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|Body and chassis|
|Class|| Subcompact (1976–1980)|
The Pontiac Sunbird (also known as the Pontiac J2000 and Pontiac 2000) is a model line that was manufactured and marketed by Pontiac from the 1976 to the 1994 model years. Loosely deriving its name from the Pontiac Firebird, the Sunbird was introduced as the eventual replacement for the Pontiac Astre, replacing it entirely in 1978 as the smallest Pontiac (the later T1000 was slotted below it in size).
The first generation of the Sunbird used the subcompact GM H platform. Serving as the Pontiac counterpart of the Chevrolet Monza, the Sunbird was offered as a two-door notchback coupé and three-door hatchback and station wagon. The model was manufactured alongside the Monza, Buick Skyhawk, and Oldsmobile Starfire at Lordstown Assembly (Lordstown, Ohio) and Sainte-Thérèse Assembly (Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec).
The second generation of the Sunbird used the compact GM J platform. Serving as the Pontiac counterpart of the Chevrolet Cavalier, the Sunbird was marketed at various times as a two-door notchback coupé or convertible, three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and five-door station wagon. The model line was manufactured alongside the Cavalier at Lordstown Assembly (Lordstown, Ohio), Ramos Arizpe Assembly (Ramos Arizpe, Mexico), and South Gate Assembly (South Gate, California)
While not as long-running as the Bonneville, Grand Prix, and Firebird nameplates, Pontiac would use the Sunbird nameplate for 17 model years. After the Sunbird skipped the 1981 model year entirely, it was released as an early 1982 and renamed the J2000; the Sunbird name was returned for 1984. For 1995, the Sunbird underwent a substantial model update and was renamed the Pontiac Sunfire.
|Assembly|| Lordstown Assembly, United States |
South Gate Assembly, United States
Sainte-Thérèse Assembly, Canada
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe |
2-door station wagon
|Related|| Buick Skyhawk |
|Engine||140 cu in (2.3 L) 2300 I4 |
151 cu in (2.5 L) Iron Duke I4
231 cu in (3.8 L) Buick V6
305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8
|Wheelbase||97.0 in (2,460 mm)|
|Length||179.2 in (4,550 mm) coupe/hatchback|
178.0 in (4,520 mm) Wagon
|Height||49.6 in (1,260 mm) coupe/Hatchback|
51.8 in (1,320 mm) Wagon
The first-generation Pontiac Sunbird is a subcompact,four-passenger automobile introduced in September 1975, and produced for the 1976 through 1980 model years. The first-generation Sunbird is a badge engineered version of the Chevrolet Monza. Built on the H-body platform, its intended competitors were other small sporty two-door vehicles including the Toyota Celica, Datsun 200SX, Mercury Capri, and the Ford Mustang II. It did not share any mechanical relation to the Holden LX Sunbird.
The Sunbird has a 97.0-inch (2,460 mm) wheelbase and a 65.4-inch (1,660 mm) width. The first generation Sunbird is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a live rear axle design. The standard engine is the Vega aluminum-block 140 CID inline-four. Equipped with a single-barrel carburetor, it generates a peak power output of 78 horsepower (58 kW) at 4,200 rpm. the standard transmission was a four-speed manual, with a five-speed manual and three-speed automatic transmission options. This engine was also available with a two-barrel carburetor that increased peak power to 87 horsepower (65 kW) at 4,400 rpm, as well as Buick's 3.8 L (231 cid) V6 engine rated at 110 horsepower (82 kW) at 4,000 rpm. The front suspension is short and long control arms with coil springs, and anti-roll bar; the rear suspension is a torque-arm design with coil springs and an anti-roll bar. Variable-ratio power steering was standard of a recirculating ball type. The brake system features front disc brakes with vented rotors, and rear drum brakes. Power-assist was standard.
When the Sunbird was introduced for 1976, it was only available in a notchback coupe body-style shared with the Chevrolet Monza Towne Coupe. For 1977, the hatchback body-style was added. All Sunbirds had a new standard engine: Pontiac's 151 CID "Iron Duke" inline four-cylinder engine using a two-barrel Holley carburetor and generating 90 horsepower (67 kW) at 4,400 rpm. A Formula option was available on coupe, wagon, and hatchback. It includes the handling package, a chrome valve cover, three-piece spoiler, T/A steering wheel, and special body decals. EPA gas mileage rating was 28 MPG city and 34 MPG highway with the five-speed manual, exceptionally good for that era.
