The chassis mainly resembles a 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird but it has double taillights instead of single ones, giving the rear end a similar appearance to Cadillacs from the early '60s (1961, 1963). The headlights are loosely based from a 1966 or 1967 Pontiac GTO with bigger lights and somewhat altered headlight bezels to fit into the styling of the mid-1950s era; there are other vehicles with similar headlights but they still look closer to the Pontiac's.
The Peyote is available in coupe and convertible forms, as well as occasionally appearing with a continental kit (a rear-mounted spare tire), or tiger/zebra skin patterns on the seats and a pair of black fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror. The badging on sides read "V10 supercharged", but the engine actually has eight cylinders. The Peyote in GTA Chinatown Wars is permanently depicted as a softtop coupe with a continental kit.
The performance of the Peyote in GTA IV is below average in comparison to other cars of similar size in the game, however it tops the top speed leaderboard for the "vintage" class in a multiplayer Race. The vehicle suffers from an underpowered engine that is unable to provide both good acceleration and top speed (145 km/h (90 mph)). Its long wheelbase and small tires also result in poor cornering and stability, often requiring the aid of the handbrake to make moderately sharp turns. At its top speed the Peyote handles badly but if turned just slightly it will not spin.
The most severe criticism of the Peyote is its brakes. ABS is fitted, but instead of locking up, the brakes are absurdly weak. Minor use when in motion is acceptable, but attempting to bring the car to a halt can be difficult. When braking downhill (such as exiting off-ramps), the driver learns to stand on the brakes for quite a distance before the desired stopping point.