Video: Engineering the 1984 Pontiac Fiero

Opinions vary regarding the Fiero, Pontiac’s mid-engine sports car, but gearheads agree it was an interesting effort. Here’s an original 1984 GM video with a behind-the-scenes look at the two-seater’s unique engineering. 

 

 

In the 1980s, General Motors decided there was suddenly a market for sporty two-seaters it had somehow overlooked up to that point. Alongside the Chevrolet Corvette, GM’s traditional entry in the two-seater class, the automaker added the Cadillac Allante, the Buick Reatta, and the Pontiac Fiero. None of these new two-seaters were terribly successful in the marketplace, as things turned out. But they were interesting cars all the same—especially the Fiero, which sported a number of novel engineering features.

This original GM technical film from the Fiero’s 1984 rollout explores the innovative features, including the “space frame” unitized steel chassis construction and the “mill and drill” mounting system for the molded plastic body panels. (The marketing term Enduraflex referred to a variety of plastic materials.) There’s also a look at the drivetrain, which was essentially borrowed from GM’s front-drive X-car platform and transplanted to the rear axle of the P-body, as the Fiero was known internally.

The Fiero had plenty of fans when new, and it still has plenty of them to this day. More than 370,000 examples were produced over the five-year model run from 1984 to 1988. And according to Fiero partisans, by the time GM cancelled the car, it was improved into a fine little two-seat GT. Here’s where it all began. Video follows.

 

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