For 1978 and 1979, the station wagon from the otherwise discontinued Astre series was added to the Sunbird line. They continued to use the same front fascia as the Astre with Sunbird badging. The 2.3 L engine was simultaneously discontinued.
For the 1978 and 1979 model years, the Chevrolet 5.0 L (305 cid) V8 engine was made optional in the notchback and hatchback (RPO LG3, 481 for 1978 and 986 for 1979), while the Sunbird Safari wagon continued for its final year with a revised vertical styled grill. The 1978 and 1979 engine options included the 305 cu in (5.0 L) V8, 3.8L V6 and a 2.5L I4. Body options included the Firebird Redbird package, Sunbird Formula package, and sunroof. Air conditioning was available as was four-speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic transmission.
1980 was the final production year of the H-bodied Sunbird. By this time, the wagon body style and the optional V8 engine had been discontinued. The year featured an unusually long production run in order to provide sufficient inventory to carry dealers into the 1981 model year in anticipation of the Sunbird's replacement.
A total 479,967 H-body Sunbirds were produced in five model years.
|Also called||J2000 (1982)|
2000 Sunbird (1983–1984)
Lordstown, Ohio (Lordstown Assembly)
South Gate, California (South Gate Assembly)
Ramos Arizpe (Ramos Arizpe Assembly)
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Related|| Cadillac Cimarron |
|Wheelbase||101.2 in (2,570 mm)|
|Length||169.5 in (4,310 mm)|
|Width||66.3 in (1,680 mm)|
|Height||53.6 in (1,360 mm)|
For 1982, the rear-wheel-drive Sunbird was replaced by a new front-wheel-drive compact called the J2000. Appearing as a sedan, coupe, wagon or hatchback, the J2000 was powered by a carbureted, overhead valve cast-iron 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine. Power was 88 hp (66 kW). During the year, this engine was joined by a new 1.8-litre four, a single overhead-cam unit with an aluminum head imported from GM of Brazil. This engine used throttle-body electronic fuel injection, in contrast to the carburetor that was used in the previous engine, making 84 hp (63 kW). It was initially only available in conjunction with the automatic transmission. The J2000 shared GM's internationally used J-Body platform with the Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza, Buick Skyhawk, and Cadillac Cimarron in North America.
For 1983, the J prefix was dropped. This was in an effort to market the J2000 as a smaller version of the Pontiac 6000, which had a similar appearance. A five-speed manual was newly optional. The standard engine was replaced by the fuel injected Brazilian engine, while a stroked 2-litre fuel injected version of the overhead-valve 1.8 became the optional engine, producing 88 hp (66 kW). A convertible called the 2000 Sunbird was also new for 1983.
1984 brought a new front fascia for a smoother, less angular look. The lineup was renamed 2000 Sunbird, a title used only on the convertible the previous year. A new turbocharged four-cylinder was available. Based on the standard 1.8L inline-four that powered other 2000 Sunbirds, it used multi-port fuel injection, for a total output of 150 hp (110 kW). This engine was popular, and more powerful than many V6 engines in competing brands.
1985 was a carryover year, except for the 2000 prefix being dropped.
For 1986, the optional 2-litre four was discontinued.A GT model arrived at the top of the lineup. It featured fender flares, hidden headlamps, and the turbo engine standard. It was available in sedan, coupe, hatchback, or convertible. The GT sedan is very rare, with fewer than 5,000 sold. The GT convertible is the rarest variant, with fewer than 1,300 sold.
A redesigned gauge cluster and new engines were introduced for the 1987 model year. The gauge cluster featured different graphics, and a 120 mph (190 km/h) speedometer on turbo equipped models, where 1984-1986 turbo models had an 85 mph (137 km/h) speedometer. The new engines were "punched out" versions of the 1.8L, displacing 2.0L. The base engine still used throttle-body injection, for a new total of 96 hp (72 kW), and the turbo still used port-injection, for a new total of 165 hp (123 kW). Also, the convertible could only be ordered in GT trim. The rear fascia was redesigned in 1988, and the four-speed manual was discontinued. 1989 was the last year for the convertible GT, with the Turbo engine option dropped after 1990.
