Fiero is Spanish for “wild” and that is what the Pontiac Fiero is all about. Considered radical for its time, the mid-engined Fiero was the first and only mass produced sports car by an American automaker. It is also the first two-seater car produced by Pontiac since its 1938 coupe models. Though this model was only sold for 5 years, it had a sweet and successful run. In fact, it has gained a cult following even until today with many people considering it as a collectible. Here’s a quick look at the Pontiac Fiero, including its transformations and success through the years.
Designing a wild car
Made by Pontiac division of General Motors from 1984 to 1988, the Fiero was designed by George Milidrag and Hulki Aldikacti. Initially, the management at General Motors was against making a new two-seater sports car that would compete with the Chevrolet Corvette. However, the oil crisis at that time proved to be a great opportunity for the company to release a sporty yet fuel-efficient commuter car. This paved the way for the Fiero to emerge and it used a fuel-efficient version of the 2.5 L four-cylinder Iron Duke engine. It also had a mid-engine layout, hidden headlights, and unique styling, which made it look more exotic and appealing.
1984: Releasing fierceness
Production of the Fiero began in 1983 and it was sold immediately a year after in four trims—base, 2M4, SE and Indy. In 1984, it was part of Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list and it also beat out the Chevrolet Corvette as the Official Pac Car of the Indianapolis 500. Because of this, a limited edition Indy Pace Car edition was released in the market and over 2,000 units of this car were sold.
1985: GT model
The GT model of the Pontiac Fiero was introduced to the market in 1985. It looked much like the 1984 Indy model and its engine received upgrades due to insistent public demand. It was also powered by a 2.8 L Chevrolet V6 engine, which could churn out up to 140 hp.
1986: Fastback roofline
In 1986, the market welcomed the fastback roofline in Pontiac Fieros. This look was designed by Berton Italian Autos. Upon first look, it would be easy to mistake the Fiero for a Chevrolet Corvette save for its unique body style.
1987: Front and rear
The Base coupe of the 1987 model was furnished with different kinds of upgrades both at the front and rear. This includes non-aero noses, which made the car look smooth.
1988: Last year
On its last year, the Fiero received more changes and upgrades. In a span of five years, 370,168 Fieros were produced by Pontiac. However, it wasn’t shy of criticisms for having some performance, reliability, and safety issues.