1985 Pontiac Firebird
8-cyl. 305cid/165hp 4bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
1985 marked the first major changes for the third generation Pontiac Firebird. It featured a new front-end design with a clean wraparound look. With the solid front end, the ’85 Firebird Trans Am breathed through new louvered vents on the front of the hood. Vents on the aft corners of the Trans Am hood extracted heat from the engine bay. The S/E had a similar hood, but with just the front vents.
Inside, there was a new center console and instrument panel design as well as the steering wheel from the 1984 15th Anniversary Edition. Trims continued to be base, S/E, and Trans Am. The 88-hp “Iron Duke” came on the base mode, while the S/E was standard with a new electronic fuel injected 2.8-liter V-6 making 135 horsepower.
The Firebird Trans Am had the most aggressive bodywork, with its integrated fog lights, special badging and louvered hood. Under the hood (which no longer had the “Turbo Bulge”), you could get one of three V-8 engines. The carbureted LG4 V-8 made 165 horsepower, while the carbureted L69 “High Output” V-8 made 190 horsepower.
Buyers could also now get the Tuned Port Injected (TPI) 305 cid V-8 making 210 horsepower. It was only available with the automatic transmission, but it was nonetheless the most powerful Firebird from this year. The ECUs from these early fuel injected models are problematic, and some owners have been known to convert the EFI V-8s back to carburetors.
T-Tops models were offered and featured quick-release latches, making them easy to remove and re-attach. For 1985, Pontiac discontinued the Recaro T/A model, but buyers could still get Recaro bucket seats as an option.
The 1985 Firebird Trans Am was available with a wrap-around “Aero Spoiler,” and the drag coefficient for the top Firebird was now just 0.32. It could be further lowered to 0.29 with the available Aero wheels. The WS6 performance package was still available, now with larger sway bars.