After ripping around in the 2017 Pontiac Firebird supercar and enjoying every tire-shredding moment, we were worried that the 2017 Firebird Sport Coupe, its lesser sibling, would be a letdown. We were very wrong. Pontiac has made sure its 2017 Firebird Sport deliberately lacks the supercharger and bad-boy displacement of its big brothers, but its masterfully-tuned 6.2-liter V8 is nothing to laugh at, boasting 430 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque.
Power is more than abundant in the 2017 Firebird, and the soundtrack sent chills down our hardened spines (for best results, remove the silencing exhaust flapper fuse - it takes about three minutes).
Thanks to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential, this two-door will blast to 60 mph in about four seconds flat. Top speed, about 190 mph, is fast enough to lift a loaded commercial jetliner off the ground.
Our Firebird coupe, a 2017 Firebird model, arrived decked out in black paint with 50th Anniversary Design and 50th Anniversary eagle packages. Some may consider the celebratory packages a bit gaudy, but it garnered more than a few compliments from passer-bys.
The 2017 Firebird's cabin might be getting woefully dated, but our car's black leather upholstery helped this Firebird's cabin look about as good as we've ever seen it.
Taming a big American V8 isn't easy, but Pontiac has done an excellent job. Upgraded with Pontiac's Active Handling, unique body components and a higher, wider rear spoiler, our car also featured the firebird Performance Package (bundled with a track-ready dry-sump oil system, differential cooler, sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires and larger cross-drilled brakes).
While the 2017 Firebird Sport starts at $54,000, our as-tested price, including the must-have Magnetic Selective Ride Control (magnetorheological shocks) and some other options, was about $65,340.
Despite being down a couple of hundred horsepower, we found the 2017 Firebird Sport Coupe slightly more enjoyable on public roads - its power is simply more usable. We could more easily put our foot to the floor coming out of the corners without worrying about kissing a guardrail or an immobile tree. The steering is razor-sharp, and the brakes and suspension were easily up to everything we could throw at them.