We have heard time and time again from uninformed gearheads that the Trans Am Worldwide modernized Trans Ams are nothing more than a dolled up Camaro, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. These Trans Ams might not come as such from GM, but they are probably more different than the 4th-generation Pontiac Trans Am when compared to the 4th-generation Chevy Camaro. Perhaps its a lack of understanding about the Trans Am Worldwide 455 Super Duty Trans Am that keeps this amazing machine from getting the credit it’s due.
The amazingly powerful 2017 455 Super Duty Trans Am is a design inspired by the SD-455 Trans Am that was introduced in the 1970s as a solution to plunging sales of the model. Pontiac gave the SD-455 a more powerful engine and optional beefy drivetrain, for what would end up being a limited, but exhilarating run of the mid-to-high 13-second car.
Using the same idea of giving the car more power and performance, Chief Designer and Engineer at Trans Am Worldwide, Tom Sawyer, brought the spirit of the Super Duty back on the Alpha platform Trans Am. The new model is a total re-design, not only from the Camaro, but the prior designs of the Trans Ams that has left the company’s production line in prior years. This car has new sleeker body lines with masculine proportions, and retro flavor. And while it’s a helluva looker, it also joins the very exclusive ranks of 1,000-horsepower performance packages out of the box.
Thanks to a three-way partnership between Trans Am Worldwide, Magnuson Supercharger, and an elite NASCAR engine builder out of Charlotte, NC, this model is able to produce 1,000-horsepower and 1,046 lbs-ft of torque. They are able to achieve this with an LT1 bored to a 455ci and 2.3L Magnuson blower. To stay true to the original limited production of the SD-455, only 50 of these monsters will ever see the light of day.
Shawn Henry is a Texas native who has spent the majority of his career building and selling F-Bodies and Corvettes. Now studying journalism, he is taking a new direction with his love of GM Performance vehicles.