Ebony-color interiors feature contrasting stitching on the seats
– Chrome ring accents on climate vents and door release handle ring
– Revised metal finish on door pull and release handles, shifter ‘PRNDL’ surround and steering wheel
– Center console revised for improved quality
– TAPShift paddles now Ebony (replaces silver)
The changes and refinements to the interior for ’06 integrate with an already comfortable, convenient and safety-minded passenger environment. Grand Prix interiors feature climate control with manual settings and HVAC outlets for the rear seat, two power outlets, rear reading lamps, electronic cruise control, a driver information center, remote keyless entry, power programmable door locks and ample interior storage. Standard seating surfaces are cloth, with leather available. Grand Prix models also offer a range of excellent AM/FM stereos with standard CD, as well as available MP3 capability, navigation system and six-CD changer.
Room for everyone and their stuff is apparent as soon as the rear doors swing open to a segment-leading 82 degrees. Ingress and egress is great for passengers and cargo. Large objects are easy to carry thanks to the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats, rear seat pass-through and an extra-wide trunk opening. Items as long as 9 feet can be accommodated with the trunk closed when the available fold-flat front passenger seat is folded flat.
The 2006 Grand Prix has many active and passive safety features. Outstanding handling and excellent brakes help drivers avoid trouble in the first place. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard. ABS is standard on GT and GXP models and available on base Grand Prix. Available and standard traction control systems increase safety in poor road conditions. Tire inflation monitoring systems warn of underinflated tires. Standard daytime running lamps make the Grand Prix more visible to other drivers.
The GXP has a standard head-up display (HUD); it is available on other models. HUD is an active safety feature because it helps the driver focus on the road by displaying dashboard information in the windshield. HUD also allows the driver to navigate with the instrument lights off for better night vision.
Passive safety systems include safety belts and air bags. Consistent safety belt use is the primary and most effective form of occupant protection. All Grand Prix seating positions have three-point safety belts. Front outboard retractors have built-in load limiters to reduce peak chest loads by allowing a controlled amount of belt give during ‘ride down’ crash conditions. Front inboard safety belt buckles move with the seat during position adjustments.
Dual-stage frontal air bags provide supplemental protection for front seat passengers. The air bag system’s control unit determines whether the severity of a crash warrants air bag deployment and if just the primary stage or the primary and secondary stages are necessary. This smart system helps reduce the risk of air bag-induced injuries. Front safety belt pretensioners deploy at the same time as the frontal air bags to take up slack in the safety belt webbing. Pretensioners minimize occupant movement during a crash.
Available head curtain side air bags provide additional protection. They unfold from the roof rail between the A-pillar and side window header. The side air bags deploy in an angle toward the window to help provide protection for front and rear outboard passengers.
Grand Prix is equipped with child security locks and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system anchors for child safety seats. Two lower anchors and a top tether anchor secure the child seat to the vehicle seat structure for proper installation of compatible child safety seats.
OnStar-equipped Grand Prix models feature OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
The OnStar service standard on the 2006 Grand Prix includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate live-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.
At the core of Grand Prix’s host of convenience and safety features, however, is a driver’s car. It was designed for customers who enjoy driving and appreciate precision handling. Four-wheel independent suspension, with MacPherson struts, form the basis of the Grand Prix handling package. The rear independent suspension uses a tri-link coil-over-strut design with anti-roll bars specifically tuned to each model.
GXP details
The Grand Prix GXP has unique suspension tuning befitting its role as the ultimate Grand Prix. A more aggressive look results from a re-tuned suspension that lowers the GXP approximately 9 mm. Bilstein gas-charged struts, higher-rate springs, and a 17.2-mm hollow rear stabilizer bar are also used. The stabilizer bar reduces body roll.
GXP-specific body enhancements complement the car’s aggressive stance. New front and rear fascias along with rocker extensions accentuate the low look. Prominent exhaust outlets in the rear fascia combine with GXP badges to foretell the car’s performance capability.
A refined, contemporary interior matches the bold exterior of the GXP. Ultralux suede inserts for the available leather seating, brushed aluminum trim accents, and a unique instrument gauge cluster are all part of the special GXP interior. Brushed aluminum door sill plates and GXP embroidered floor mats are also part of the package.
The Grand Prix GXP has an upgraded brake system designed to match the car’s enhanced awesome performance capability. Oversized four-wheel vented disc brakes with Bosch four-channel ABS provide superior braking.
A unique feature of the 2006 Grand Prix GXP is the different-width 18-inch polished forged aluminum wheels. The front wheels are eight inches wide, while and the rear wheels are seven inches wide. Tire sizes are P255/45R18 and P225/50R18 respectively. The tires are W speed-rated. Wider front wheels help the GXP achieve a more neutral cornering stance and optimize the inherent handling characteristics of a front-wheel drive vehicle. StabiliTrak, GM’s electronic stability control system, and Magnasteer II are standard equipment.
StabiliTrak greatly improves vehicle control with a series of sophisticated sensors that maintain vehicle direction by independently applying brake force at the appropriate corners of the car. StabiliTrak monitors differences between the driver’s desired path and the vehicle’s actual path and then takes preventive measures to maintain the desired path. StabiliTrak greatly reduces the possibility of oversteer or understeer. StabiliTrak is integrated with the vehicle’s ABS and traction control systems.
5.3L V-8 up close
The newest member of the Grand Prix engine family is the 5.3L V-8 with Displacement on Demand (DOD) technology. Developed exclusively for front-drive applications, the 5.3L engine produces 303 horsepower (226 kw) and 323 lb.-ft. (438 Nm) of torque, with DOD helping to reduce fuel consumption by up to 12 percent in certain light-load driving conditions. It also is capable of helping the GXP achieve 0 to 60 times of less than 6 seconds.
DOD technology enables fuel economy gains by reducing the number of cylinders engaged in the combustion process. A sophisticated engine controller determines when to deactivate cylinders, allowing the engine to maintain vehicle speed in lighter-load conditions such as highway cruising. When the cylinders are deactivated, the engine effectively operates as a V-4, with alternate cylinders on each cylinder bank disabled. The engine returns to V-8 mode the instant the controller determines the vehicle speed or load requires additional power. The process is seamless and virtually imperceptible.
Several changes were made to the 5.3L V-8 to accommodate the transverse mounting position required for the Grand Prix’s front-wheel drive chassis. Overall length was reduced with the help of a shorter crankshaft and a single-belt accessory drive system. Key features of the 5.3L V-8 include:
– Aluminum engine block with cross-bolted main bearing caps
– High-flow aluminum cylinder heads
– 10:1 compression ratio for fuel-efficient performance
– Full-floating pistons
– Lightweight composite intake manifold
– Electronic throttle control
– GM Oil Life System to minimize required oil changes
– 100,000 mile iridium-tipped spark plugs
– Unique camshaft designed to accommodate DOD technology
A high-performance Hydra-Matic 4T65-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission was strengthened to handle the prodigious torque of the 5.3L V-8. TAPshift (Touch Activated Power) is standard with the GXP and combines the fun and control of a manual transmission, but with the convenience of an automatic transmission.
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Source: Pontiac Press Release

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