When the Oldsmobile Toronado made its debut in 1966, it was the first American car to feature front-wheel drive since the 1937 Cord. Adventuresome in its technology and design, the Toronado coupe was one of the most innovative cars ever produced by the now-defunct Oldsmobile division of General Motors.
The 1992 Toronado, the final version of the once-iconic car, was shorter and lighter than its predecessors. It was equipped with a fuel-injected, 3.8 liter, V6 engine. With front bucket seats and bench seating in the back, the Toronado seated five people. The 1992 model achieved 16 miles per gallon (mpg) on city streets and 24 mpg on the highway. From its inception, the Toronado was designed and built at Oldsmobile headquarters in Lansing, Michigan. The last iteration of the Toronado was a bland, boxy shadow of the first flamboyant model.
With a weight of more than 4,300 pounds, the 1966 Toronado could not be classified as a true sports vehicle, but its powerful V8 engine and 385 horsepower gave it the spirit of a classic 1960s muscle car. Its performance was enhanced by the placement of the big engine over the front wheels, allowing for optimal weight distribution. Models in the first Toronado generation easily accommodated six people in wide bench seats. Given its size and power, the early Toronado was a true gas guzzler, attaining approximately seven mpg in the city and 13 mpg on highways. Among the standard equipment on the first-generation cars were fully carpeted interiors, an electric clock, double-speed windshield washers and an enhanced courtesy lighting package. Chrome was abundant, appearing on windshield and window moldings, as well as on wheel trim. Hidden headlights augmented the Toronado's sleek, aerodynamic design.
Always known for luxurious appointments, the 1992 Toronado featured roomy bucket seats, some available in the Ultrasuede fabric. Radio and climate controls could be accessed from buttons on the steering wheel, a feature that was unique at the time. The Toronado was available with a moon roof. For the first time in several model years, buyers could opt for wire wheel covers.
The 1966 Toronado was an instant success among customers and critics. Nearly 41,000 sold during the first year of production. Acknowledging its innovative front-wheel drive construction, Motor Trend magazine presented the Toronado with its 1996 Car of the Year award. Car and Driver magazine named the vehicle as the Best Personal and Luxury Car of 1966. The Toronado even received accolades overseas, as it won third place honors in the 1966 European Car of the Year contention
... View more