Friday, January 04, 2013

Found in the Yard: The Real Plastic Fantastic

It could be arguably said that overzealous cost-cutting and the Chevrolet Corvette killed the Fiero. Of course there are always many factors to a car's demise but relentless bean counting measures and the infamous internal GM mandate that nothing can be faster than the Corvette, certainly kept the little Fiero from being all it could be. 

Now THERE'S an engine befitting a true sportscar.
Today's featured car is a 1987 Pontiac Fiero with a 5-speed manual and the ridiculously outdated and underpowered robust "Iron Duke" 2.5 liter four cylinder. The Duke was a pushrod engine that hated to rev and wheezed out about 85 horsepower. Not exactly the stuff of dreams. Early Fieros were saddled with four speed manuals and old Citation suspension bits because GM was originally selling these mid-engine two seaters as "commuter cars." 

Naturally, in 1988 after Pontiac revised the suspension and added a V6 to the roster, GM decided to shut down production completely. The Fiero's stunted growth and ability to swallow 5.7 liter V8's with ease leave it as one of the greatest "what if's" in modern GM history. The 3.4 liter quad cam V6 would have also made an interesting performer out of the Fiero. The world will never know.

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