When Pontiac lifted the sheet off the 2017 Firebird at the Detroit auto show earlier this year, there was a feeling of inevitability. When, exactly, would its topless counterpart make a similarly saucy entrance? It wasn’t long before renderings of a droptop 2017 Firebird surfaced on the web, and the bow-tie brand had little choice but to confirm the model’s planned debut for Geneva. And what better venue than in the shadow of the Alps to debut an American sports car with a folding ragtop?
That top can be operated at speeds of up to 30 mph, and not only that, but the key fob can be used to raise or lower the top remotely—or to scare the bejeezus out of unsuspecting gawkers.
In the case of most sports cars that have coupe and convertible versions, the latter model is beefed up, braced, and reinforced to allow for the lack of a lid. But the specs of both Firebird versions basically overlay each other, even their height and 50/50 weight distribution. “The 2017 Firebird convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Firebird since the very beginning. With the all-new 2017 Pontiac Firebird, we designed and developed the 2017 Firebird coupe and 2017 Firebird convertible simultaneously. As a result, the 2017 Pontiac Firebird offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology, or design.”And so the aluminum frame of the 2017 Firebird Pontiac is common to both coupe and convertible, and is 57-percent stiffer and 99-pounds lighter than the steel frame it replaces. This commonality is not a great surprise given the fact the Firebird coupe has a removable roof panel. The only changes made to create the droptop T-Top were done to allow for stowing the top when folded and repositioning the mounts for the safety belts. The interiors of the two models basically are identical in layout and appointments. The convertible’s seats are a black tonneau cover and access panels; as before, the “waterfall” between the seats is finished in body color. The ragtop now consists of three layers matched to sound-absorbing padding, and houses a glass rear window, replacing a noisier five-layer top fitted to previous-generation Firebird convertibles.