The story of the Fiero is one of the greatest “what if” tales of the American car industry. First, this compact sports car caused a big sensation when it was introduced in the early ’80s. In general, everybody expected another GTO from Pontiac but got a small sports car that Italians might build (via Car and Driver).
Above all, it was a bold move for Pontiac to introduce a compact rear-wheel drive car. In general, having the engine positioned in the center of the vehicle was a bold move. Pairing it with a five-speed manual transaxle gearbox was another somewhat odd choice overall. But for the standards of the day, this was the most advanced American production model.