“Enter the realm of the senses”
The 6000 STE was Pontiac’s 1980s attempt to make a car that could effectively compete with the BMWs and Audis of the age. Of course, Pontiac had been trying to do this for at least a decade, including two different generations of the Grand Am (1973-1975 and 1978-1980). Though hampered by the fundamental constraints of the front wheel drive A-platform, the 6000 STE was still a reasonably impressive try.
For 1983, the 6000 STE’s power was provided by GM’s Chevrolet-built corporate “High Output” LH7 2-barrel carbureted 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor, rated at a respectable for the era 135 bhp, but the only transmission available was (oog) a three-speed automatic. 0-60 came in about 9 seconds in the 3,000-pound car. Mileage was 19 city/24 highway by the standards of the day (17/22 by today’s standards). With the rather small 13-gallon gas tank, range was an unimpressive 230 to 250 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.
Improvements over the standard Pontiac 6000 (and the other A-platform cars—the Buick Century, the Chevrolet Celebrity, and the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera) included a special steering rack and suspension tuning with a self-leveling rear air suspension. Four halogen headlamps paired with two inboard driving lamps gave the 6000 STE a distinctive and relatively unique face. Power steering, four-wheel disc brakes, and 195/70R14 Goodyear Eagle GT tires (a size still readily available) on aluminum wheels were also standard on the 6000 STE.
The 6000 STE came comfortably equipped by for a sedan in 1983. Standard features included air conditioning, rear window defroster, power door locks, power windows, power mirrors, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, rally gauges, 45/45 bucket seats, and an AM/FM stereo cassette. The only significant option available was a $295 sunroof.
In 1983, 6,719 buyers paid around $13,572 (about $34,000 in 2018 dollars) for a 6000 STE and it managed to make Car and Driver‘s 10Best Cars that year and the two following.
6000STE’s only occasionally show up in either the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or eBay Motors, and when they do they are often not in the greatest of shape. Please make mine the same two-tone as there is in the brochure picture above.
Updated December 2018.