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Turbo V8 Chicken: Pontiac Trans Am

Mike Musto tests the iconic 1981 Pontiac Trans Am. It had the first mass-produced turbocharged V8, and more graphic art than a basement gallery showing. Icon. Legend. Famous. Fast?


31 thoughts on “Turbo V8 Chicken: Pontiac Trans Am”


  1. Olds has a all aluminum turbo v8 in the sixties, but I guess depends on what you consider mass produced….

  2. Only way you could tell there was a turbo was to drive one without the turbo first. I’m not sure what the hp was but it wasn’t very much. Under 200 hp for sure and gearing that made it slow as f**k/

    1. Had one too…,was a pretty decent sports car! I did a couple rough tests on speed. Approx 103mph in quarter and top end speed I’d say around 140mph. I did these in late 80’s…,motor a bit tired.

  3. Muscle car? Today’s 4 cylinder cars would blow that cars doors off. The suspension, brakes and steering were garbage. The ride was abysmal. The graphics were silly. Of coarse, that’s just my humble opinion.

  4. I owe a 1981 Turbo Firebird 305 it had more power ,with postive Trac rear end it was anything but slow.

  5. I spent many many weekends behind my dads 1980 turbo trans am it was slow . Overall the car was class it was beautifull and made cover of hot god magazine. I have nothing good to say about the 301 turbo charged Pontiac motor. Nothing but problems with the turbo overheating the motor as far as motor and turbo was it was a bad design and placement for the legendary TRANS AM.


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