Pontiac Firebird 1993-1997 Generation Four –part I
Generation four Firebirds have many of the characteristics of the Banshee prototype. The Firebird has hidden headlights and is still on the “F” frame platform with aerodynamics playing strongly in the cars design and body style.
From 1993 until 1995 the base Firebird engine offers are a 3.4 liter V6 with a cable operated throttle that develops 160 hp (120 k) or the power option is a 5.7 liter V8 developing 275 hp (205 k). From 1993 until 1997 the “Firehawk” SLP option package complete with formula trim, functional hood scoop, and other performance enhancements increasing the output of the V8 to 300 hp (220 k) is an offer. There are only 201 Formula options factory assembled in 1993 with this engine. The Formula’s engine with 2-bolt mains and a more restrictive intake-exhaust system are the only differences between it and the power plant in the Corvette of 1993.
The Trans Am had a twenty-fifth anniversary celebration offer available with a convertible model in 1994. This anniversary Edition’s styling paid homage to the first Firebird and it is paint all white with one blue strip length-wise on the car. Other new options offered are a “T” roof model, a low profile spoiler, high heat tires, and a 155 mph speedometer. The transmission is an electronic controlled four speed 4L60e automatic. The “GT” model is optional and is offered into 1995 as well. The GT model is equipped with a 5.7 L V8 engine (the LT1) with a “MAF” (massive air flow) intake system. The “GT” option was not available in 1995.
The 1995 Firebird is similar to the previous fourth generation models but has traction control as an option. The base engine from mid 1995 and up is a 200 hp 3.8 liter V8. The “Firehawk” performance package is now putting out 315 hp with a less restrictive intake/exhaust system and has an upgraded suspension. All the V8 engines have a vented opti-spark distributer. For two years, 1994 and 1995, the transmission had a “perform” button which as discontinued for 1996 although the connections to activate it are still in models up until 1997.
The Firebird for 1996 is equipped with the OBD2 computer system. The LT1 engine is now putting out 285 hp because of the less restrictive duel exhaust/duel catalytic converter combination. For the Formula and Trans Am models a S6 performance package is available on the 1996 and the 1997’s. The package has a heavy gauge (32mm) sway bar, functional ram air hood, 17” by 9” wheels with 275/40 tires, the WS6 badge, and a smaller air filter. For a better ride Bilstein shocks were an available option for the package.
In 1997 the Firebird is almost identical to the previous year although a special edition Firehawk became available that has a balanced and blueprinted LT4 engine. This engine produces 330 hp with 340 ft lb (458 Nm) of torque but only 29 units were factory assembled. The Ram Air WS6 is a power option that was available for Trans Am and Formula models in ’96. This option boosts the horse power rating from 285 to 305 with only 41 Formulas and 463 Trans Am’s produced with the Ram option.