Pontiac Banshee

From GM Heritage Center: The 1988 Pontiac Banshee concept car (known within GM as the Banshee IV) was actually the fourth in a series of concept cars beginning in 1966 that were intended to establish exterior and interior design themes which would be modified for production versions of Pontiac sports cars. It was a futuristic coupe with realistic design and engineering features that could appear in the next generation of the popular Firebird series. The exterior, constructed of fiberglass skins over a tubular steel frame, had a sleek, sloped profile and smooth flowing sides with no interruptions; all glass was flush mounted as were the doors, with no door handles or exterior mirrors. The Banshee measured 201 inches long and 80 inches wide with a 105-inch wheelbase, and stood 46.25 inches high. The doors were opened by an infrared signal activated by pushing a button on a small, wristwatch-sized device.

The Banshee was powered by a port fuel-injected, 4.0 liter, dual overhead cam, aluminum V8 capable of producing 230 horsepower. The rear wheel drive coupe had a 5-speed manual transmission, independent rear suspension, four wheel disc anti-lock brakes and wraparound adjustable rear spoilers. Wheels were mounted on special Goodyear 17 x 8-inch tires in front and 17 x 91/2-inch tires in the rear.

Inside, the Banshee had a head-up display which projected (forward of the driver’s position) a holographic image of the vehicle’s speed, fuel level, turn signals and more. Also projected just below the HUD image was a virtual image display which showed an optically enlarged image of the analog cluster featuring tachometer, oil pressure, temperature and volts. Other features inside the Banshee included steering wheel controls for radio, HVAC and other functions, television monitors for rear view traffic, a navigational system with TV monitor, headrest mounted radio speakers in each seat and CD player with remote controlled disc storage located in the trunk.

The Banshee’s seats were fixed with lateral support mounted to the doors for easier entrance and egress. The driver’s seat had vertical adjustment and cantilevered seat backs which swung forward for easier rear seat entry and exit. There also were memory switches for steering wheel column, pedals and seat positions to better accommodate the driver and passenger for driving control and riding comfort. The steering column telescopes and tilts electrically, the pedals adjusted fore and aft, and the front seats had position memory and exit controls.

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