In the belly of the fish
2000 Pontiac Piranha concept seatThe sports-theme carries into the interior. The Piranha’s seats have cast magnesium frames for strength and weight-savings. That makes them easy to carry since all four are removable and designed to serve as beach chairs. The seatbelt design was styled after the harnesses and buckles used by rock climbers.

Not stopping there, the steering wheel is mountain bike-inspired, and materials throughout the cabin are reminiscent of spots gear, primarily spandex.

Yes, spandex covers the instrument panel, parts of the doors, and even the cupholders. The material on the instrument panel and the door is removable via zippers to allow for some customization (and cleaning, I would imagine).

The cupholders aren’t hard-sided but instead are just a slit in a spandex covering. The opening expands enabling it to snugly-fit a wide variety of drink containers. (There’s a picture in the gallery that may make that clearer.)

2000 Pontiac Piranha concept dash

Notice the bike handle, brake-like lever on the passenger’s door. I didn’t find anything specific on it but I’d assume it’s the door release. (Again, better pictures in the gallery.)

2000 Pontiac Piranha concept sunroof open and closedSomething else you will see in the interior pictures, like the one above, are an exposed frame and weld points. To me, it appeared overlooked at first but then it occurred to me that they are probably meant to mimic a bike frame or exercise equipment.

There are some other interesting things about Piranha, for instance its floors are rubber to allow for “easy hose-out cleaning,” according to some Pontiac literature.

Another neat feature is the crank-operated fabric roof panel that opens not front to back, but down the middle, side-to-side. It’s probably better understood in the picture to the left.

Those four metallic points outside of the fabric panel are part of a pop-up roof rack system. Those receivers pop up and rods, that are stored in the door sills, are inserted horizontally.

2000 Pontiac Piranha concept engineOf course, coming from Pontiac, another question is: what’s under the hood?

Remember, Pontiac described this car as “a small package with a big bite.” No V-8 here. Not even a V-6. But you will find a version of GM’s Ecotec 2.2-liter, 16-valve 4-cylinder. According to GM, the supercharged motor produced 212 HP (at 5,900 RPM) and 203 pound-feet of torque (at 4,600 RPM).

The concept is equipped with an AISIN five-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and sends its power to the front wheels–only.

2000 Pontiac Piranha concept interior compareOne last thing I’d like to show you is a set of two pictures that I had to look at for a little bit before I could figure out the difference between them.

That’s these two to the left. It shows off a feature that I didn’t see described in any literature.

This is a small version and there is a larger version in the gallery, but I thought it would be fun to see if you can spot the difference.

[Thanks to General Motors Company for the facts, quotes and photos, and permission to display the photos in this post.]

Continue below to the photo gallery.

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