|Also called|| Chevrolet Cavalier (Mexico)|
Pontiac GT[ citation needed ]
|Assembly|| Lordstown, Ohio, United States |
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door convertible |
4-door station wagon
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Related|| Buick Skyhawk |
|Transmission||3-speed automatic |
|Wheelbase||101.3 in (2,570 mm) (1991–92)|
101.2 in (2,570 mm) (1989–90)
103.4 in (2,630 mm) (1993–94)
|Length||180.7 in (4,590 mm) (1991–94)|
181.3 in (4,610 mm) (1989–90)
|Width||66.3 in (1,680 mm)|
|Curb weight||2,696–2,745 lb (1,223–1,245 kg)|
Production under the Sunbird name was continued until 1994. The trim levels on both the sedan and coupe were base, SE and GT. The Sunbird SE coupe, SE sedan and the GT coupe and convertible had partially concealed headlamps, a feature that originally appeared on the Isuzu Impulse, that gave the appearance of "raised eyebrows" when the headlights were on. The base model initially had the 1984-87 front fascia with exposed sealed beam headlamps. The engines were both the carryover 2.0L 96 hp (72 kW) I4 and the turbocharged 165 horsepower 2.0L four. GM discontinued the Safari name on the Sunbird station wagon models.
In 1989, the base model received a smoother, more aerodynamic front fascia and the model was renamed "LE". An LE coupe joined the lineup also, with the same features as the LE sedan, but for a slightly lower price. The SE sedan was discontinued. In all models, however, a new dashboard was added. It somewhat resembled that of the larger Pontiac Grand Prix, redesigned for 1988. The most notable change from the previous dashboard is the placement of the stereo. A redesigned AM/FM stereo unit was placed high in the dash. If a cassette player or compact disc player (new for 1989) were ordered, they were relocated at the bottom of the dash.
For 1990, the GT and SE coupes received a smoother front fascia with hidden headlamps. The GT convertible is discontinued, replaced by a turbocharged LE convertible, which also retains the GT suspension and steering. In all models, GM's passive seatbelt system was introduced. The seatbelts were mounted on the doors and would stretch out when latched.
The turbo four was deleted for 1991, replaced by the Cavalier's 3.1L V6. With Multi-Port Fuel Injection, it produced 140 hp (100 kW) at 5200 rpm, and 185 lb⋅ft (251 N⋅m) of torque at 4800 rpm. Although there was less horsepower under the hood, power came much quicker and smoother than the Turbo, with about the same fuel economy. The V6 engine could be ordered in any model, save the new-for 1991 base value model. The SE coupe received the LE coupe front fascia, but the GT's fascia could still be ordered with a sport package exclusive to SE coupes.
The largest change for the 1992 model year was a revision of the base engine. The 2.0 L SOHC TBI four was replaced with the 2.0 L SOHC MPFI four resulting in a fuel economy increase and power increase. Power was increased from 96 hp (72 kW) to 110 hp (82 kW) and torque increased from 118 to 124 lb⋅ft (168 N⋅m). NOTE: The intake manifold casting is a bit thick and responds well to port matching the head with a stock felpro gasket. An SE sedan was once again available, and the base models were dropped and the convertible moved from LE to SE. The only change for 1993 was the addition of a glass rear window with defroster on convertibles.
As the Sunbird came to a close, the trims were pared down. The SE sedan, SE convertible and GT coupe were dropped for 1994. The LE sedan, LE coupe and LE convertible (moved from SE to LE), and SE coupe stood pat for one more year. The SE coupe was essentially the 1993 GT coupe with a lower price.
Most Sunbirds were built in Lordstown, Ohio and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. The last one rolled off the assembly line on April 27, 1994. The Sunbird was replaced by the Pontiac Sunfire in 1995.
The Sunbird GT model was introduced in 1986 as a coupe, sedan, convertible or fastback hatch with a 1.8 L turbocharged inline-four engine of the Family II range (LA5) as standard equipment. The 150 hp (112 kW) 1.8-liter turbo engine had been available since 1984. In 1987 the engine was upgraded to the 165 hp (123 kW) LT3.
All GTs featured semi-concealed headlamps and fender flares and "Turbo GT" badges replacing "Sunbird" badges. However, on the turbo delete cars the "Sunbird" badges were replaced by "Sunbird GT" badges. The sedan was dropped for 1988 and the interior for the coupe was redesigned for 1989. The convertible was dropped for 1990 and the turbo followed in 1991. Replacing the turbo four-cylinder for 1991 was GM's 3.1-liter V6 that produced 140 hp (104 kW), but was quieter and smoother than the turbo. After 1993, the GT coupe became the SE coupe when the lineup was consolidated prior to the new model arriving for 1995.
