Emissions restrictions and the need to convert engines to run on unleaded fuel hit muscle cars particularly hard. The 1971 model year would be the last for the high-performance 4-4-2 as its own separate model.
The W-30’s 455 engine produced 350 bhp, while a year before Oldsmobile had claimed an impressive 370 bhp. Optional on the W-30 was a dual-disc clutch which offered 40 percent less pedal effort and an increase in longevity. The base car, meanwhile, managed 340 bhp. There was no more Hurst model.
Options for the 1971 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 included power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, power seats, power windows, super stock wheels, power door locks, AM/FM stereo, cruise control, tilt steering, tinted glass, Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission, 3-speed floor shift manual, and 4-speed manual (close-ratio optional).
Engine modifications for 1971 included rotators on intake and exhaust valves. Alloy exhaust valve seats were fitted, and valves had had hardened tips. Plastic caps were fitted over idle mixture screws on the Rochester 4-barrel carburetor to prevent adjustment. The lower compression engine generated more heat, so fan speed was increased, but a new clutch disengaged the fan before it became too noisy.