Oldsmobile Firenza

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Oldsmobile Firenza
Oldsmobile Firenza coupe 2.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer General Motors
Production 1982–1988
Assembly United States: Leeds, Missouri (Leeds Assembly)
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 2-door coupé
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform J-body
Related Buick Skyhawk
Cadillac Cimarron
Chevrolet Cavalier
Pontiac Sunbird
Powertrain
Engine 1.8 L OHV L46 I4 (gasoline)
1.8 L SOHC LH8 I4 (gasoline)
2.0 L OHV LQ5 I4 (gasoline)
2.0 L OHV LL8 I4 (gasoline)
2.0 L SOHC LT2 I4 (gasoline)
2.8 L LB6 V6 (gasoline)
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 101.2 in (2,570 mm)
Length 169.9 in (4,315 mm) (hatchback)
171.9 in (4,366 mm) (sedan)
179 in (4,547 mm) (wagon)
Width 65.0 in (1,651 mm)
Height 52.3 in (1,328 mm) (hatchback)
53.8 in (1,367 mm) (sedan)
54.4 in (1,382 mm) (wagon)
Chronology
Predecessor Oldsmobile Starfire

The Oldsmobile Firenza was a compact car produced by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors 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 that the Vauxhall Cavalier mk 2 / Opel Ascona C.

Overview[edit]

The all-new Firenza was introduced in March 1982, as replacement for the departed rear-wheel drive Starfire. Initially available as a 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedan, the lineup was expanded to include a 4-door "Cruiser" wagon in 1983, and a 2-door notchback coupe in 1986.[1] The name "Cruiser" was applied to all Oldsmobile station wagons at the time; this included the mid-size Cutlass Cruiser and full-size Custom Cruiser. The Firenza was positioned as Oldsmobile's entry-level compact car, priced below the sightly larger Omega and later Calais/Cutlass Calais. Despite this, the Firenza could be equipped with premium options such as power windows, power locks, and 14-inch alloy wheels.[2]

Although closely related to its J-body siblings, the Oldsmobile Firenza was badge engineered with distinctively Oldsmobile front and rear end styling found on 1980s larger Oldsmobiles. The upper portion of the Firenza front end featured quad rectangular headlights separated by signal lights in recessed housings, with a sloped body-color panel between the recesses. A horizontal-barred grille was mounted in the lower portion of the front fascia. The rear featured nearly square taillights with a slight wraparound at the outboard ends of the upper rear panel.

Firenza was launched with a 2.0-liter pushrod inline four-cylinder engine as the sole powerplant, but an overhead-cam 1.8-liter engine was added during the model year. Wraparound amber turn signal lights were added immediately outboard of the headlights for 1984. In 1985 the 2.8 L LB6 V6 was added as an option, as well as a new GT package. The GT, with the V6 standard, became a separate trim level for 1986.

1988 Oldsmobile Firenza sedan

For the Firenza's last model year, 1988, it received a new open grille, sealed-beam composite headlamps, and tail lights, styled after those of the Cutlass Ciera.[2] Also for the Firenza's final year, the hatchback coupe was dropped along with the V6, leaving just the four-cylinder notchback coupe, sedan, and wagon models. Also for 1988, all previous trim level designations were dropped. All Firenza bodystyles came in a single unnamed base model that could be equipped with six various option packages.

The Firenza was never a strong seller for Oldsmobile. In keeping with its premium image, Oldsmobile always had better luck selling larger, better equipped cars, most notably its wide range of Cutlass models. The 1980s were no exception to this. Also to blame was competition from its rebadged J-body siblings. Sales of the Cavalier and Sunbird annually dwarfed Firenzas, as they better fit into Chevrolet and Pontiac's value-oriented brand portfolios.[1] Due to this, the Firenza was not replaced in Oldsmobile's lineup, leaving the Cutlass Calais as the division's smallest car. The Cimarron was discontinued that year as well. Leeds Assembly, which built the Firenza, was closed. The Skyhawk lasted another year, while GM kept the first-generation Sunbird and Cavalier in production until 1994.

The last one rolled off the assembly line on July 8, 1988

Trims & options[edit]

  • Sedan:
    • base • 1982–1988
    • LX • 1982–1987
  • Hatchback:
    • S • 1982–1987
    • SX • 1982–1985
    • GT • 1986–1987
  • Wagon:
    • Cruiser • 1983–1988
    • LX Cruiser • 1983–1985
  • Coupe:
    • base • 1986–1988
    • LC • 1986–1987

Engines[edit]

  • 1982: 1.8 L L46 carbureted OHV I4
  • 1982–1986: 1.8 L LH8 TBI SOHC I4
  • 1983-1986: 2.0 L LQ5 TBI OHV I4
  • 1987–1988: 2.0 L LT2 TBI SOHC I4
  • 1987–1988: 2.0 L LL8 TBI OHV I4
  • 1985–1987: 2.8 L LB6 MPFI OHV V6

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. 2006. Encyclopedia of American Cars (pp 642-43) . Lincolnwood, Il: Publications International.
  2. ^ a b Oldsmobile Factory Sales Brochure "1988 Oldsmobile Lineup, Vol. II"

External links[edit]