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2000s American Sports Coupes: Icons You Forgot About

American sports coupes from the 2000s hold a special place in automotive history. These cars combined stylish designs with thrilling performance, creating memorable driving experiences. Let’s take a nostalgic look at eight of the coolest American sports coupes from this era that you might have forgotten about!

1. Dodge Stratus RT Coupe

Dodge Stratus RT Coupe
Dodge Stratus RT Coupe

In 2001, Dodge replaced the Avenger coupe with the Stratus Coupe, a stylish two-door that shared its platform and engines with the sporty Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Borrowing design cues from the mighty Dodge Viper, the Stratus Coupe featured a bold crosshair grill and swept-back elliptical headlights. The performance-oriented RT models boasted a turbocharged engine with a muscular 3L V6, delivering 205 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque.

The Stratus Coupe provided satisfying thrills, with power channeled to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. This combination propelled the coupe from 0 to 60 in 7.4 seconds, with the quarter mile disappearing in 15.7 seconds. Production of the Stratus Coupe ended in 2005.

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2. Saturn ION Red Line

Saturn ION Red Line
Saturn ION Red Line

As the performance variant of the Saturn Ion compact car, the Red Line was General Motors’ first foray into high-performance offerings on the GM Delta platform. Designed to be unassuming yet powerful, the Red Line was equipped with a supercharged 2L DOHC LSJ inline-4 engine, producing 205 to 236 horsepower.

This engine was later used in the Chevy Cobalt SS, but the Red Line first brought this thrilling performance to the streets.

The Red Line stood out with its unique styling, featuring mini suicide rear doors and a factory body kit. Despite its comparable power to the Dodge Neon SRT-4, the Saturn Ion, including the Red Line edition, was discontinued in 2007.

3. Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

The sixth generation Monte Carlo SS, introduced for the 2000 model year, marked the final chapter for this coupe. This generation saw the Monte Carlo adopt more aggressive styling, reflecting the era’s design trends. From 2000 to 2004, the SS packed a 3.8L L36 V6 with 200 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque.

A supercharged version of the same engine, the L67, was offered from 2004 to 2005, boosting output to 240 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.

The 2006 to 2007 models boasted a 5.3L LS4 V8, unleashing 303 horsepower and 323 lb-ft of torque, propelling the coupe from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds. Production for this generation concluded in 2007, ending the Monte Carlo’s journey.

4. Pontiac G6 GXP Coupe

Pontiac G6 GXP Coupe
Pontiac G6 GXP Coupe

Introduced in 2004 as a midsize car, the Pontiac G6 replaced the Grand Am. In 2008, Pontiac introduced the GXP trim, featuring a 3.6L V6 engine that churned out 252 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque, paired with GM’s Hydra-Matic 6T70 6-speed automatic transmission.

The GXP also boasted a performance-tuned suspension, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and specific exterior and interior enhancements.

It went from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds. The GXP Coupe even offered a special Street Edition package with dual hood scoops and an exclusive spoiler. Despite its subjective styling, the GXP Coupe delivered power and performance, making it a memorable addition to the Pontiac lineup.

5. Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe

Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe

Launched in the twilight years of the Pontiac brand, the Solstice GXP Coupe was produced briefly from 2009 to 2010. Built on the GM Kappa platform at the Wilmington Assembly Plant in Delaware, the GXP variant boasted a turbocharged 2L LNF inline-4 engine, delivering 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

This powertrain enabled the GXP Coupe to sprint from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds. Despite its performance prowess, the Solstice GXP Coupe’s journey was cut short by GM’s bankruptcy, leading to the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand. Only about 1,266 Solstice Coupes were produced, making the GXP Coupes even rarer.

6. Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo

Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo
Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo

Introduced in the second quarter of 2008, this model was part of the broader Cobalt SS series produced from 2005 to 2010. The Cobalt SS Turbo boasted a powerful 2L LNF turbocharged engine, delivering 260 horsepower and allowing the coupe to sprint to 60 in just 5.5 seconds.

It ran the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds. In October 2009, GM introduced a Stage 1 kit that increased capacity to 290 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque.

Despite its late arrival, the Cobalt SS Turbo received acclaim for its performance and handling, with some even calling it a potential future classic.

7. Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO
Pontiac GTO

The fifth-generation Pontiac GTO, produced from 2004 to 2006, marked the return of an American muscle icon after a 30-year hiatus.

This revival was a collaborative effort between General Motors and its Australian subsidiary Holden, resulting in a vehicle that blended modern engineering with classic muscle car ethos. The fifth-gen GTO was essentially a rebranded Holden Monaro, equipped with powerful V8 engines: the 5.7L LS1 and the 6L LS2, delivering up to 400 horsepower.

Despite its performance and nostalgia, the fifth-gen GTO faced criticism for its subdued styling compared to its flamboyant predecessors. Nevertheless, it served as a fitting tribute to the GTO legacy, offering a pure rear-wheel-drive experience with a manual transmission option.

8. Chrysler Crossfire SRT6

Chrysler Crossfire SRT6
Chrysler Crossfire SRT6

Developed during the merger of Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz, the Crossfire SRT6 is a rear-wheel-drive, two-seat sports car sharing 80% of its components with the first-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK. The concept car was showcased at the 2001 North American International Auto Show, with the production version unveiled at the 2002 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The SRT6 variant, known for its high performance, was launched in 2005 as both a coupe and a roadster. Under the hood, it boasted a Mercedes-AMG 3.2L supercharged V6 engine, delivering 330 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

This potent engine propelled the Crossfire SRT6 from 0 to 60 in just 4.8 seconds. Unfortunately, this coupe existed for only two years, with about 2,471 units produced.

These eight sports coupes from the 2000s showcased the innovative spirit and performance prowess of American car manufacturers during that era. They remain cherished by enthusiasts and collectors, serving as a testament to a unique period in automotive history.

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