Firebird is Pontiacs version of the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car, and the future looks dim for both. Combined sales of the rear-drive Firebird and Camaro are only half those of the rival Ford Mustang, and General Motors may drop these cars by 2002.
The Firebird model lineup continues in base, Formula and Trans Am price ranges with few changes for 2000.
Like the Camaro, Firebird comes in hatchback coupe and convertible body styles, with removable T-top roof panels available on the coupe. The convertible comes with a power soft-top and a glass rear window with a defogger.
Styling on the Firebird is the same as Camaros except for Pontiacs trademark twin-port grille, different taillights and exterior details.
Cramped rear quarters and low-to-the-ground front bucket seats are Firebird traditions. Cargo space of 34 cubic feet in the coupe and 13 cubic feet in the convertible is adequate, given these arent family cars. The dashboard is attractive and functional, and the standard center console contains cupholders and useful storage bins.
Under the Hood
Base Firebirds come with a 200-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 engine and either a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. The performance-oriented Formula coupe and Trans Am coupe and convertible have a 5.7-liter V-8 and either a standard four-speed automatic or a no cost six-speed manual.
Standard horsepower on the V-8 is 305, but the optional WS6 Ram Air package boosts output to 320.
The stiff-riding, noisy, gas-guzzling V-8 Firebirds are dinosaurs in the 21st century. Though the V-6 models are tamer and easier to live with, they are still leftovers from a different generation.