From 1988 to 1992, the US Chevrolet Cavalier was sold in the Mexican market as a replacement for the Chevrolet Citation in the compact segment, due to the dismissal of the last one in 1987. The Sunbird was first sold in Mexico in 1992 as a 1993 model; prior to this, the Sunbird had been badged as the "new" Chevrolet Cavalier, seeming like an exterior redesign for the compact, but preserving the same interior as the "previous" model, also replacing the Pontiac badges with Chevrolet bowties. A unique characteristic for the Mexican version was the offering of the second generation LB6 MPFI 2.8L V6 engine as the single powerplant for either base and top models, either attached to a 5-speed manual or a 3-speed automatic transmission.
The Pontiac Sunbird GT was also renamed, being sold as the Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, and having the LH0 3.1L MPFI V6 as the standard engine, either with the same 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic powertrains used by the regular models. Both versions of Sunbird labeled as Cavaliers were sold until 1995, when the new generation of the Chevrolet Cavalier, and the new replacement for the Sunbird, the Pontiac Sunfire, were introduced both as separated models in Mexico.
In Europe the J200 shape (the name given by GM to this platform) was used in production of the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk II (U.K.) and Opel Ascona (Germany and other European countries). The European models received different styling from North American versions. The sports coupé variants were not marketed in Europe although it did appear in Latin America as the "Chevrolet Monza." Similar revisions were made for the J200 platform in the Australian market where it was named the "Holden Camira" - although there had also been an unrelated Holden Sunbird offered from 1976 until 1980. In 1989 the Cavalier and Ascona J200 was replaced with a remodelled version known as the Vectra Mk1 in Europe and the UK.
The 1982–1994 Sunbird came with one of these engines:
The Opel Astra is a compact car/small family car engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel since 1991, currently at its sixth generation. It was launched in September 1991 in hatchback, saloon, and station wagon forms. A sedan delivery/panel and a convertible also appeared in the early 1990s. These bodystyles were later followed by a coupé in 2004, the sporty Astra OPC appeared in 2005, the Twin Top retractable hardtop convertible replaced the soft top convertible in 2006, while the Caravan was rebadged Astra Sports Tourer from 2009 onwards.
The Holden Astra is a small car formerly marketed by Holden. The first couple of generations of Astra were made only for Australia, and was a derivative of the locally produced Nissan Pulsar. With the Button car plan coming into effect, it was replaced by the Holden Nova, a rebadged Toyota Corolla.
The Buick Skylark is a passenger car produced by Buick. The model was made in six production runs, during 46 years, over which the car's design varied dramatically due to changing technology, tastes, and new standards implemented over the years. It was named for the species of bird called skylark.
The Pontiac Sunfire is a compact car by Pontiac that was introduced for the 1995 model year to replace the Sunbird. Not only was the name changed, but dramatic styling changes were included as well. The new styling was shared with the redesigned Chevrolet Cavalier. The J platform was updated structurally to meet more stringent safety standards for the 1996 model year.
The Grand Prix is a line of automobiles produced by the Pontiac Division of General Motors from 1962 to 2002 for coupes and 1989–2008 for sedans. First introduced as part of Pontiac's full-size car model offering for the 1962 model year, the marque varied repeatedly in size, luxury, and performance during its production. Among the changes were positioning in the personal luxury car market segment and mid-size car offering from the second generation to the fifth generation for the sedan and from the second generation to the sixth generation from the coupe. The Grand Prix returned to a full-size car from the sixth generation to the seventh generation for the sedan, positioned below the larger Bonneville in Pontiac's model lineup.
Geo was a marque of small cars and SUVs marketed by General Motors as a subdivision of its Chevrolet division from 1989 to 1997. Formed by GM to compete with the growing small import market of the mid 1980s, the Geo nameplate continued through the 1997 model year when the brand merged with Chevrolet brand itself, after which the remaining models were marketed under the Chevrolet name; for the 1998 model year, the Metro, Prizm, and Tracker were sold as Chevrolets until their discontinuances in 2001, 2002, and 2004, respectively. In this sense, Geo existed until 2004, even with the Geo nameplate being dropped in mid-1997. Its original slogan was "Get to know Geo" and commercials often featured the song "Getting to Know You" from the musical The King and I. In the 1990s consumer interest in the economy compact market faded, and the last vehicle of the former Geo line, the Tracker, was discontinued in 2016. In Canada, another import marque, Asüna, was introduced in 1992 to provide Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealers access to a similar range of import vehicles.
The Chevrolet Cavalier is a line of small cars produced for the model years 1982 through 2005 by Chevrolet, and then later reintroduced in 2016 for the Chinese Market. As a rebadged variant of General Motors' J-cars, the Cavalier was manufactured alongside the Cadillac Cimarron, Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Firenza, and Pontiac J2000/2000/Sunbird at GM's South Gate Assembly and Janesville Assembly plants, achieving its highest sales in 1984.
