To be honest, when somebody says “sports car,” the word “Firebird” what leap to mind. However, the American car maker wants to rectify that and after dropping a trail of hints, Pontiac’s 2017 Firebird concept got its world première on Monday at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. Pontiac sees this stripped down track car as “hearkening back to the glory days of the pure-bred Firebird, affordable sports cars.”
The idea behind the rear-drive 2+2 Pontiac Firebird 2017 concept was to build around the experience that Pontiac gained in races such as the Pirelli World Challenge. This produced a minimalist design strategy that put an emphasis on light weight, functionality and performance at the expense of creature comforts.
The first thing you notice about the 2017 Firebird concept is how its “Ignition Yellow” body is molded onto the bespoke chassis. “We gave the car a shrink-wrapped appearance,”. “It’s as if the body panels were formed around the chassis instead of merely welded to it.”
With a wheelbase of 103.1 in (261.8 cm) and a width of 74.4 in (188.9 cm), the 2017 Firebird concept weighs in at merely 2,874 lb (1303 kg), which helps with the power to weight ratio. It also enjoys a weight distribution of 52 percent in the front and 48 percent in the back.
The 2017 Firebird concept has a surprisingly simple, almost boxy profile broken by the arching wings to accommodate the track tires, while the rear of the passenger cabin with its full, raking fall away has echoes of ‘70s sports cars.
The low-set grille to enhance engine cooling is definitely a Pontiac and the air inlets set into the front bumper seem designed to prove you can keep the brakes cool without fitting something off a jet engine. Pontiac hasn't even made a big deal of the carbon composite splitter to increase downforce, so the dominating features bookending the grille are the vertical LED headlamps.