The Pontiac Firebird was released five months after the Chevrolet Camaro, and offered buyers choices of six and eight cylinder engines. Pontiac was able to use that additional time to create a unique identity for the Firebird, despite having to use the Camaro chassis and some body panels. Despite using the same front fenders, doors, and rear fenders as the Camaro, the Firebird's styled split front grille, beaked hood, and GTO-slitted taillights gave it a distinctly Pontiac apperance. But the key differentiator was under the hood, where the Firebird offered a range of Pontiac engines.
The Ram Air engine included a hotter cam, stronger valve springs, and made use of the otherwise decrorative hood scoops. With no publicized power increase and a hefty $600 price tag, the Ram Air option was rarely ordered. All V8s came with a standard heavy-duty three speed manual transmission; a four speed manual and three speed automatic were optional. Performance axle ratios up to 4.33:1 were available as well as front disk brakes. Firebird prices were roughly $200 more than comparable Camaros and the Camaro outsold it two to one. But Pontiac's pony car had arrived.'
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