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The General’s Greatest Hits: Top 30 Vehicles GM Ever Made

Vukasin HerbezFebruary 13, 2019

5. 1983 Pontiac Fiero

The story of the Fiero is one of the greatest “what if” tales of the American car industry. This compact sports car caused a big sensation when they introduced it in the early ’80s. Everybody expected another GTO from Pontiac. But in fact, they got a small sports car that was something the 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 of the car.

They even paired it up with a five-speed manual transaxle gearbox. By the standards of the day, this was the most advanced American production model ever. The customers were hyped by the appearance of the Fiero. And with its cool and modern design and advanced technology, the initial response was exciting. So, in 1983 the sales figures were over 130,000 cars.

Unfortunately, Pontiac didn’t develop the Fiero, so the early models were badly put together. Also, the engine power was low, and the interior was cramped. So, GM responded by upgrading the car. By the end of the ’80s, the Fiero was a solid sports car with 150 HP coming from its 2.8-liter V6 engine and improvements all around.

But it was too late so GM killed the Fiero after the 1988 model year. Over the years, Fiero fans were active in promoting their favorite car, although it seems like everyone else has forgotten about this model.

4. Cadillac Escalade

Although Cadillac jumped on the luxury SUV bandwagon late in 1999 with the first-generation Escalade. However, it was just a rebadged Suburban. But soon, Caddy was one of the most dominant models in the market. The opulence of classic Cadillac cars easily transferred to the 21st century and luxury SUV segment.

Cadillac saw the opportunity, so they presented three generations of the biggest, most opulent luxury SUV models available. And the market went crazy for these apartment complexes on wheels. Although the Escalade was a rebadged Suburban, Cadillac managed to hide that with an enormous amount of luxury details. The Escalade is the perfect classic Cadillac in a modern interpretation for the next generation of luxury car buyers.

3. 1985-90 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

The third-generation Camaro was popular. But after a while, buyers wanted more performance and power. So Chevy delivered the legendary IROC-Z version in 1985. The IROC-Z was a tribute to the Chevy-sponsored International Race of Champions racing series.

However, it was much more than just an appearance package and a cool name. Under the hood was a 350 V8 with 225 HP and 245 HP in later versions. Buyers could opt for manual or automatic and tuned suspensions and steering. Chevrolet even offered a cool-looking convertible, the first Camaro ragtop in 18 years. The IROC-Z proved a popular and influential muscle car that finally brought some real performance to buyers.

2. Oldsmobile Jetfire

Unfortunately, the Oldsmobile Jetfire is important among American cars in auto history but never got the respect it deserved. This was the first turbocharged passenger car along with the Chevrolet Corvair Monza. However, the Oldsmobile system was more complex and powerful than the Chevrolet. Back in the early ‘60s, Oldsmobile was an innovative company. In those days, each GM division was in competition with the others. So, Oldsmobile chose turbocharging as the new technology to perfect.

By present standards, the Jetfire V8 was state-of-the-art technology so initially, the market was interested. The new V8 delivered 215 HP, making it one of the best performance cars of the day. It boasted a 0 to 60 mph time of around eight seconds, almost as fast as the Corvette.

Although people praised the power delivery of the new Jetfire, most owners forgot to fill up the Turbo Rocket Fuel tank, which caused a loss of power and eventually engine failure. Soon, the Jetfire had a bad reputation despite praises from automotive magazines. After just two years and around 10,000 units, Oldsmobile killed the car as well as its focus on turbocharging technology.

1. 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6

By the early 2000s, the Firebird/Camaro combo was outdated. The live rear axle and significant weight weren’t what the market wanted. They now demanded more modern and lighter muscle cars. The 2002 model year marked the end of the road for the Firebird. Pontiac decided to go out with a bang by introducing one of the best, fastest, and most potent Trans Ams they ever made: the menacing WS6 version.

The WS6 was a handling package on the Trans Am available before, but in the 2002 model year, it represented the best of what Pontiac had to offer with the venerable 5.7-liter V8 engine delivering 325 HP. With a six-speed manual transmission and numerous suspension upgrades, the 2002 WS6 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

All that proved that Pontiac still knew how to make a brutal. lightning-quick muscle car. The exterior was dominated by a big Ram Air hood and sleek rear spoiler. All that made the Trans Am WS6 quite a looker despite having a 10-year-old design. If you can, pick one of these cars since they are definitive future muscle car classics.

These cars are the general’s greatest hits because they were innovative and offered consumers a big bang for the buck. Did you pick a favorite from this list of 30 of the best vehicles GM has ever made? If you want to buy one, you should hurry, since they are becoming more obscure and rare with each passing day.

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