Shedding the vestiges of mannerly behavior, the Trans Am emerged for 1985 with a more assertive demeanor, wearing an expanded version of the aero component package offered for 1984. Like other Firebirds, it displayed a more tapered profile, both front and rear. The new look included foglights and a louvered hood-plus the option of a new wing-style rear spoiler, which presented a more integrated appearance.
Three engine choices were offered, all 305-cid V-8s: carbureted, delivering either 165 horsepower or (in the high-output L69 version) 190 bhp; or a new tuned-port injected V-8, similar to the Corvette's, that was good for 205 frenzied horses. The carbureted engines could be mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed overdrive automatic; the fuel-injected version came only with the automatic.
In addition to their dramatic new look, Trans Ams-and "lesser" Firebirds too-earned some modifications to improve their ride and handling qualities. The Recaro special-edition was gone, but Trans Ams could travel on 16-inch "Gatorback" tires if the WS6 suspension option was ordered.
Even the posh, slightly cheaper S/E gained horsepower, along with its own louvered hood, reworked graphics, and fresh front/rear fascias. An S/E could be ordered with the 165-bhp V-8. This year brought Firebirds an optional electronic instrument panel and air conditioning controls, new interior trim, and improved acoustics.
After dipping in 1983, Firebird production had hit a high for the decade in '84, then slipped again this year. Even so, the Trans Am was going strong, accounting for 46 percent of Firebird output.
If you want to learn more about muscle cars and Firebirds, check out these pages:
- Firebird Reviews by Consumer Guide
- Muscle Cars