What If GM had...
This is a discussion on What If GM had... within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; yeah that looks real good. are the outer lines like a baby blue? the ram air decals in that color ...
01-20-2008, 10:03 AM #21
yeah that looks real good. are the outer lines like a baby blue? the ram air decals in that color i think would really be a nice touch to it. or you might not like the ram air decals because i see they aren't there. still looks good either way.
01-20-2008, 10:09 AM #22
01-20-2008, 10:53 AM #23
The '89 20th Anniversary Trans Am is one of my dream cars. Don't get me started on what the Firebird with the turbo offering could have been...
Okay, I was going to save this for a separate thread, but what if GM had not canceled the 301 Turbo, and offered it in the early 3rd gen Trans Ams?
I found this one day after googling "301 Turbo." This is from an article about the '82 Recaro edition Trans Am.
The Trans Am would have been even faster than the Corvette if the Pontiac 301 Turbo (LU8) with its 200HP had lived on. But as we all know, outshining the Corvette is a big no-no at GM. No car can ever be rated at performance numbers equal to or higher than the performance numbers of the Corvette. And so unfortunately, since Corvette was rated at 200HP, it turned out that GM's internal politics, made worse by Big Brother's strict enviro-laws, killed off Pontiac's 301 Turbo engine even after successful prototypes were tested, and left the inferior Chevrolet V8's as the only options available even on Pontiac cars. The duo became known as GM's "corporate" engines.
I found another reference that stated GM had early prototype 3rd gens running around the testing grounds with the 301 Turbo.
Now this engine had some issues, but it was ahead of its time as well. Buick took GM turbo engineering to the next level from 1984-87 with its 3.8 Turbo Regal line up (including the GN), and we finally got the 3.8 Intercooled turbo in the '89 anniversary Trans Am. That motor was available in '86 in the Regal and GN's!
Imagine if the '86 Trans Am had rolled of the line with that kind of power! Or even better, if GM had stuck with the Pontiac 301 Turbo, worked out the internal issues, and released an intercooled 301 turbo in the 86 Trans Am!!
The 350 Tuned-Port Corvette would have been a 301 Intercooled Turbo Trans Am's bitch, obviously.
It really saddens me to think what the Trans Am/Firebird could have been, if GM's engine offerings and research had been more favorable toward it. The idea of making the 3rd gen Camaros and Firebirds basically clones with the same engine options obviously was the more economic route, but also succeeded in bastardizing TA/Firebird tradition.
Looking further into the "what ifs" of this critical era in F-body history, one could imagine that a successful 301 Turbo 3rd gen could have led the way to a turbocharged LT1 offering in '93 with the debut of the 4th gen.
Or, if the 3.8 intercooled turbo offering had become the standard in '86, then the new F-body in '93 could have come equiped with the 4.3 Turbo V-6 offered in the early 90's GMC Cylcone and Typhoon models.
Last edited by 2000LS1Bird; 01-20-2008 at 11:02 AM.
01-20-2008, 12:40 PM #24
i dont agree with the 350 tpi vette being the 301 turbo t/a bitch thing.
5.7L V-8 L98 240 HP @ 4000 RPM
345lb-ft @ 3200 RPM 5.7 sec 14.4 sec @ 95mph 0-60 in 5.7 sec.
best turbo 301 numbers i could find
1980 Turbo Trans Am 16.5 8.0 Motor Trend 11/79
1980 Turbo Trans Am 16.30 86.78 Hot Rod 3/80
1980 Turbo Trans Am 17.5 80.0 Road & Track 4/80
1980 Turbo Trans Am 16.64 84.11 Popular Hot Rodding 6/80
1980 Turbo Trans Am 17.02 82.10 9.05 Motor Trend 6/80
1980 Trans Am w/ 301 NA 17.05 80.28 Popular Hot Rodding 6/80
are you saying if they kept making the turbo 301 it would have eventually been faster than a tpi motor?
01-20-2008, 01:33 PM #25
The 1986 Regal and the 1989 Turbo Trans Am were both low 14 to high 13 second cars in the 1/4. An intercooled, redeveloped 301 Turbo in an 86 Trans Am (a vehicle MUCH lighter than the 2nd gen Trans Am that you quoted performance numbers for) would have been a mid 13-second car. It would have been unheard of for 1986.
01-20-2008, 06:58 PM #26
01-20-2008, 11:29 PM #27
I'm just saying I don't think the Trans Am got the chance to reach the top of the food chain due to miss-guided decisions in the GM boardroom.
The engines were there (a 301 Turbo, and a Buick 3.8 Turbo), and the Trans Am was already established as a turbocharged car with the late model 2nd gens.
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