“Firebird: The muscle car lives,” said Pontiac in its Advanced Media Information book for the 2001 Firebird.
The F-car remained true to its heritage while taking performance to new levels, although enthusiasts of the nameplate would be shocked by the announcement, in the fall of 2001, that General Motors would soon be stopping Firebird (and Camaro) production.
For over three decades, the Pontiac Firebird had defined high-powered driving excitement.
The 2001 lineup started with Firebird coupe and convertible.
Firebird hood and rear quarter panels were made of two-sided galvanized steel, while the doors, hatch, roof, fenders, and fascias were formed from composite materials that were lightweight and impervious to rust or corrosion.
Base Firebird features included
a hidden headlamp design
integrated fog lamps
fender-mounted air extractors
a sleek, aerodynamically shaped body
four-wheel disc brakes with ABS
a fold-down rear seat
a center console with an auxiliary power outlet and dual cup holders
3800 V-8 that delivered 200 hp. hooked to a five-speed manual or available four-speed automatic transmission.
A slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission was also available at no extra charge.
An optional Hurst shifter was available on models equipped with the six-speed transmission.
The 3800 V-8 Performance package combined wider P235/55R16 touring tires with a Torsen II limited-slip differential, uplevel steering, dual exhaust outlets, a 3.42:1 axle ratio (available only with the automatic transmission).
A Sports Appearance package offered for Firebird and Firebird convertible included dual exhaust outlets, a distinctive chin spoiler, rocker panel extensions, and a deeper rear valance.
The Firebird’s high-performance attitude was not limited to its engine compartment — it was also found in the wide selection of audio systems available.
Base equipment for the Firebird coupe was a Delco 2001 Series electronically tuned radio with
a CD player
a seven-band graphic equalizer
touch controls for seek, search, and replay
Firebirds featured safety-cage construction with
manual lap/shoulder safety belts
driver and passenger frontal impact ainbags
two rear compartment child safety seat top tether anchors
Crash-avoidance features included
standard four-wheel disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and ABS
a brake/transmission shift interlock system
automatic daytime running lamps
tires with built-in wear indicators
available traction control
A PASSKey II then-deterrent system was also standard.
The Firebird convertible added
a standard up-level Monsoon® sound system with CD player and eight speakers
a six-way power driver’s seat
a leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant radio controls
remote keyless entry
power door locks
power outside mirrors
power radio antenna
Monsoon® radio and eight speakers.
Firebird Formula coupe appointments included
low-profile Z-speed-rated tires
Silver 16-in. five-spoke sport wheels
a performance-oriented suspension
a 10-speaker version of the Monsoon® CD audio system
The ultimate expression of Firebird muscle, the Trans Am, was offered in both coupe and convertible editions.
Standard equipment included
removable coupe roof panels
leather seat surfaces
an up-level rear spoiler for the Trans Am coupe
Bright Silver Metallic paint was replaced with Sunset Orange Metallic.
A new Camel Accent interior color was also added.
To make the ride even better for those on the inside, the shock absorbers were improved for better ride isolation and shake elimination on all models.
A 5.7-liter Gen III LS1 V-8 was standard on the Formula and Trans Am.
It had a new camshaft and a new intake manifold and the external EGR valve was eliminated for a gain of five horsepower (to 310 hp).
Trans Am drivers who opted for Ram Air enjoyed 15 additional horsepower.
Trans Ams equipped with Pontiac’s exclusive W56 Ram Air Performance and Handling package benefited from
functional air scoops
Ram Air induction
a dual-outlet exhaust system
a power-steering cooler
a suspension tuned for maximum handling performance.
P275/40ZR17 performance radial tires
9 x 17-in. highly-polished alloy wheels featuring a five-spoke spoke design.