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1982 Pontiac Firebird

The third generation Firebirds took started with three models: Firebird, Firebird S/E, and Firebird Trans Am. The Firebird was the base model, equivalent to the Camaro Sport Coupé; the Firebird S/E was the Luxury version, which could actually be loaded with as many options as the Trans Am except the Top V8 Engines for any given year; and the Trans Am, of course, was the performance-level Firebird.a first on the Firebird, A styling cue that would be a major characteristic until the end of production in 2002.

The Firebird had been completely restyled for 1982, with the windshield slope set at 60 degrees, and for the first time a large glass hatchback. The new design made the Firebird about 500lb lighter than its 2nd Gen predecessor, and the Third Generation Firebird was the most aerodynamic GM production car ever. Drag of only .29 could have been achieved if they could have lowered the Trans Am by 1", unfortunately ground clearance ruled and the final drag coefficient was about .32. Every aero detail was looked at, even the small highlight indent in the front fascia was an aerodynamic feature that was intended to form the air envelope as they desired. Aero developments extended even to the wheels with optional finned aluminum wheels with smooth caps and a functional spoiler that produced about 100# at 100Mph and lowered the Drag Coefficient.

The Trans Am received a "Power Bulge" hood, styled similarly after the 2nd Gen Turbo Trans Am Hood. The Hood was originally developed to be used with the Pontiac 4.9 Turbo motor from the 1981 models. Unfortunately GM gave it the axe and Pontiac was to only use the Chevy V8 Power plants in the Trans Am until 1989. Fortunately, the popular hood bulge remained and was made functional for the Crossfire-injected 305 and in 1983 the LG4 and L69 were also functional.

Firebirds & S/E's were available with 3 engine offerings: a fuel-injected 90 hp 2.5L 4 cyl "Iron Duke" by Pontiac, (this marked the first time a 4-cylinder engine was offered in the Firebird) and won a place in the book "Cars we love to hate"; a 102 hp 2.8L V6; and the 5.0L LG4 V8, with 145 Hp.

Trans Am was only available with the V8 power plants. The fore mentioned 145 HP LG4 and then new fuel-injected Cross fire 5.0L which produced 165 hp. The 5.0L CFI was basically the same as Corvette's 5.7L, but with a smaller displacement which was due to only the Bore of the cylinders.

WS6 was optional on the S/E & Trans Am only and included a close ratio 12.7:1 steering box, stiffer springs, 32mm thick front and thicker rear sway bars, limited slip rear differential, 4-wheel disc brakes, 15-inch cast aluminum wheels and P215/65R15 Goodyear Eagle GT radial tires. There was also the WS7 option, which was the same as the WS6, except for the rear drum brakes.

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