The GTO is a modern-day American muscle car, with a lot of power on tap when you want it. Doing standing-start burnouts in this car is a little too easy, which is one reason why the GTO is so popular in the drifting world. Where was this car when I was in High School? Planting your right foot and getting the full experience of 400 horses and 400 lb-ft of torque is hard to resist, as the power and sound are very intoxicating. If you end up buying this car, you should set aside a yearly tire allowance because you will be going through them pretty regularly. In fact, the press car we drove had the rear tires replaced right before we picked it up, and it had a mere 15,000 miles on it.
In terms of handling dynamics, the GTO is decent but could use improvement. With the power ready and willing to break the rear end loose with any provocation of the throttle, Pontiac has dialed in a fair amount of understeer in the suspension, but the suspension also feels a bit too soft for a car with this much power, with too much body roll and not quite enough sharpness in the steering transitions. It's best to take the traditional Porsche approach to being quick in this car - slow in, fast out. Come in fast to a corner, use the very good Brakes to slow the car down, then let the weight transfer take place before getting smoothly back on the power for the apex and exit of the corner, always taking care to be judicious with the throttle so the rear doesn't get too loose. The GTO is surprisingly comfortable on longer trips, and the suspension does a good job of absorbing bumps.