The four-seat Fiero that never was
Fiero production ended after a major suspension upgrade came for the final 1988 model year that made an already nimble car an outright blast to drive. General Motors has a habit of killing cars right when they get good, they’d do the same thing a little over 20 years later with the entire Pontiac brand in 2009. Some of us are still bitter about that. This svelte 2+2 concept of a Fiero that could have been only twists the knife.
Supposedly snuck into production as an economical commuter, General Motors’ first mid-engine production car delivered a space frame that was loved by enthusiasts and kit-car producers alike because it created a rigid foundation for a driver’s car and an easy foundation to add aftermarket body panels. It was initially available as a notchback with a sleek fastback added midway through 1986’s production run. It’s that fastback style that serves as the basis for this one-off stretched creation.
We had almost forgotten about the 2+2 Fiero concept until we were reminded by this Facebook post from the Midwest Fiero Clubs Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, which shared a photo of the concept which is now on display at the Pontiac Oakland Automobile Museum in Pontiac. That’s Pontiac, Illinois, not Pontiac, Michigan.
The concept uses the sleek GT as a jumping-off point, stretching the wheelbase to add what are, at best, barely-usable bucket seats. Maybe a small adult or child could have been squeezed into the back seat for short trips, provided their comfort is not a concern. What it would have added, though, is actual room for taller drivers to recline and fit into the compact confines of the cockpit. The little bit of added cargo room wouldn’t have hurt either.
What’s most surprising about the 2+2 Fiero is that the proportions are amazing. Perhaps I’m biased as an avowed Pontiac fanatic, but the concept seems to take on some hints of Lotus Esprit. Not bad at all. A stretched notchback may have looked like a Ferrari Mondial, so it seems that GM’s designers made the right choice.
Imagine this Fiero, which looks very much like it could have been put into production, in Pontiac showrooms in 1988 with the improved WS6 suspension and a high-output Quad 4 engine producing around 180 horsepower. It sure would beat the wheezy V-6 that served as the “upgrade” to the base Iron Duke four-cylinder. I think the 2+2 could have breathed new life into the Fiero, perhaps long enough for it to get a second generation. We’d also likely have kit cars with much more convincing lines. Since we didn’t get that alternate timeline, the best you can do is visit the Pontiac Oakland Automobile Museum and dream.