Vital Stats

Engine:
SC 6.2L V8
Power:
575 HP
Transmission:
6-Speed Manual
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Base Price:
$29,985 (plus donor car)
No, you didn't read our title wrong. This is a 2013 model year Trans Am, and yes, that is a Pontiac logo affixed to the front of the car. But don't bother dialing up your local General Motors dealership just yet. This is the new Hurst Edition Trans Am created by the Trans Am Depot located in Tallahassee, FL. Having spent a number of years restoring early Trans Am models, the crew at Trans Am Depot finally did what many Pontiac enthusiasts wish GM would have done – create a modern Trans Am using the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.

As the former owner of a 1977 model, I've been wanting to check out Trans Am Depot ever since I first saw the company have American Choppers build a trio of motorcycles inspired by its Pontiac remakes. So I jumped at the chance to head to Florida's capital city to visit the shop and drive its latest creation, the new Hurst Edition Trans Am. As a collaboration with Hurst, this car made its debut at the 2012 SEMA Show and then popped up again on our radar with a cheesy yet perfectly fitting video back in March.

Driving Notes
  • For this Quick Spin, I was in the black Hurst Edition SEMA car driving behind the gorgeous pearl white example seen here, and between their audacious styling and killer exhaust notes, people kept gawking at us – ok, the cars – as if we were the buxom, bikini-clad babe seen in the aforementioned video.
  • From a styling standpoint, this Trans Am is way more than just a body kit. Trans Am Depot has performed extensive changes to the Camaro's body to give it an appearance that closely resembles the 1977-78 Firebird, with unique front and rear fascias that include modern LED headlights and taillights, as well as era-appropriate down-turned quadruple exhaust outlets. Some of the minor alterations include detail work like adding front fender extractors, removing the Camaro's faux rear wheel vents and adding a little length to the tail section to give the Trans Am a flatter, more unique rear end. Hurst Edition cars are only offered in black, white and silver paint with the iconic shaker hood and Screaming Eagle, and the whole look is finished off with 20-inch, gold-accented honeycomb wheels.
  • As the hood scoop suggests, the Hurst Edition uses the same 6.2-liter V8 as the Camaro SS, and an optional supercharger boosted the power to 575 horsepower at the rear wheels on my test car. There is also a supercharger kit that delivers up to 720 hp, and if that still isn't enough, a twin-turbo kit is available offering 1,100 horses. With 575 hp, the Hurst Edition still has plenty of power to break the wheels lose even with StabiliTrak on, making me wonder how crazy the more powerful versions are. More impressive than the power from this V8 are the noises it makes. Under the hood, a muffled whine hints at the supercharger while the dual exhaust belts out an incredible note under full throttle.
  • Just like the extensive changes made to the car's styling, Trans Am Depot had done more than just dump a ton of extra power under the hood. A one-inch drop in the suspension helps tuck the staggered-width alloys into the wheel wells, while an Eibach sway bar upgrade should help give the heavy Camaro chassis a little more cornering bite. Sadly, I didn't have the chance to put the Hurst Edition T/A through any challenging handling exercises... it is Florida after all.
  • Inside, the Hurst Edition also gets an appropriately retro theme with repatterned seats, restyled instrument gauges and, naturally, a cue-ball short-throw Hurst shifter. The black-and-gold color scheme gives the cabin a classic look while carbon fiber accents on just about every surface adds modern panache with finishing touches like the billet sill plates and embroidered headrests.
  • My biggest disappointment about the interior – and perhaps the entire car itself – is a lack of the sparkly, machined-metallic-look gauge trim found on the dash of the late-'70s Firebirds. To me, this was as defining of an element as the Screaming Chicken for these old Pontiacs. What this car lacks in a single piece of '70s-era trim, though, it more than makes up for with its t-tops. Trans Am Depot used to farm out its T-tops, but has now since up with a proprietary design for improved style and function. GM, take note.
  • Now, turning your Camaro into a Trans Am is no cheap ordeal. If you have a donor fifth-gen Camaro and eight weeks to spare, Trans Am Depot will turn you out a base Hurst Edition starting at $29,985. This former SEMA queen came with some optional add-ons like the $10,550 supercharger kit and a stiff $7,500 for the t-tops.
  • While Trans Am Depot is limiting production of the Hurst Edition, it also offers the 7T7 model (on which the Hurst is based) with its '77 Trans Am styling, as well as the 6T9 built to look like the 1969 Trans Am and the 6T9 Goat styled after the 1969 GTO. And if, for some reason, you doubt just how much these guys love powerful Pontiacs, check out their daily drivers sitting out in front of the shop: a pair of rare Pontiac G8 GXP Firehawk sedans.


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  • 94 Comments
      tiguan2.0
      • 1 Year Ago
      OMG that is tacky and ugly
      breakfastburrito
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why on earth, would anyone buy a mis-proportioned knockoff of a classic musclecar for $40k+, when they can buy the original masterpiece, fully swapped to LSwhatever for less than $20k ?!
        kingrat001
        • 1 Year Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        Agreed, an old 2nd gen would be a vast improvement, looks wise, and with enough cash, be one great ride, but let's face facts, very few people will want to fix up an old car, they just won't. I doubt 20K would pay for the car and needed repairs, plus the LS swap.
        Tom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        Apparently you have not shopped for a good quality 70's Bird. A nice one can to be had for anything under 25-30k. Add a ls swap. now 40k. And in case no one else has shopped new car prices. One can hardly buy a New car for less then 40k
      NightFlight
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh. That outrageously fake carbon fiber dash trim looks like something you'd pick up on eBay for $10 to throw on your '95 Cavalier. Completely ruins the interior.
        subaski
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NightFlight
        Those rows of little rubber buttons really make it classy, though!
      protovici
      • 1 Year Ago
      The car still looks like it came out of a Terminator movie from the 80's.... But T-Tops, I would almost buy the car just for those.
      keet
      • 1 Year Ago
      they did a nice job on the front but i cant believe they made the already ugly chunky rear look even more ugly, and chunnky...! too bad they cant replicate the old Firebird/Trans Am's rear, wrap around glass, that would probably help a lot.
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      Even though Pontiac is gone, I wish they could find a way to bring back the Firebird Trans Am. It still seems strange having the Camaro, but no Firebird. I always thought of the Firebird as being the slightly cooler twin. The 1998 to 2002 WS6s and Firhawks were way cooler than any current Camaro of that time period. As a Trans Am, it was the favorite of the two in the late 70s and early 80s. The Firebird was an iconic car in its own respect, and it's too bad they can't find a way to bring it back. The only way I can ever see it happening is if they decided to resurrect Pontiac, which I doubt will ever happen.
      Nathan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yuck! Nuthin more to say.
        Ryth
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Nathan
        Agreed. Looks nothing like a Trans Am. Looks like a Camaro crapped out a replica with bad body work.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      FierySolstice
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a previous Camaro owner I'd welcome this design. Always loved Pontiacs over Chevys..
      JamesJ
      • 1 Year Ago
      I liked the ones they sowed in the mock up commercial that was showed here earlier. It had the hood in shape of the bird's wings. Pontiac was the one brand that had buyers lined up to purchase it. But GM said "it is not for sale" and then closed the door.
      bubba_roe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ill take mine in the cowboy hat, cowboy boots, exposed hairy chest Burt Rynolds edition.
      iratethecars
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, nice car Hurst! I'm diggin the carbon fiber dashboard inserts, not tacky or overused at all! Car Rating: 2/10
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