A movable back windshield offered rear-seat riders in the 1989 Pontiac Stinger concept car the absolute minimum of protection.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

1989 Pontiac Stinger Concept Car Performance

The designers didn't put 1989 Pontiac Stinger concept car performance on the back burner, though it did seem they concentrated more on other matters.

For example, maybe your back-seat passengers craved a better view of the surrounding scenery for a moment. All you had to do was raise the two back seats to the handiest height. They extended 15 inches above the normal position when Stinger was at a standstill -- and when the transparent rear roof panel was off the car, of course. At nightfall, or for daytime naps, the bucket seats could be folded flat, creating a bed of sorts.

Part of the rear glass could even flip upward to serve as a rear-mount windshield, almost like an old-fashioned rumble seat. (Curious how some of those touches from our automotive past keep cropping up.)

The Pontiac Stinger boasted a modest 170-horsepower engine.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

When they did get around to addressing 1989 Pontiac Stinger concept car performance, designers settled on a 3.0-liter, 16-valve four under the front hood; it had 170 horsepower. Four-wheel drive was standard, of course, along with a three-speed automatic transmission and anti-lock braking.

The active pneumatic suspension offered adjustable road height. Upon request, the whole car rose by four inches -- a virtual necessity when one was rolling along shifting terrain.

The Pontiac Stinger concept car's Goodyear tires measured 295/55R16 in front, with equivalent-dimension 18-inchers at the rear. An attitude gyro on the instrument panel showed the degree of vehicle tilt, so you could restrain yourself from going past its logical limit. An electric compass proved handier yet when you wandered a little too far off the road.

A pneumatic system raised the Stinger up to four inches for off-roading -- part of the active suspension.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Pontiac's planners believed there was a definite market for a free-spirited, all-season Stinger-like vehicle, and that it could be profitable. They pointed to the success at the time of such vehicles as Suzuki's Samurai and Sidekick, Dodge's Raider, and similar products.

As was the fate of all concept cars, of course, whether production of anything like the 1989 Pontiac Stinger concept car would become a reality depended upon the whims of General Motors.

For 1989 Pontiac Stinger concept car specifications, go to the next page.

For more on concept cars and the production models they forecast, check out: