1971 Plymouth Cuda 440 Drag Racing The FASTEST Pontiac EVER: A Classic Showdown

When it comes to high-performance Pontiacs, our minds often gravitate towards the legendary GTO or the early 1960s factory drag cars equipped with Super Duty engines. However, neither of these iconic models can claim the distinction of being the quickest and fastest Pontiac ever produced. Surprisingly, those titles belong to an unexpected contender—a four-door sedan that emerged just before General Motors discontinued the Pontiac brand in 2010


Let’s talk about the Pontiac G8 GXP, which was essentially a rebadged Holden Commodore that was manufactured in Australia and exported to the United States. However, the G8 GXP was not your average Commodore, as it was equipped with a larger and more powerful engine than the standard G8.

While the regular G8 came with a 3.6-liter V8 engine rated at 256 horsepower, the GXP was fitted with a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine, which was the same powerplant that General Motors offered in the Chevrolet Corvette at the time. Although the LS3 engine was slightly detuned to maintain the Corvette as the company’s flagship performance car, it delivered an impressive 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque.

The G8 GXP was a tribute to what Pontiac used to be, and it could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, making it the quickest factory-built Pontiac ever produced. In addition, it was also the fastest, with a top speed of 185 mph. The GXP’s quarter-mile time of 12.8 seconds at 110 mph was equally impressive.

But how would it stack up against a classic muscle car from the golden era, such as a 1971 Plymouth Cuda? Let’s take a look at the numbers. The Cuda in question appears to be a well-restored example with a 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) V8 engine under the hood. In 1971, this engine was rated at 385 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque, which enabled the hardtop to cover the quarter-mile in 13.7 seconds at 106 mph.

Let’s Race

Either way, hit play on the video below to see if it‘s the 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440 and the 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP that walks away the winner

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1: Which car offers better acceleration?

Both the 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440 and the 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP are known for their impressive acceleration. However, due to advancements in technology, the G8 GXP holds a slight edge in this aspect. Its modern engine and drivetrain technologies allow it to achieve faster 0-60 mph times compared to the Cuda 440.

2: What are the key design features of the 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440?

The 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440 boasts several key design features that make it an icon of American muscle cars. These include its aggressive front grille, shaker hood scoop, muscular bodylines, and iconic Cuda badging. Additionally, its distinctive paint options and striking wheel designs further enhance its visual appeal.

3: How does the 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP fare in terms of fuel efficiency?

Considering its powerful V8 engine, the 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP offers respectable fuel efficiency. With its advanced fuel management systems and aerodynamic design, the G8 GXP achieves reasonable fuel economy figures for its class. However, it’s important to note that fuel efficiency may vary based on driving conditions and individual driving habits.

4: Can you compare the safety features of both cars?

The 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440, being a classic muscle car, may lack some of the advanced safety features found in modern vehicles. However, it does feature seat belts, sturdy construction, and solid handling characteristics. On the other hand, the 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP offers a range of advanced safety features, including airbags, stability control, traction control, and optional advanced driver-assistance systems.

5: Which car is more valuable in the collector’s market?

Both the 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440 and the 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP hold significant value in the collector’s market. The Cuda 440’s iconic status and limited production numbers contribute to its desirability and high price tags. Similarly, the G8 GXP’s rarity and modern performance make it a sought-after collector’s item. The value of each car ultimately depends on factors such as condition, rarity, and market demand.

6: Is it possible to modify these cars for even more power?

Yes, both the 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440 and the 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP have a strong aftermarket following, offering a wide range of performance upgrades. From engine modifications and exhaust systems to suspension enhancements and brake upgrades, enthusiasts can unleash even more power and performance from these already impressive machines.

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