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Bob Lutz responds to critics    Posted 1/18/03  by Sean Mattingly
Lutz sees the negative reaction to the 2004 GTO on
Some website viewers told GM what they thought about the new GTO design unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show on January 3rd, 2003.  Sure, everyone has an opinion.  Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman of production development was the brainchild behind the project to make an Austraian Monaro into a GTO and import it to the USA.  Lutz had a chance to see some of the many negative reactions to the car's styling on this web site.  He viewed this page which shows 36 comments made by website viewers.  33 of those comments were critical of the car's styling in some way.

(You can click on these thumbnail images and decide what you like about the car)
Red 2004 concept GTO Red 2004 concept GTO 2004 concept GTO interior 2004 GTO interior
2004 GTO 6-speed
2004 concept GTO engine
2004 GTO emblem
Debut of the 2004 GTO
debut of the 2004 GTO
debut of the 2004 GTO
Thumbs up or thumbs down for GM's Australian import?

Bob Lutz of GM responded to the many negative comments he saw which were posted about the first image...
   Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 17:12:32 -0500
   From:  Bob Lutz
   To: Sean Mattingly

Dear Sean,

Thanks for the e-mail.  It's pretty obvious that the dyed-in-the-wool
old-line GTO fans (mostly probably also collectors) are disappointed that
it's a non-retro themed car with few throwback GTO cues.  But that's not
what we set out to do.  We wanted a modern interpretation, with a really
slick chassis to go along with a big engine.  It will more than live up to
the GTO heritage in terms of driving excitement and performance.  We really
would like to draw new customers, rather than traditionalists.

I also suspect that, after a few highly-charged negative reactions, herd
instinct took over.  The car is, in real life, not likely to be confused
with a Cavalier, Grand Am, or Grand Prix.  Hood scoops are for '05 model.


                                           Robert A. Lutz

Thanks to Bob for responding to the criticism of his product.   Viewer comments continue to pour in every day.  The car's exterior styling continues to get a solid thumbs-down, while the car's interior is getting an enthusiastic thumbs up.   Opinions on the rear wheel drive platform and V8 engine range from "Cool!" to "It's genius".  While the new GTO critics question what they called the "sucked caramel" styling and lack of hood scoops on the 2004 model, anticipation is still high for the return of "The Great One".   Look for it to hit the USA shores in late 2003.

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Here's a comment from a recent visitor...
Says Mike Whyte ( in Paris France -"I really enjoy cruising your site and learning all those little interesting tidbits about GTO history. Your site lets me enjoy them from afar."