A little history …
At the end of the years 1970, General Motor created the project P-Car for the design of a committee car with very high energetic efficiency. The project was entrusted to engineer Hulki Aldikacti (former collaborator of John Delorean). To fulfill the requirements of the project, the engineer would decide to use new technologies for the body such as SMC (Sheet Molded Compound) and the plastics which would reduce the weight of the new car and the most aerodynamic forms. The use of these new materials obliged the engineer to design a new platform of very precise manufacture: " mill-and-drill ". This technology used 39 drilling and grinding machines to make precise holes of the body with an accuracy of 1/64.
During all the development, the Aldikacti's team had more in the idea to design a sport and powerful car than a city car.
At mid-September 1984, Pontiac put on the market the only central engine car from mass production built by an American manufacturer. Produced at its factory of Michigan, it was propelled by a four-cylinder motor of 2.5 liters which can develop 92 HP. Provided with a manual 4 speeds transmission or, in option, an automatic 3 speeds transmission. Available in 3 models (coupe, coupe sport and SE) and 3 colors (red, black and silver). To this list, it is necessary to add the very limited version of Fiero Indy Pace Car available only in 2000 specimens. For this year, a total number of 136 840 units were produced.
In 1984, at the Fiero official presentation, the engineers revealed that a new engine, a V6 of 2.9 liters turbocharged developing 180 HP, would be available for the beginning of 1985.
In 1985, the model GT was added to the list of model and the white color was now part of the colors available for this year. Following the general criticism which denounced the lack of performance, a V6 of 2.8 liters 140HP would be available to mid 1985 (on the model GT and in option on model SE). A new transmission 5 speeds was now available for the four-cylinders motor. A total of 76 371 Fiero were produced for the year 1985.
The beginning of the year 1986 did not bring much of change, only a new color was added to the list: gold. The big change took place in the middle of this year: a new version of the model GT was presented at the specialized press. More known under the name of " fastback ", this model is much more sport that the preceding model. A rumour wants that at the time of the presentation to the specialized press, much of journalists believed that they were with the revealing of a new Corvette. At the end of this year, a new 5 speeds transmission was now available for the six-cylinders motor. A total of 83 969 cars were produced.
In 1987, Pontiac added 2 new colors: metal red and blue. It is also in 1987 that Pontiac offered the Fiero Mera in option. This model sold by Pontiac but converted by Corporate Concepts of Capac in Michigan used the platform GT and looked like a 308 Ferrari. In the same year, GM presented 4 places Fiero prototype. 46 579 Fiero were built this year (including 88 Fiero GT which were converted into Mera).
The best Fiero appeared in 1988. Direction, front and rear suspension and brakes were completely redrawn (a false rumour wanted that these changes had been made by Lotus division of General Motor). This new suspension using torsion bar, much more powerful brakes and more precise direction answered in the majority of criticisms made by the specialized press. Only 3 models were available this year (Coupe, GT and the new Formula) and 6 colors were available (red, white, black, silver, metal red and yellow). The option T-top, available since 1984, but installed by the company of Car and Concept, was now installed in factory. Mera, always available, 159 Fiero Formula were converted. During this year, Pontiac ceased offering the Mera option following an injunction emitted by Ferrari. Unfortunately, these improvements arrived too late, General Motor announced the stop of the production of Fiero. 26 395 Fiero were produced this year (including 159 Mera).
Officially, the uncrossing number of the production and the sales projected for 1989 caused the death of Fiero.
According to a rumour, the 180 HP engine V6 of 2.9 liters turbocharged which were supposed to be available in 1985 (and according to other sources, as of the first year of production), never saw the day under the strong pressures of Corvette division on the top management of GM.
For the 20th anniversarys of Pontiac Fiero, Classic Fiero Owners International (CFOGI) organized 3 days of festivities in 2003 of which several of our members assisted. Engineer Hulki Aldikacti was present and declared that Pontiac worked on the new Fiero 1989-1990, driven by an engine 3.4 dual twin-camwood 24 valves developing approximately 210HP. This new Fiero would have been comparable, from the point of view of power and performance, to the Corvette but at half price of it. He declared that Corvette division would have been informed of the project and would have made pressures to the Generel Motor's top management so that this new version is never born.
Unfortunately, General Motor has always presented Fiero as being an economic city car and not like a true sport car.
You can view a short video on the history of Pontiac (courtesy of Rogers TV for the Club FieroMontreal). The segment begins after the segment of the new Porsche and Formula 1 green. Here is the link to see: Pontiac history (french only)
You can consult the table of the production of Fiero 1984-1988