The Opel Ascona is a large family car that was produced by the German automaker Opel from 1970 to 1988. It was produced in three separate generations, beginning with rear-wheel-drive and ending up as a front-wheel drive J-car derivative.
The Dodge 600 is a mid-size car that was built by Dodge. It was introduced in 1982, as a 1983 model, based on the Chrysler E platform and was discontinued after the 1988 model year. It was Chrysler's answer to the GM A-body, whereas the M-body Dodge Diplomat would compete with full-size cars. It replaced the 400. Like the preceding 400, it was positioned between the Aries and Diplomat.
The Buick Skyhawk is an automobile produced by Buick in two generations for the 1975 through 1989 model years.
The Chevrolet Monza is a subcompact automobile produced by Chevrolet for the 1975 through 1980 model years. The Monza is based on the Chevrolet Vega, sharing its wheelbase, width, and standard inline-four engine. The car was designed to accommodate the GM-Wankel rotary engine, but due to mediocre fuel economy and emissions-compliance issues the engine was cancelled, and a V8 engine option was substituted. The Monza name has also been used for several other cars.
The Oldsmobile Firenza was a compact car which was produced by Oldsmobile from 1982 to 1988. It was based on the front-wheel drive GM J platform, which was shared with the Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunbird. It was not based on the European market Vauxhall Firenza, but on the same platform as the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk 2 / Opel Ascona C.
The Pontiac LeMans is a model name that was applied to subcompact- and intermediate-sized automobiles marketed by Pontiac from 1961 to 1981 model years. Originally a trim upgrade based on the Tempest, it became a separate model. In 1964 the Tempest was available with an optional GTO package that later became a separate model, the Pontiac GTO, muscle car. 1970 introduced the GT-37 package.
The Geo Metro was a marketing and manufacturing variation of the Suzuki Cultus available in North America from 1989 through 2001 as a joint effort of General Motors (GM) and Suzuki. In the US, the Metro carried a Geo nameplate from 1989 through 1997, and a Chevrolet nameplate from 1998 to 2001. It evolved with the Cultus and its siblings over 13 years, three generations and four body styles: three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and two-door convertible—and was ultimately replaced in the General Motors lineup by a family of vehicles based on the Daewoo Kalos.
The Isuzu Piazza is a small, sporty 3-door liftback coupé which was manufactured by Isuzu from 1981 to 1992 in two generations. The Isuzu Piazza was marketed as the Isuzu Impulse in North America and as the Holden Piazza in Australia.
The Pontiac Grand Am is a mid-size car and later a compact car that was produced by Pontiac. The Grand Am had two separate three-year runs in the 1970s: from 1973 to 1975, and again from 1978 to 1980. It was based on the GM A platform. Production of the Grand Am was canceled in 1980 when it was replaced by the Pontiac 6000. The Grand Am was reintroduced in 1985 when it replaced the Pontiac Phoenix. It became Pontiac's best selling car and was later replaced by the Pontiac G6, so named as it was intended to be the 6th generation of the Grand Am.
The Suzuki Cultus is a supermini car produced by the Japanese manufacturer Suzuki from 1983 to 2003. The nameplate is currently used as a rebadged Suzuki Celerio in Pakistan since 2017. It was first presented at the 25th Tokyo Motor Show, formally introduced to Japan in 1983 and ultimately sold in seven countries across three generations and marketed worldwide as the Suzuki Swift for the first two generations. An alliance formed in 1981 between GM and Suzuki allowed GM to market the Cultus as a captive import internationally under more than a dozen nameplates including the Geo Metro, Chevrolet Sprint, Pontiac Firefly and Holden Barina. It was also known as the M-car within GM.
The Daewoo Lacetti is a compact car manufactured and marketed globally by GM Korea since 2002.
The Chevrolet Cobalt SS comprises three sport compact versions of the Chevrolet Cobalt that were built on the General Motors Delta platform at Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, United States. The three versions included two forced induction inline-four Ecotec engines and a third naturally aspirated engine that was later called the Cobalt Sport. SS is an abbreviation of Super Sport, a historic moniker used by Chevrolet to denote high performance upgrades that meet certain criteria.
The Toyota Corolla E80 is a range of small automobiles manufactured and marketed by Toyota from 1983 to 1987 as the fifth generation of cars under the Corolla and Toyota Sprinter nameplates, with production totaling approximately 3.3 million, and most models adopting a front-wheel drive layout.
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