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The packaging of the 1982 Firebird is a story all in itself. To combine the level of mechanical componentry necessary for the incredible handling and ride offered by the Firebird ... with a rear-wheel-drive configuration ... in a sleek exterior shell much smaller than last years...and still have nearly the same interior passenger roominess and comfort as last year's model, is an extraordinary say the least.

Of course, the '82 Firebird's efficient packing is the essential element around which its innovation is recognized. Packaging the Firebird's superb performance characteristics in the most aerodynamic skin ever manufactured, with an accompanying loss in weight due to the reduced exterior size and the use of high-strength, lightweight materials, is one of the most important elements contributing to Firebird's over 23% average improvement in fuel economy (base coupe) ...and the list of its innovation.

Here are just a few examples of the way Firebird's innovative packaging was achieved:

  The new designs for the front and rear suspensions offer optimum space utilization and reduced weight, in addition to improved ride and handling. High strength light alloy (HSLA) steel is used in the torque arm, axle tube and spring seats.

  The wheel of the compact spare is also constructed of HSLA steel,

  The starter motor is metric, smaller and lighter weight than last year.

  The QTU master cylinder has an aluminum body and plastic reservoir, and features a new configuration to more efficiently accommodate engine compartment packaging.

  Of course, unitized body construction, and a multitude of other new systems and components detailed throughout this book, each offer substantial weight savings and improved space utilization over last year's designs.

A weight savings of 522 pounds over last year's base coupe is the result of all of these innovative design and material applications. For the payoff of meeting the '82 "F" car program's objective of optimal utilization of space, take a look at the following chart, which compares the '81 Firebird coupe to this year's model.

The notable reductions in wheelbase and length will combine with the Firebird's close 36.7 foot turning diameter, to provide '82 Firebird owners a level of parking ease and close-quarter maneuverability not offered by earlier Firebirds.

The really remarkable fact about the '82 Firebird's reduced exterior dimensions is how Pontiac 's design engineers were able to essentially maintain and even improve some interior dimensions over last year's model. In fact, the interior dimensions show an increase in all areas but three, and two of those are within an inch of last year's. But the "feeling" of roominess in an automobile is almost as critical as the actual measurements. Contributing to the cars perceived roominess, the Firebird's large glass area lends an open, airy feeling to the cockpit, while the sloping liffback boasts a futuristic silhouette with an uncommon level of utility and function for an automobile of this class.

The standard front seat recliner feature allows adjustments to effectively increase head room, while the increase in front seat travel from 5 to 71/2 inches will serve to accommodate the driver and passenger with adequate adjustments for excellent seating and good pedal and control reach.

Finally, the new Firebird's luggage area offers much more utility than ever before. With the rear seat up four passengers can ride in comfort, with three more cubic feet of usable luggage space than last year. Of course, with the rear seat folded down the four-passenger Firebird becomes a smart two-seater, boasting an expansive 30.9 cubic foot cargo area.


Equipping an automobile to satisfy everyone in today's ever-changing market would be an impossible task. In deciding which exterior and interior features and equipment should be offered as standard, automotive manufacturers are faced with a dilemma.

Of course the inclusion of certain features essential to the "personality" of the car is decided upon early in the automobile's design stages, but what about the "add-on" features ... the little, or not-so-little, extras that offer convenience, comfort or functional benefits to the car's owner?

It's important to remember that the inclusion of a particular item as standard equipment is justified only if the vast majority of that vehicle's prospective customers are willing to pay the extra charge to include it on the base model. Too many standard features can make the base price of an automobile so high that a number of potential prospects would never be able to afford it.

Fortunately for Pontiac Pontiac Firebird customers, the 1982 Firebirds are offered in three distinctive models. Contented and priced individually to accommodate specific segments of the sporty car market, together they offer all who consider themselves "driving enthusiasts" excellent value for the dollar.

-The 1982 Firebird Book, 11/81