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CATEGORIES (articles) > Donor Car Information > Pontiac > Pontiac Fiero history from 1984 to 1988

Pontiac Fiero history from 1984 to 1988

The Pontiac Fiero was a mid-engine sports car built by the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors from 1984 to 1988.

Pontiac Fiero
Manufacturer: General Motors
Production: 1984 – 1988
Class: Sports car
Body Styles: 2-door fastback
2-door notchback
Engines: GM 2.8 L V6
GM 2.5 L straight-4
Length: 4072 mm (160.3 in)
Width: 1750 mm (68.9 in)
Height: 1191 mm (46.9 in)
Curb weight: 1176 kg (2590 lb)
Successor: none
Shares components with: T-bodies, X-bodies
Similar models: Fiat X1/9
Toyota MR2
This article is part of the automobile series.

Brief history

The Fiero was designed by Hulki Aldikacti as a fuel-efficient commuter car. The public, however, had other ideas for the only mid-engined car ever mass produced in North America. The Fiero was also the first two seater Pontiac ever made. The Fiero was modified slightly, borrowing many parts, into a performance vehicle. The sports car potential of this car was greatly reduced due to cost-cutting however, and came under fire from critics—its publicity did not match its initial performance. By the end of production, the Fiero had received updated suspension and body styling, but kept a limited offering of engines—the use of turbochargers or the newer DOHC straight-4 engines never made it to production. Officially, production ended due to insufficient profits.

Budget constraints on Pontiac forced them to borrow parts from other product lines. For example, some of the front suspension was taken from the Chevrolet Chevette (the rear being partially from the GM X-body cars). GM technicians blamed these borrowed parts on the engine fires (which was not entirely true) that resulted from a number of mechanical design flaws. Rapid market saturation combined with a commuter car unequipped with power steering, as well as the sudden onslaught of foreign competitors like the Toyota MR2 and the Fiat X1/9 quickly doomed the Fiero.

The Fiero has a strong following of owners and customizers today. Due to an abundance of replacement parts available from other General Motors vehicles, there are many upgrades that can be done to improve performance and reliability of the cars. Additionally, a multitude of different General Motors engines have been installed by enthusiasts, from the Quad-4 engine to the Chevrolet small-block V8.

The Fiero 2M4 was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1984.

A large following of owners still exists with many web pages, groups, and clubs devoted to the car.



All automatic-equipped Fieros were equipped with the TH125 three-speed with torque converter lockup.

Automatic Transmission Final Drive Ratios:

  • L4
    • 1984-1986: 3.18
    • 1987-1988: 2.84
  • V6
    • 1984-1986: 3.06
    • 1987-1988: 3.33


All 4-speed manual transmissions were built at the Muncie, Indiana Allison plant. The 1984 production line saw two transmissions, a performance 4-speed with a final drive ratio of 4.10, and an economy 4-speed with a final drive ratio of 3.32. The V6 on the 1985 model and part of the 1986 production year came with a 4-speed with a final drive ratio of 3.65.


Isuzu and Getrag-produced 5-speed transmissions were available, depending on model and equipment. The Getrag is generally accepted to be the stronger one, but both are used without failure on high torque V8 engine swaps.

Manual transmission gear ratios

Year Style Code Axle 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th rev.
1984 econo 4 speed MY8 3.32 3.53 1.95 1.24 0.73 -- 3.42
1984 perf 4 speed M19 4.10 3.53 1.95 1.24 0.81 -- 3.42
1985 V6 4 speed M17 3.65 3.31 1.95 1.24 0.81 -- 3.42
1985 4cyl 5 speed MT2 3.35 3.73 2.04 1.45 1.03 0.74 3.50
1986 V6 4 speed M17 3.65 3.31 1.95 1.24 0.81 -- 3.42
1986 V6 5 speed MG2 3.61 3.50 2.05 1.38 0.94 0.72 3.41
1988 4cyl 5 speed MT2 3.35 3.73 2.04 1.45 1.03 0.74 3.50
1988 V6 5 speed MG2 3.61 3.50 2.05 1.38 0.94 0.72 3.41

