Fiero GT vs. Ferrari
The Ferrari 308 is a close competitor to the Fiero in more ways
than most people realize. Pontiac purchased a few examples of
the 308 to compare their Fieros with. The reason the Fiero is
so similar to the 308 may likely be due to the fact Pontiac's
goal was to make the Fiero as close to the 308 as possible with
what they had to work with.
BHP @ RPM:
lb/ft Torque @ RPM:
| 1986 Fiero GT
2.8 MPFI V6
140 @ 5200
170 @ 3600
15.7 @ 87
| 1981 308 GTSi
2.9L EFI V-8
205 @ 6600
181 @ 5000
16.1 @ 83
Ferrari never installed grease fittings on
the 308, so a complete renewel of the suspension is required after
every 50,000 miles of driving. The lack of rustproofing is another
negative 308 trait. Just purchasing and trying to maintain the 308
are the rest of the negative traits. From a financial standpoint,
the Fiero makes much more sense. You would not be sacrificing any
performance (in fact, gaining in many areas) by going with the Pontiac.
And if you think the Fiero had a bad problem with headlight motor
failure, the Ferrari would surprise you. The Fiero has shorter overhangs
and a longer wheelbase. The Fiero is also wider with plenty of tire
for the weight. I actually had a Ferrari 308 owner tell me his Fiero
GT ('86) was a far better car overall. He used the Fiero as a daily
driver and hardly drove the 308 at all since it let him down so
many times and was not as comfortable as his Pontiac was.
The V-6 Fiero hit .84-.86g on the skidpad (4-cyl was roughly .80-.82g)
Porsche 911 Carrera -> .85g (the Carrera 4 was at .83g)
Ferrari Testarossa -> .84g
Lotus Esprit Turbo -> .86g
Lamborghini Diablo VT -> .87g
Acura NSX -> .87g
Acura Integra GS-R -> .82g
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am/Formula ('93+) -> .82g-.85g
Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX -> .86g
The Fiero ran the slalom at 63.4-63.9 mph (about 61.5 for 4-cyl.
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am -> 59.7 mph
Lotus Epsrit S4 -> 60.6 mph
Porsche 911 Carrera -> 61.9 mph
BMW M3 -> 62.8 mph
Corvette ZR-1 -> 63.6 mph
Ferrari 348 -> 62.8 mph
Acura NSX -> 62.3 mph
Dodge Viper -> 62.7 mph
Ford Mustang Cobra (1994) -> 61.1 mph
Nissan 300ZX Turbo -> 63.0 mph
acceleration, maximum speed
The V-6 Fiero consistantly accelerated from 0-30 in 2.2 seconds.
The Lamborghini Diablo manages 0-30 in 2.2 seconds.
Best 1/4-mile time for a stock
V-6 Fiero: 14.7 @ 92 mph Worst: 17.0 @ 80 mph
Both Fieros were GT's with manual transmissions.
Best top speed for a stock V-6
Fiero: 135 mph Worst: 115 mph
Both Fieros were '85 GT's, the latter
with an automatic transmission.
- Pontiac purchased Ferrari
308's for handling engineering and comparison purposes.
- Many V-6 engines in Fieros dynoed at between 150 and 160 bhp.
- The Fiero turned in a profit every year it was sold (including
- Fiero prototypes were running in 1978. General Motors produced
the first prototypes in 1978 and they were intended to be the Pontiac
'J' model, but due to the uncertain market and fluctuating gas prices
it was put on the back burner for a spell. Later the 'J' designation
was assigned to the J2000 and Sunbird lines. Thank You Tim!
- Most foreign auto magazines raved about the Fiero's superior handling,
its nimble response and excellent road feel. Most American auto
magazines criticized the Fiero's handling as being numb, heavy and
- The decisions to kill the Fiero was made on February 29, 1988.
- The Fiero had nearly 3 times as many sales as the MR2 during any
given year in its lifetime.
- Pontiac spent over $300,000,000 to produce the Fiero, yet cancelled
the car on a "hunch" they would lose a maximum of $20-million between
1988 and 1995.
- Several factory prototypes were made of a Fiero convertible.
- Two prototypes were made in 1986 of a Fiero with an aluminum frame.
One of the aluminum Fieros had a 190 bhp Quad-4.
- Car & Driver called the Fiero, "One of the best cars in America"
and gave the Fiero a slot in their top ten best category.
- The Los Angeles Auto Expo gave the Fiero their Design of the Year
- The Fiero accounted for nearly 1/4 of all Pontiac sales in 1984.
- Spectators at the unvailing of the fastback Fiero mistook the
GT version as a new Corvette.
- GM was struggling with the problem of employees purchasing Fieros
before the public had an opportunity. Never before had this been
a problem with a GM car.
- Even though the highest sticker price for an '84 Fiero was about
$10,000, one Michigan buyer paid over $15,000 for an '84 SE.
- The Fiero was the first American car to win in IMSA GTU.
- In 1985, the Fiero won at Sears Point (one of 3 straight victories),
beating such successful competitors as Chevrolet's Corvette and
- A 4-cylinder Fiero belting out only 370 bhp took the NHRA's Competition
Eliminator title at the Keystone Nationals on September 15, 1985
with a best 1/4-mile time of 9.72 seconds at 134.41 mph.
- The Fiero won well over 40 races in the 36 months it raced.