That’s interesting. As much as I’m a “Fiero Fan”, I don’t ever recall hearing about the 2+2 version.
The bean counters at GM have unfortunately killed many good ideas, they were obviously on vacation when the mid engine corvette went from design to production.
I always thought that they got this car 100% backwards. They should have first released a turbo V6 (ala Typhoon) first, priced it high, and only then sold the low performance 4 cylinder model that caused the Fiero to be considered a secretary car.
But GM wasn’t known for marketing prowess in the 80’s, was it?
The author claims to be a Pontiac guy, but yet based on this article… I don’t believe he’s ever driven a Fiero. The biggest issue for tall people is not needing more room, it’s just getting in and out of such a small/low car. Once inside it is very roomy…much more so than a Corvette from the same time period. Also, while the Quad4 had more HP, it was higher up in the rpm band, as was torque, which wasn’t that great anyhow, so the V6 would probably still have been the better choice for daily driving situations.
The bummer was the 2.8 V6 was a horrible engine that through crank bearings at high RPM. I had a couple of these and spun the bottom end three times. I was told by the parts store that they “guaranteed the replacement cranks were built just as bad as the original.” He said the oil journals were engineered so oil was pushed back against itself.
If I had held onto my Fieros they would have received a 3.8L. That was a GREAT motor and should have been in the Fiero GT from day one.
As far as marketing them I thought they did great. I remember the wait list for these. A friend had one of the first 4-cylinder cars when I was in high school… What a fun car! GM is known for building performance cars that average people can’t afford (like the SSR, Sky/Solstice) and forgetting to build basic models to pay the bills.
I’m 6’3" and drove a 2.8-liter Fiero on several occasions because my brother owned one, so yes, the author has driven a Fiero. I owned a 2.8-liter V-6 for years. Its low-end torque wasn’t anything to write home about and its power was completely underwhelming. I think a higher-revving engine with 30-percent more power would have been a welcome addition to the Fiero lineup.
The 3.8L V-6 would have made for an excellent engine option for Fiero, no wonder it’s such a popular swap.
Yes, GM can’t pick a true winner.
They chose the Aztec over the awesome Chevy Nomad 1999 concept car.https://www.supercars.net/blog/1999-chevrolet-nomad-concept/
Knew a lot of people with various cars running the 2.8, and none had issues with spun rod bearings, but anything can happen when running an engine harder/faster than it was meant to be.
As for the 3.8?!?! The original (non turbo as in GN, GNX, T-type, etc.) had terrible reliability issues with rod knock, thrown rods, etc., the transverse model had timing chain issues, which then bent all the exhaust valves, the gen 2 and newer had intake manifold issues (plastic with hot egr going into it), that would dump all the coolant into the engine, and later down the road after repairs caused complete engine failure due to shaft breakage. So yeah, you and the author can love your 3.8, but I would keep the 2.8, or do a V8 conversion.
Well then you should know that there was plenty of room for long legs, maybe a little tight width wise, but still way better than a C3 or C4. I’ll agree on the Quad4 for the 2 seater with a 5 speed, but not if they made it bigger and heavier with 4 seats, or with an automatic, there I believe the 6 was still the better choice. Had too many problems with the 3.8, so I would never have another…for me a V8 Fiero is my choice (and most GM V8s have been done over the years, so the choice is nearly endless).
My brother has an 88 GT with the 4.9 Cadillac V-8 and he sold both of his corvettes because the Fiero was so much faster and better handling.
The supercharged 3.8 from a Buick park avenue is a amazing engine swap too
GM killed the Fiero because installing a more powerful engine would have made it better than the corvette , that plus they kept raising the price , In 84 it was $7k, by 1988 it was $14k, the same price as the a trans Am sitting next to it in the showroom .
GM has revived the Fiero with a V-8 , they are calling it the new Corvette .
This car has some great lines and proportions. A little 21st century update to the front and rear and it could be seen as a current model.
It seems that the problem with the Fire wasn’t that GM killed it “just when it started to get good” but that GM killed it when they saddled it with their less-than-stellar powertrains. Maybe the ultimate would have been the Fiero body and the MR2 powertrain. (Back in the day, I preferred the Fiero over the MR2 on styling alone.)
It might be fun to talk about what the best engine swap might be. Maybe one of the many 2.0T motors–keep it much lighter than a big V6 or V8 and have 250+ HP on tap.
I was a second generation GM customer and walked away from the Company because of its inadequate product judgment and unrealistic pricing strategy. When they dropped both the Oldsmobile line and the Pontiac line I was through.
The Company is interested in profits first, stockholder yield next, and the buyer is in third place.
The article says that the fastback was added in 1987, but I remember driving a GT in 1986.
The 1988s are doing well on BaT.
Fires. One would want to practice quick rear seat exits.
Fastbacks came late in 1986 model year production, so '86 1/2.
That makes sense. I remember in 1986, I was 19. A friend and I happened to stop in at a Pontiac dealership. They were unloading a GT off the truck as we pulled up. I remember the model year being '86, but that was a long time ago. It could easily have been an '86.5. They actually let us take it out for a test drive.
We didn’t completely “thrash” it, but we didn’t go easy on it, either. It was an absolute kick to drive! That convinced me that I want to own one of those someday. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that I ever will.
I won’t say never, though. It’s just tough to find more garage space!
If the Fiero had a power steering option, GM would have sold thousands of them in 88.
I just happen to own a 1986 late run Fiero GT that I have been driving for 10-years, and still loving it. It had all the up-grades for '87, but I installed polyethylene bushings through out, custom sway-bars and 1-1/2" Eibach lowering springs. I ran the stock 2.8 until I got tired of the gutless power, and did a 3.4 ltr swap, which made it able to keep up with other cars on the road. After four years of that, I upgraded to a 2003 Bonneville L67 3800sc swap. Now I own and drive what I call my quasi super car, because now with 280hp, super torque engine in a 2800# car, it will now pretty much out perform any car on the road. I’ve owned and built many muscle cars and hot rods, and driven most everything down through the years, and my Fiero is the only one that seems to become an extension of myself when I’m in it. It’s roomy, comfortable, and just simply limitless fun to drive. Just going to the grocery store is a blast. I get attention wherever I go, and endless compliments. If GM would have let Hulki Aldikacti, build it like it was designed, it very well might still be in production today. I have only a little over $5k invested in my Fiero and have a show winning quasi super car, that beats most of the super expensive sports cars of the day.
My first “nice” car was a ‘84 SE, red, tan interior, upgraded alloy wheels, with an automatic. At the time (1988), I was just happy enough to own a sporty red car that was only 4 years old. The word was out by then that ‘88 would be the last year and resale values were taking a beating. So, this was the only car in it’s class that fell in my price range. The fact that it was so slow made it acceptable as a daily driver for a 17 year old boy’s parents. It was slow, but the “iron duke” could take the teenage boy abuse and never seemed to care. The only issue that I recall was that, in the summer, the starter would randomly overheat when the car was warm and need 10-15 minutes to cool down before it would restart. After all these years, I still like them, but I likely won’t be buying another one; “getting scary close to 50 year old” me would not like “crawling” in and out of one these days! As far as the 2.8 V6, we had a bunch of them in S-10s and Blazers and never had any problems with them outside of a few oil leaks at higher mileage. If taken care of, they seemed to be a good engine for us.