Pontiac Fiero

The Pontiac Fiero is a mid-engine sports car that was produced by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1984 to 1988. This model has earned itself a place in the collector's circuit and even has a cult following to boot. The Fiero, which means 'proud' in Italian, was a product of designer Hulki Aldikacti. The Fiero was the first two seat Pontiac since the 1926 to 1938 coupe, and also was the first mass-produced mid-engine sports car by a United States automaker. Further, many technologies incorporated in the Fiero design were groundbreaking at the time. The name Fiero was not an immediate hit, and in fact, other names were considered for the car such as the Sprint, the P3000, the Pegasus, the Fiamma, the Sunfire and the Firebird XP. Nevertheless, the Fiero 2M4 was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1984. Furthering the popularity, the 1984 Fiero was the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 also in 1984. This was impressive as it had beat out the new 1984 Corvette for the honor. The mid-engine layout was chosen as a way to reduce both the aerodynamic drag and the vehicle weight in an attempt to improve fuel efficiency. It also made for better handling, traction and braking. In line with its target market, the tires, brakes and some suspension parts were carried over from other GM economy cars such as the Chevrolet Citation and the Chevrolet Chevette. This was done so that the Fiero could be priced appropriately. The public had high hopes for the Fiero with its mid-engine layout and radical styling. It did initially garner good reviews for its handling, but the Fiero soon thereafter received disappointing reviews regarding its performance. Somehow, despite the critical press, the Fiero sold extremely well and Pontiac thus operated three shifts at the factory during 1984.