The Pontiac Trans Sport is a minivan manufactured and marketed by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1989 to 1998. GM developed the Trans Sport and its relatives to rival Chrysler's minivans. They succeeded with the body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive truck-based Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari. Chevrolet and Oldsmobile badge-engineered the Lumina APV and Silhouette as U-body minivan derivatives, respectively. The Trans Sport catered to the sporty and fashionable, while the Lumina and the Silhouette went for the budget-conscious and well-heeled.
History of the Pontiac Trans Sport
First Generation Pontiac Trans Sport (1990-1996)
In 1990, a brand new generation of the Trans Sport debuted. The 120-hp 3.1L V6 and the 3-speed automatic were offered in the Trans Sport and the Trans Sport SE. It was introduced to the European market with some cosmetic changes to accommodate local regulations, as well as a powertrain and transmission tailored to the region's higher fuel prices and more complex tax system. Pontiac distributed it via Opel dealerships in some European nations. Pontiac dropped the regular model in favor of the more sporty GT in 1992. The Hydra-Matic 4T60 4-speed electronically controlled auto gearbox was available for the first time that year, paired with General Motors' 3800 V6 engine. This feature was included for free with the GT model but cost extra for the SE. The Trans Sport GT was discontinued after only a year on the market because of poor sales performance in 1992. A continuation of the Trans Sport SE, which would be the sole trim level offered from 1993 and 1996. The SE was also available with all of the GT's customization choices. Pontiac redesigned the appearance in 1994 when the nose was shortened by three inches (76 mm). After being launched in 1993 but delayed owing to quality control issues, the motorized sliding door is now a viable alternative for homeowners. The 3.1L and 3.8L V6 engines were discontinued in 1996, leaving only the 3.4L V6 3400 engine.
Second Generation Pontiac Trans Sport (1997-1999)
The first significant facelift of the Trans Sport and its siblings occurred for the 1997 model year when they went from an unconventional build and appearance to a more conventional minivan. The days of spaceframes, plastic body panels, and streamlined design are over. Contemporary critics noted that the brand-new minivans could be easily mistaken for their main rivals, the Dodge Caravan, which commanded 50% of the minivan market then. The innovative minivans were of unibody steel construction, and the overall look was purposefully conventional. The current generation of Chrysler minivans was a major inspiration for General Motors when they created the U-body minivan. The resulting cars looked more like the wildly popular Big Three cars, although Chrysler would release their revamped minivans a full year before GM would. In the United States, the Trans Sport was discontinued in 1998, while in Canada, it was discontinued in 1999. On September 26, 2008, the Trans Sport car factory in Doraville, Georgia, ceased operations.
In 1998, Pontiac sold the Pontiac Trans Sport with an original MSRP of $20,840, which is around $37,947 in 2022. A used vehicle ranges from $1,175 to $2,675.
Specs and Performance of the Pontiac Trans Sport
- 3.4L (207 CID) LA1 3400 V
The Pontiac Trans Sport's 3.4L engine delivers 180 hp (134 kW) at 5,200 rpm and 205 lb-ft (278 Nm) at 4,000 rpm of torque. Pontiac marketed the Trans Sport as a front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicle, and it was available with a 4-speed automatic GM Turbo Hydramatic 4T60-E transmission. The Pontiac Trans Sport accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 kph) in 10.2 seconds, with a top speed of 123 mph (198 kph). Dimension-wise, the Pontiac Trans Sport's long wheelbase measures 5,113 mm (201.3 in) long, 1,847 mm (72.7 in) wide, and 1,730 mm (68.1 in) high. Its wheelbase measures 3,048 mm (120.0 in) and has a curb weight of 3,704 lbs (1,680 kg).
The Pontiac Trans Sport was released by the Pontiac division of General Motors between 1989 and 1998.