The Pontiac Piranha Was A Supercharged Coupe Concept With Coach Doors

Despite having identical names, the 2000 Pontiac Piranha concept is not the same as the 1998 Pontiac Sunfire Piranha concept. Yet, it's very similar in that it used the same platform as the Sunfire and Chevy Cavalier (via Car and Driver).

This Piranha appeared at the 92nd annual Chicago Auto Show in 2000 (via Chicago Auto Show), and was aimed squarely at the active lifestyle crowd. Pontiac's promo video shows lots of people doing all kinds of fun outdoor activities like skateboarding, surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and skiing. It was to be a weird hybrid mix of a vehicle that combined the looks of a dune buggy, with the functionality of a truck, powered by a supercharged sports car engine.

The sporty little Pontiac was packed with some unique, chameleon-like abilities. On the inside, stretchable fabric door panels could be removed (via zippers) and changed out for ones with a different color (via Jalopnik). The seats looked every bit like mesh deck chairs because they were easy to fold up, remove, and use on the beach (or wherever you fancied). A canvass material "roof" could be unzipped and pushed aside to let the sun shine through, and a roof rack could be added to hold skis, kayaks, or snowboards (via Pontiac).

This Piranha had bite

The back of the car was supposed to be like a Swiss Army Knife. Lifting the removable rear hatch revealed a storage tub, part of which could be used separately as a cooler (complete with a drain plug), and — shocker — taken out and hauled off to the nearest party. Speaking of parties, a removable CD player/boom box (via Mac's Motor City Garage) was also standard equipment.

The bottom portion of the rear hatch could be dropped like a truck's tailgate and extended. Once the tub was out, the cargo area boasted 58.2 cubic feet of storage space (via Chicago Auto Show). This concept also had two small, almost hidden coach doors (aka "suicide doors") that swung backward to give passengers a little bit more room to get in and out.

The powerhouse for the front-wheel drive Piranha was a supercharged GM 2.2-liter Ecotec, 16-valve four-cylinder engine kicking out 212 horsepower (via Jalopnik), hooked to a 5-speed automatic transmission (via Chicago Auto Show).

While the plan was to start manufacturing the car for the 2002 model year, Pontiac never gave it the green light to go into production (via Car and Driver). This Pontiac concept was trying to be all the things to all the people, but instead sent people running (or swimming, as it were) like piranhas were chasing them.