18. Pontiac Fiero
In the 1980s, everybody expected another GTO from Pontiac. However, they got a small sports car that was similar to something Italians would build. It was a bold move for Pontiac to introduce a compact rear-wheel-drive car with the engine positioned in the center and pair it up with a five-speed manual transaxle gearbox.
For the standards of the day, this was the most advanced American production model. Car customers were hyped by the appearance of the Fiero for its cool, modern design and advanced technology. The initial response was more than they expected. In 1983, sales figures were over 130,000 cars.
Pontiac didn’t develop the Fiero, and early models were badly put together. The engine power wasn’t good great and the interior was cramped. GM responded by upgrading the car, and by the end of the ’80s, the Fiero was a sports car with 150 HP from a 2.8-liter V6 engine. Unfortunately, safety hazards made it one of the worst American sports car flops.