“Go ahead and open it up” 1994 Firebird sales brochure (referring to the new convertible)
- After a year absence, convertible Firebirds were once again available.
- A special white and blue 25th Anniversary Trans Am was introduced.
- A “skip shift” feature was added to Firebirds with six-speed manual transmissions.
Realizing they had created very desirable car with the introduction of the fourth-generation cars in 1993, Pontiac decided to leave will enough alone for 1994, which was essentially a carryover year. Fortunately, the car-buying public also realized what a great car the Firebird had become, and sales increased dramatically compared to the previous year.
The convertible model, which had only been available since 1991 before not being offered in 1993, was reinstated into the Firebird lineup. With the exception of this fact and the offering of the 25th Anniversary model, the cars were nearly identical to the 1993 models.
By 1994, Pontiac had a habit of releasing special anniversary Trans Am editions every five years, and this year was obviously no different. The look harkened back to the 1970 Trans Am with a white body that included a blue strip down the hood. The wheels were also white, as was the inside leather that was accented in black and featured seats with a 25th anniversary marking. A total of 2000 were built, and about 500 of those were convertibles.
The anniversary edition featured the same 5.7 litre small black V8 that was standard on every Trans Am and Formula model. The powerful engine was rated at 275 horsepower. Base models came with a 3.4 litre V6, which produced a relatively respectable 160 horsepower.
Made available the year before, the six-speed manual transmission made the V8 engines even more desirable, though the addition of the “skip shift” feature took away some of that attractiveness. Depending on throttle position, this would force the car to go from first gear to fourth to produce better fuel economy. Many after market shift skip eliminator kits were quickly developed.
Total production increased to an impressive 31,880, compared to 14,112 in 1993. This trend would continue the following year. As it had been in 1993, the Firebird was offered in three models: base, Formula and Trans Am.
Though it had been outsold by the Trans Am model in 1993, the base Firebird rose to easily beat the other two models in sales in 1994. Total production increased to 25,853; only 5,006 were produced the year before.
Designed for the Firebird-buyer who valued performance but didn’t need all of the extra frills of the Trans Am, the Formula came loaded with the powerful V8 engine. It still wasn’t enough to overtake the Trans Am in sales, however, and 9,393 were produced.
The top of the line model was the second best selling Firebird in 1993. Throughout the model year, 10,672 were produced. This number would grow by nearly 3,000 cars the following year.
Pony Car Competition
The rise in sales of the Firebird in 1994 is even more remarkable considering that the year marked the introduction of the popular fourth-generation Mustang, which sold well (123,198 were produced). In fact, Camaro nearly outsold the Mustang that year, and its production was at 119,934.
The fourth-generation Mustang put all three cars in more direct competition than they had been in decades. Unfortunately, the Mustang would eventually go on to have rising sales as both Firebird and Camaro sales dropped. Not only due to competition from the Mustang, the GM products also had to compete with new import cars that were quickly becoming favorites of many young American car-buyers.
|L32 V6||207ci||SFI||160 hp @ 4600 rpm||200 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm|
|LT1||350ci||Tuned Port Injection||270 hp @ 4800 rpm||325 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm|
|0 to 60 mph||Quarter Mile||Engine||Source|
|n/a||13.9 sec @ 104.1 mph||350ci/315hp||HPP 4/94|
|n/a||13.9 sec @ 99.60 mph||350ci/275hp||HPP 4/94|
|n/a||14.3 sec @ 95.0 mph||350ci/275hp||PopHot Rodding 7/94|
|4.9 sec||13.5 sec @ 103.5 mph||350ci/300hp||MCR Oct/Nov 94|
|5.1 sec||13.5 sec @ 107.4 mph||350ci/391hp||Car Craft 7/95|
|5.3 sec||13.9 sec @ 102.1 mph||350ci/315hp||Motor Trend 3/94|
|5.9 sec||14.1 sec @ 97.01 mph||350ci/275hp||Car Craft 7/95|