Here it is, the our Top Fifty Best Cars Ever finalist. The engine is behind the driver. It has two seats, strong performance and agile handling…
For the Fiero, Pontiac used a range of engineering concepts not previously seen on an American two-seat sports car. The engine resided aft of the driver and Pontiac engineers opted to deploy plastic panels to clothe the chassis. This reduced weight, tooling costs and gave new freedom in styling. Although considered by some to be less than the sum of its parts, the Fiero sold well during its five year run, earning it a Car & Driver Ten Best award in 1984.
Two engines served in the Fiero: a 2.5 litre L4 petrol and a more powerful 2.8 litre V6 petrol. These engine choices made sense in the light of the existence of the more powerful and costly Corvette which had a V8. The 2.5 litre managed creditable fuel economy and the planners intended it to have a commuter car role in addition to its fun-to-use quality. While the mid-engine layout offered advanages in theory, the fitment of standard GM brakes, suspension and gearbox (in the name of cost cutting) reduced somewhat the extent to which this potential was exploited.
With its aggressive styling, keen pricing and competent road manners, the Fiero offered much that would cost more if found in an imported car. All that was required of the owner was the correct expectations and regular servicing. More than this though, the Pontiac served to test technology that found its way into the revolutionary Saturn cars which changed they way GM looked at its customer and dealers and helped GM move on to a new period of creativity and market success.