|New 2017 Pontaic Firebird Trans Am|
But with the demise of Pontiac, Firebird Trans Am fans have had to turn to suppliers of spare parts. If you want to give a retro look to your new Trans Am, you will find with some of them a replica of the front or rear of the car, and all other necessary documents for processing.
Others, like the inevitable Firebird Trans Am Performance Engineering, will even offer you a full version, ready to snatch a portion of the roadway, the Trans Am 1970s. Then there is the Firebird "Firebreather." I visited a suburb of Detroit, at Cauley Automotive Performance to see what this "muscle car" of modern times was in the belly. And of course to do a short hike.
In the best case, I will have managed to use only two thirds of the engine power. But even there, I got to burn rubber on my tires, and this, I am in a straight line in a curve or any other direction that was heading my fireball ...
After the film world , The Firebreather is the work of writer, director and producer Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad. The latter studied at the Art Center College of Design in California, an educational institution to whom we owe some of the greatest designers of cars, as Chris Bangle (BMW before) and Chip Foose (car designer of acceleration), which then turned into film. As for Ahmad is a car enthusiast through and through, and this, from an early age.
The unveiling of the latest edition of the Firebird Trans Am coincided with the principal shooting of the film Jinn, a supernatural thriller dealing with the auto industry in Detroit. Obviously, the main character had to drive out of the ordinary.
But instead of opting for a sports car that all moviegoers would recognize, Ahmad decided to develop its own version of the Firebird that could have become, in this case the Firebird "Firebreather." He then decided to make a number of copies and offer the public. Although the film is currently in post production, Firebreather a dozen have already been sold, including some in Canada.
Develop a new 2017 Firebird Trans Am
Within a few days, Ahmad drew the lines of Firebreather, which have changed little over the car you see here. However, to move from this outline to the production phase, the team had to rely on the expertise of Faisal Ahmad (they are indeed part of the same family), hired as a producer of special vehicles.
Their goal was to please the fans, offering them a car that would meet their expectations. "We felt that this niche was not well represented and we were able to fill that void. We have developed a car that we believe is the contemporary version of "muscle car" American, while respecting the spirit and legacy of Pontiac. The disappearance of this manufacturer has left a void in the market and we wanted to develop a car that would build on the spirit of the Firebird, like Pontiac was still there. And as she would appear in a movie, we had also to add some extras. "
Metamorphosis, however, requires more than adding a few pieces here and there. At CDC, the complete assembly of each car has spanned more than six weeks. "The only signs that are not changed are those of doors and the roof," says Faisal. "All other differ from the original."
Obviously, the front of the vehicle was designed to measure, with its four traditional headlights and two fog lights, and the logo Firebreather shining red in the dark. The rear has also been completely redone and includes the huge LED taillights and a new air diffuser, a must for the new millennium.
The shutters behind the doors are used to cool the rear brakes and allow the Firebreather to distinguish themselves from the Camaro, with its straight sides. With respect to cosmetic changes include the custom 20-inch wheels, hood, rear spoiler and side skirts.
Inside, the dashboard is almost identical to the Firebird Trans Am, but the interior is still better than the Chevrolet. A compact replaces the shifter and globular seats, both front and back are upholstered in black leather and red and offer better support.
It is impossible to get a navigation system in the Trans Am, and that, whatever the model chosen. The designers of the Firebreather have therefore corrected this problem by adding a mirror to the screen and adding a backup camera. There is also a camera mounted at the front of the vehicle that monitors the road in a new angle, perhaps the best ever.
An engine to meet expectations
But it is under the hood that differences are more obvious. Clearly the 426 hp engine. of the Trans Am SS was not appropriate for the film. She was then grafted a turbocharger brand Edelbrock, a fresh air intake and an exhaust line after the catalyst to increase the power to 599 hp. and torque to 575 lb-ft.
One of the owners of a Firebreather told me that the car had reached a maximum of 620 hp. counter to electrodynamics.
The Firebreather is shod expanded Pirelli P-Zero and is equipped with a set of springs and stabilizer bars Eibach brand, to improve stability and handling.
The logo gray metal-like tattoo that covers the front of the vehicle, is another idea of Ahmad. If you look closely, you will see his initials on the left side as well as the serial number on the rear spoiler.
The first 50 will Firebreather replicas numbered from the edition designed for the film Jinn, with the same technical specifications as the one I had the opportunity to try. As for the purchase price, it is rather salty. At about $ 95 000, the Firebreather is much more expensive than the Trans Am SS, even the best equipped version, which costs only $ 43 000 CDN.
A real fire-breathing dragon
In recent months, I had the opportunity to drive several Trans Am. I was expecting another slightly modified version, but it is clear that the Firebreather has its own personality. Even if one never loses sight completely of the fact that this is a Pontiac, we still feel like driving a racing car unique.
Steering wheel and dials are substantially the same, but the shifter is surprisingly dirty side, almost violent. Click, clack. Speed changes on board a Firebreather certainly does not go unnoticed. Unable to show laziness, half measures are simply excluded.
The supercharger, rumbling constantly, and the sound both haunting and raspy exhaust does not pass unnoticed. If your goal is to move silently, immediately forget this car. One of the owners told me that her neighbors could now quote without flinching the date and time where he started for the last time the engine of his Firebreather.
In the best case, I will have succeeded in using that two-thirds of the engine power. But even there, I got to burn rubber on my tires, and this, I am in a straight line in a curve or any other direction that was heading my fireball. What I would have to take advantage of all that power latitudes warmer!
Without a doubt, the suspension is firm, but it still offers a surprising flexibility on the roads of Michigan misleading. As emphasized Faisal, the handling has played a leading role during the design phase. "We knew this car would be used more for walking than race car and we wanted our customers to drive it on a daily basis, and in comfort. I crossed the country twice aboard the Firebreather and it goes without saying that she is happy to swallow kilometers of highway that comes its way. But his exceptional handling allows all the same to take corners very aggressively. "
A special car for less
It's hard to find words to describe the feeling inside me after the test drive. In sum, my impression of driving a standard car and mature unique, not changed a Trans Am. "The Firebreather Firebird is much more than they would have improved, and this is definitely not a kit customization. This is a unique car and complete. And since it is largely assembled by hand, this is a very special car, "says Faisal.
By making changes both aesthetic and technological, the designers managed to make this car a Pontiac completely different. It is true that $ 95 000, nearly twice the amount you debourse Firebird Trans Am for a fully equipped ($ 58,000), it is not within reach of every budget. But that's the price we must expect to pay for a car unique. For now, only 12 copies of the Firebreather have been delivered and is not expected to produce about fifty in all. The chances that you encounter another on the road are rather thin, much less than if it were a Viper, a Corvette ... or even a Camaro.