SEMA 2017: Trans Am Worldwide Shows Off Super Duty ‘Bird

Can you believe that the Trans Am has been gone for 15 years now? That blows our minds. The Trans Am was one of the coolest cars to ever roll off GM’s assembly lines and it has been sorely missed ever since 2002. Luckily for us, in that absence, Trans Am Worldwide has stepped up to bring the Trans Am back from the grave like a phoenix rising from the ashes (had to).

You may remember the Outlaw, a version of the Trans Am originally built on a fifth-gen Camaro chassis. They were very popular and even endorsed by The Bandit himself. And though Trans Am Worldwide did a bang-up job replicating what they thought GM may have done had the Trans Am returned with the Camaro in 2010, we always felt like the proportions of the Zeta chassis didn’t exactly lend themselves to the sleek Trans Am we remember—but that has all changed with the Alpha platform.

Trans Am Worldwide debuted their brand new Outlaw and, more importantly, their Super Duty at this year’s SEMA show. Both, built on the new Alpha architecture are stunning and were a crowd favorite of the media and attendees alike. The slimmer Alpha platform lends itself well to the gorgeous sculpted lines Trans Am Worldwide has designed into the car.

Every body panel on the car has been reimagined with the only pieces being shared with the Camaro are mostly structural pieces such as the roof and rear quarter. Other than that, every panel on the car has been reworked and replaced with light weight carbon fiber. Not only does that make the Trans Am more durable than its Camaro brother, it makes it lighter as well.

The front facia on TAW’s Trans Ams is gorgeous, turning the Camaro’s unassuming face into an avian-influenced scowl. A functional shaker hood scoop has been grafted to the car and is flanked by the iconic Screaming Chicken. Beneath that shaker is a Magnuson Heartbeat supercharger stuffing 14 pounds of boost down the throat of a 455 cubic inch Gen V LT—at least, in the case of the Super Duty—which produces a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 1,046 lb-ft of torque. On the Outlaw, the car is available in three stages ranging from 602 horsepower up to 775.

And though the shaker doesn’t serve as an inlet for the motor, it does function as a heat extractor for the supercharger. The Brembo brakes manning all four corners have been improved as well, now measuring in at 380mm all the way around, they are reigned in by six-piston calipers up front and four at the rear. The car has also been lowered 1 inch and the sway bars have been upgraded ensuring that it lives up to the Trans Am nomenclature—and give the car an aggressive stance in the process.

At the rear, Trans Am inspired taillights dominate the rear valence and fit the car perfectly. A custom rear deck lid spoiler, combined with a carbon fiber diffuser and quad stacked exhaust tips, give no inkling that this car was ever anything other than a bird of prey. The Super Duty and Outlaw are both available with T-tops, because every Trans Am should have T-tops. They are perfectly executed and don’t look like an afterthought as many do. The inserts for the roof are also carbon fiber, ensuring no additional weight was added.

Inside, both cars sport embroidered head rests, seat backs, and floor mats, while the Super Duty sports Screaming Chicken door inlays, which we thought were a nice touch. The SD also includes a numbered gauge cluster package, custom painted door sill plates and other one-off touches.

The wheels are really the icing on the cake for both the Outlaw and the Super Duty. The Outlaw’s were obviously inspired by the iconic second-gen snowflake wheel design, though they have been modernized and measure in at 20X10 and 20X11 front and rear, respectively. They’re shod in Goodyear Eagle 285/35ZR 20 rubber at the front and 305/35ZR20s at the rear. For the Super Duty, the wheels and tires are the same size but the rubber is bumped up to a Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tire and sport a unique Super-Duty-inspired look.

Both the Super Duty and Outlaw are are available for 2018, but only 50 Super Duties will be manufactured. Anyone lucky enough to land one of these special editions ‘Birds will be able to obliterate Demons with ease. For the Outlaw, TAW says they will make as many as are demanded. After seeing these two beauties up close and personal, we have to admit they are admirable spiritual successors to the original F-body Trans Am. If anyone from GM is reading this, take notes.

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About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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