Production years


1984 was the first production year for the Pontiac Fiero, which began production in August 1983 for the 1984 model year. The year was also critically condemned for producing underpowered commuter cars. In an effort to sell the car as being economically sensible, GM equipped and sold the Fiero as a commuter car but the marketing build up leading to initial release indicated anything but a regular commuter car. The car also proved uncomfortable for some drivers due to the lack of power steering, a fact Toyota picked up on and quickly retrofitted its MR2 line to have (the Fiero never did have a power steering equipped production car).

The 1984 was the only year in which the Limited "Indy 500" edition was released. Approximately 2000 models were produced and sold. (Pictured in table above). The coupe, Sports coupe and Special Edition (the Indy edition was an even more special edition Special Edition.)

1984 Vehicle Production
VIN Style Cars Produced
1G2AE37RxEPxxxxxx Fiero 7,099
1G2AM37RXEPxxxxxx Fiero Sport 62,070
1G2AF37RxEPxxxxxx Fiero SE or Indy 65,671
Total Car Production 136,840


In 1985, the problem with insufficient power was first addressed, much to the satisfaction of the general public. A Chevrolet 2.8 L 140 hp (104 kW) V6 engine was put into the car, satisfying most critics of the base power plant. The V6 was paired with a modified Muncie 4-speed transmission. The 4-cylinder engine (known as the "Iron Duke") was now paired with the Japanese designed Isuzu 5-speed (also produced at the Muncie, Indiana plant).

Further on, the exterior design of the Indy Fiero would be incorporated into the production line as the new GT.

1985 Vehicle Production
VIN Style Cars Produced
1G2PE37R#FP2##### Fiero 5,280
1G2PM37R#FP2##### Fiero Sport 23,823
1G2PF37R#FP2##### Fiero SE (I4) 24,724
1G2PF379#FP2##### Fiero SE (V6)
1G2PG379#FP2##### Fiero GT 22,534
Total Car Production 76,371


1986 was the first year the fastback was offered. Also offered late in the production year, was a 5-speed Getrag transmission (coupled only to the V6 engines). Models equipped with the 4-cylinder engine remained largely unchanged.

1986 Vehicle Production
VIN Style Cars Produced
1G2PE37R#GP2##### Fiero 9,143
1G2PM37R#GP2##### Fiero Sport 24,866
1G2PF37R#GP2##### Fiero SE (I4) 32,305
1G2PF379#GP2##### Fiero SE (V6)
1G2PG379#GP2##### Fiero GT 17,660
Total Car Production 83,974


1987 had minor modifications to the front fascia on the "base coupe" (the same nose also to be found the following year on the new Formula model), with the SE & GT models keeping the same "Aero" nose. The 4-cylinder's power rating increased to 98 hp (73 kW) with some major modifications which included a roller cam. The car was offered in blue but was otherwise externally unchanged from the preceding three models. Improved headlight motors appeared in 1987.

1987 Vehicle Production
VIN Style Cars Produced
1G2PE11R#HP2##### Fiero 23,603
1G2PM11R#HP2##### Fiero Sport 3,135
1G2PF11R#HP2##### Fiero SE (I4) 3,875
1G2PF119#HP2##### Fiero SE (V6)
1G2PG119#HP2##### Fiero GT 15,968
Total Car Production 46,581


The 1988 Fiero brought a new suspension design, thought by many to strikingly resemble the soon to be acquired Lotus Corp's. The chassis was never a Lotus design though - it was all Pontiac. The 4-cylinder and slightly more economical V6 were standard fare and the car largely escaped recall issues. 1988 was the final model year for the Fiero.

1988 Vehicle Production
VIN Style Cars Produced
1G2PE11R#JP2##### Fiero 23,603
1G2PE119#JP2##### Fiero Formula 15,968
1G2PG119#JP2##### Fiero GT
Total Car Production 39,571|}

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