I have to admit that at first I believed this to be a 1996 Corvette Grand Sport with a Lotus-designed 32-valve LT5 swapped in place of the (comparably) timid LT4. Looking back over the pictures, it’s obvious that this is a ZR-1 painted to look like a Grand Sport.
Let’s begin with a history lesson: With all of the special packages applied to pony cars of every era, we must ask what the “Firehawk” is. Well to put it simply, when F-bodies were in full-wedge-effect, GM would send them over to SLP to get them slapped with some bolt-ons to sell them to you at a higher price. During 2 generations (or 3 platform refreshes) You could order a Pontiac SLP Firehawk.
The rarest of these being the 91-92 models, only 25 left with option code “B4U”. Next is the 1993-1997 models, though only the 1997 model is worth noting, as it comes with a 345hp-rated LT4 small block. All came with the “R6V” RPO code. Then there’s a handful of 1998 Trans Am’s and Formulas driving around with Firehawk parts on them, but they don’t count. Next is the 1999-2002 Firehawks, carrying the “WU6” RPO code.The Firehawk you see here belongs to that iteration. But if you couldn’t tell that, you probably have no business being into F-body cars. Originally rated a 327hp, likely for novelty purposes as there is absolutely very little that sets a 305hp LS1 in a Firebird Formula apart from a 327hp Ls1 in a Firehawk – or even a 345hp LS1 in a Y-body Corvette. The rating climbed higher and higher and finally peaked at 345 with the LS6-intaked 2002 Model.
Okay, there’s the specs, so what makes these Firehawks so special? Prepare to be severely disappointed. You’re looking at a sticker package, exclusive wheels and tires, exhaust tips and the only actually performance improving modification being a lightweight hood fitted with “real” ram induction. The only thing this had over it’s SLP SS Camaro brother was aesthetics. At least it had that in spades.
For the record, this particular Firehawk is interesting in that it has chrome wheels, a new option for it’s year. Other than that, it’s a plastic-hooded Formula with a nasty snarl. Love those t-tops though.