Because the Banshee had proven popular with showgoers, Pontiac adapted its assertive snout to lead off a facelift. Soon came the return of the open Firebird-the first convertible in more than two decades -- offered in base and Trans Am guise the 1991 Pontiac Firebird Convertible. Its manually operated canvas top stowed beneath a hide-away tonneau. Some two thousand ragtops were built in the '91 model year.
All Firebird models gained new front/rear fascias and retractable halogen mini-head-lamps. Special undersurface ducts channeled cool air to the front brakes. Center high-mount stoplights were repositioned under the hatch. Formula, Trans Am, and GTA added new rear-deck spoilers, shaped like an inverted airfoil. Trans Am and GTA also got fresh taillamps and bodyside skirting.
Trans Ams adopted P215/60R16 touring tires on charcoal diamond-spoke wheels, replacing 15-inchers. GTA fittings included a 240-bhp 5.7-liter V-8 with tuned intake runners, roller lifters, and twin-converter exhaust; plus a 3.23:1 limited-slip axle, Level III suspension, all-disc brakes, and "Gatorback" tires. A new Sport Appearance Package for base models served as a low-rent alternative to the Trans Am/GTA look. Engine choices were unchanged: 3.1-liter V-6 standard on base Firebird; 170-bhp 5.0-liter V-8 optional (standard on Formula). Standard on Trans Am and optional on Formula was a 5.0-liter V-8, now rated at 205 or 230 horsepower.
Not good enough? Then consider the "Street Legal Performance" package. Marketed through dealers, it included such goodies as siamesed aluminum intake runners and tri-Y stainless steel exhaust headers. Adding about 50 horsepower, it snipped about a second from 0-60 and quarter-mile acceleration times.