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Pontiac Astre

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Pontiac Astre GT.jpg
Pontiac Astre
Pontiac
aka
Production 1975-1977
Class Subcompact
Body Style 2-Door Coupe, 3-Door Hatchback, 3-Door Wagon
Length length - type here
Width Width - type here
Height Height - type here
Wheelbase 97"
Weight 2500-2800 lbs
Transmission 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 2.3L (140 cid) I4 (1975-1977)
2.5L (151 cid) I4 (1977)
Power 72-90 hp @ N/A rpm
N/A lb-ft of torque @ N/A rpm
Similar similar (competition)
Designer Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)

The Pontiac Astre was introduced in the United States in September 1974 as a 1975 model. It had been in production in Canada for two years by then, starting as a 1973 model in 1972. Pontiac's version of the Chevrolet Vega was offered as a Notchback, Hatchback and Safari Wagon models. Astre Panel Delivery was also offered, only in 1975. SJ models (hatchback and wagon) are luxuriously appointed. GT models (hatchback and wagon) and 'Lil Wide Track' and Formula (hatchbacks) offered a choice of sporty models.

The Astre was produced through 1977. Vega's aluminum-block 2.3L L4 engine was Astre's powertrain in 1973-1976. For Astre's final year, it has Pontiac's own cast-iron 2.5L L4, known as the "Iron Duke".

A unique Lil Wide Track package was offered in 1975. It included a front air dam, rear spoiler, appliance wire mag rims, window louvers, a chrome exhaust tip, and bright stripe decals for the hood, body sides, rear spoiler, door handles, and wheel centers. The package added a little over $400 to the price of the Astre but dealers felt the difference in looks was worth the price. Production was switched from an old warehouse in suburban Detroit to a factory beside the Lordstown Ohio GM plant where the Astre and Vega were made. An estimated 3000 Lil Wide track Astres were ordered by dealerships and eventually the package components were offered as a dealer installed kit. For its final year, the 1977 Astre featured Pontiac's own 151 cu in (2.5 L) 'Iron-Duke' inline-4 and received a facelift with a new vertical design split grill, Aluminum wheels (13") was a new option. Astre Formula was introduced, which included the handling package, chrome valve cover, three-piece spoiler, Formula T/A steering wheel and special decals.

Car and Driver in a 1977 Astre road test, said, "The Astre is the Vega-polished and refined and significantly improved, but still a Vega in perhaps its ultimate state of development..It remained for Pontiac to do what Chevrolet probably should have done in the first place: the substitution of the marvelous old Chevy II cast-iron four-cylinder econo-motor for the much-troubled aluminum-block Vega engine..."


See the Chevrolet Vega entry for further comments about the Pontiac Astre.

See Wikicars' comprehensive Pontiac Astre Review.

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