the tremendous investment required to bring the 1982 program to life appeared to
pay off rather quickly with sales once again surpassing 100,000 units. The
energy crisis had dealt performance cars a solid blow and the effects
lingered on into the early Eighties. Some help came in the form of the L69 option,
a Quadrajet-carbureted 5.0-liter HO V-8 that now produced nearly 200 bhp, 25
more than the TBI version. The L69 package was standard on the Trans Am, which received a new hood incorporating a rear-facing fresh-air induction
system in 1982. Road & Track tested a 1983 example and noted an improvement in 0-60
times from 9.2 seconds in the original TBI 5.0-liter to 7.9 in the Quadrajet-carbureted 5.0-liter HO V-8.
this era's, special editions had become a way of life for the Firebird; the 1980
Turbo was chosen by both the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR as their pace car, and
Pontiac produced a street version to capitalize on some of the attention. In
1983, 2500 special editions were built to commemorated the 25th
anniversary of the Daytona 500 with special paint and graphics, Recaro-built
leather seats and a variety of other extras. There was
also a Special Edition Recaro Trans Am with a black-and-gold paint scheme,
cast-aluminum wheels and adjustable Recaro leather seats.
In 1986, on the heels of the introduction of Pontiac's
groundbreaking mid-engine Fiero, the Firebird was restyled yet again to give it
an even more tapered profile front and rear. While small-displacement engines
were still a part of the lineup, the grafting of the Corvette's tuned-port fuel
injection system boosted the 5.0-liter engine's output to 205 bhp.