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.