2007 Pontiac GTO.R

2007 Pontiac GTO.R

Pssst! Wanna buy a factory racing car that'll send a Porsche 911 GT3 back to Weissach with its whale-tail spoiler between its legs? Well, has Pontiac got a deal for you!

For $275,000, cheap in this arena, you can buy a GTO.R built by Pratt & Miller-GM Racing's quasi-works team-to the exact specifications of the car that dominated the GT class in last year's Grand American Rolex Series.

Unlike the Porsche, the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, or Ferrari's Challenge cars, the Pontiac is a handbuilt, tube-frame thoroughbred. And that's a good thing. As factory stud Andy Lally, who came within a few heartbreaking corners of winning the driver's championship in the GTO.R, puts it: "This is the most compliant car I've ever been in."

An all-too-brief test on a lamentably tight track didn't give us a chance to thoroughly assess the car's handling. But at least we were able to exercise the GTO.R's robust-sounding and endorphin-liberating pushrod LS2 V-8. Some relevant numbers: 6.0 liters, 410 hp, 406 lb-ft of torque, 0 to 60 mph in a heartbeat.

A five-speed sequential Xtrac transaxle and driver-adjustable traction control make it easy to get the power down to the eighteen-inch Hoosier slicks. And even though the car carries 2700 pounds of beef, AP Racing brakes get it whoa-ed down with alacrity.

Now, the fine print: A required spares package runs an additional $100,000, and prices don't include engine management or data logging. Hey, nobody said racing was cheap. But if winning is job one, then the GTO.R is a bargain.

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