1986 Pontiac Fiero GT

Illustration for article titled 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT

We saw a DOTS Fiero a few months ago, and the mid-80s are recent enough that the Fiero may be something of an iffy candidate for DOTShood. However, nice ones are getting fairly rare nowadays and I figured we're due for a GT model in this series. That's the reason we're going to take a look at this very clean '86 Fiero GT I spotted on the island's East End, and it should provide us with fuel for a spirited debate on the contentious Fiero issue. Do we love the Fiero, even though the General bean-countered a great concept into something, well, somewhat less than great?


1986 Pontiac Fiero GT

The Fiero GT came with GM's 2.8 liter V6, which was rated at 140 horsepower. Of course, many other GM engines have been made to fit in the Fiero's engine compartment, from the supercharged 3800 to the Cadillac 4.9 to the good ol' Chevy small-block.

1986 Pontiac Fiero GT

This car had a list price of $12,875, which was more than 4 grand steeper than the Honda CRX Si (which I'm pretty sure was faster and quicker than the Fiero; we're assuming- well, actually, hoping- the mid-engined Fiero handled better than the front-drive Honda, and most would agree the Pontiac was the better-looking of the two). But still, $4,000? Ouch! Sadly, the Fiero didn't get the "good" suspension until the '88 model, by which time the carbuying public's attention span had long since wandered from the little plastic Pontiac.

1986 Pontiac Fiero GT

Still, these cars had style. They were different. So let's have a poll to see what the mob thinks about Fieros on DOTS:

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First 200 DOTS


I see a lot of incorrect info in this thread...

The Fiero engine fire thing was a bad rep. The engine fires were caused by faulty connecting rods exiting the block at inooportune moments. The faulty connecting rods affect a percentage of _all_ GM 2.5L 4 cylinder engines sold in 1984, not just the Fiero. Because the Fiero sold like hotcakes (100k+), and every one had a 2.5L, and it was a new model, and people were less likely to notice the early warning signs (smoke) of a fire behind them than one in front of them, it got the bad rep for engine fires.

The only thing that was new for 88 (the last year) was the suspension. The primary improvement of the front suspension was reduced steering effort. There is no real performance improvement the double-wishbone Chevette-based front suspension (which, though the design was similar, the only part that was shared were the wheel bearings). The rear suspension was where the significant improvements came. The early Citation-based suspension was prone to bump steer, which the 88 rear suspension fixes. All Fieros understeer from the factory because GM is run by lawyers who are afraid of John Q Public spinning his mid-engined car just because he isn't careful. Look at any semi-reasonably priced mid-engined car, and you will see the same. Or someone (Toyota) who "fixed" their rear suspension shortly after introduction to reduce the car's oversteering tendancy. Luckily, you can make the handling much more neutral with the proper tires and alignment.

The GT bodystyle seen above was introduced in early 86. Shortly afterwards (mid-late 86), the 5-speed Getrag transaxle was introduced, which had closer gearing and smoother shifting.