Thanks to an LS3 V8, this Fiero has a new lease of life.
Many people see the Pontiac Fiero as a missed opportunity for GM. Even though it was a mid-engined sports car, GM borrowed parts from economy cars like the Chevy Chevette and Pontiac Phoenix to help bring down costs. One of the biggest letdowns was the engine options. Buyers had a choice of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 2.8-liter V6, neither of which were very fast. While its affordable mid-engine platform has made it popular with replica car builds, few people bother to improve the Fiero's performance with a new engine.
The seller of this 1985 Fiero SE didn't want to go down the route of making their Fiero look like a Ferrari wannabe. Instead, they decided to take out the lackluster 140-hp V6 and replace it with an LS3 V8 crate motor. Because of the small engine bay, the V8 had to be mounted sideways and mated to an Opel-built F40 six-speed manual transmission. To be clear, F40 is simply the code name of the transmission and has nothing to do with the Ferrari supercar. We are suprised that the seller didn't use the LS4 V8, which was found in models like the Impala SS and Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. These models were all FWD and had the LS4 mounted transversely.
The LS4 only produced around 300 to 345 hp, while the LS3 was good for around 435 hp in the Corvette, so this is a good choice. Of course, this Fiero didn't just get a bigger engine without improving handling and braking. The car also has a larger, aluminum radiator to deal with the added heat, larger vented brake rotors and new calipers on all four corners, new shocks and struts, and control arm bushings and ball joints. The final result is a V8-powered 1985 Fiero that looks completely brand new. The car only has 24,000 original miles and the interior looks factory fresh.
We'd pay good money for this well-built project, and we think that the $13,900 asking price is reasonable. The engine swap was performed professionally by V8 Archie, a company that specializes in stuffing V8s into Fieros. A little under $14,000 is a small price to pay for a nearly perfect Fiero with the heart of a Corvette.