The fourth-generation Firebird amplified the aerodynamic styling initiated by the previous generation. While the live rear axle and floorpan aft of the front seats remained largely the same, ninety percent of the Firebird's parts were all-new. Overall, the styling of the Firebird more strongly reflected the Banshee IV concept car than the 1991 "facelift" did. As with the Camaro, major improvements included standard dual airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, 16-inch wheels, rack-and-pinion power steering, short/long-arm front suspension, and several non-rusting composite body panels. Throughout its fourth generation, trim levels included V6-powered Firebird, and V8-powered Formula and Trans Am. Standard manual transmissions were the T5 five-speed manual for the V6s, Borg-Warner's T56 six-speed manual for the V8s. The 4L60 four-speed automatic was optional for both in 1993, becoming the 4L60E with built-in electronic controls in 1994.
In 1997, in relation to the Camaro, the Firebird received a mid-cycle refresh for the 1998 model year. Major changes included a new hood and front fascia with dual intakes, retracting quad halogen headlights, circular turn signals and fog lamps, a front license plate pocket, lower fender air vents, unified-style lower door raised lettering for each trim level, and a new "honeycomb" rear light panel, with circular reverse lamps. In the dashboard, "next-generation" reduced-force dual airbags became standard. As before, the Formula and Trans Am again received a close derivative of the Corvette's 5.7 L V8, the LS1 of the C5 Corvette, as the LT1 (and LT4) V8s were discontinued.:911 The LS1 Firebirds were also equipped with an aluminum driveshaft, replacing the previous steel version, while all Firebird trim levels gained four-wheel disc brakes with dual-piston front calipers and larger rotors at each wheel, complete with a solenoid-based Bosch anti-lock system. The Formula convertible was no longer offered.
Beginning in 1998 for 1999 models, a standard 16.8-gallon non-metallic fuel tank increased the potential traveling range. GM's ASR traction control system was extended to the V6-powered Firebirds, and all LS1 (V8) and Y87 (V6) Firebirds also received a Zexel/Torsen II slip-reduction rear axle. An electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) system replaced the old hydraulic proportioning valve for improved brake performance. An enhanced sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) recorded vehicle speed, engine rpm, throttle position, and brake use in the last five seconds prior to airbag deployment.:915 In 1999, a Hurst shifter for variants with the 6-speed manual and a power steering cooler became options for LS1 Firebirds.
In 2000, the WS6 performance package was available exclusively for 2001 model year Trans Am coupe and convertible variants.
For 2002, more convenience items such as power mirrors and power antenna became standard equipment, while cassette stereos were phased out.
2002 Collector's Edition Trans Am For the Firebird's final year, a collector's edition Trans Am was released as either a yellow WS6 convertible or WS6 t-top coupe, with twin black stripes from hood to tail, black-painted five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, and further black-trimmed body details. Total Production of the Collector's Edition was 2391 with 1092 Convertibles of which 488 were equipped with the Automatic.
2002 Collector's Edition Trans Am
For the Firebird's final year, a collector's edition Trans Am was released as either a yellow WS6 convertible or WS6 t-top coupe, with twin black stripes from hood to tail, black-painted five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, and further black-trimmed body details. Total Production of the Collector's Edition was 2391 with 1092 Convertibles of which 488 were equipped with the Automatic.
This exceptionally nice one owner example has always been kept garaged, and used on sunny Summer days only. Complete with its original Window Sticker, all Books. Tools, and Records, this car still presents as a new car for all effective purposes. The car runs and drives perfectly and needs nothing. If you are looking for a low mile, well kept Collectors Edition Trans Am, this is your car!