"The automotive family tree includes the branch that bore muscle cars -- those
revered, big-engined road rockets of yore," said PMD's 1998 sales catalog. "As often
happens when a species evolves, the strong get stronger."
- The hot, rear-drive 2+2 Firebird offered just five model choices in 1998, after dropping the Formula convertible.
- Previously base, Formula, and Trans Am convertibles were offered, but ragtop production failed to top 8,000 units in 1996-1997.
- Production numbers for 1998 were close to 2,100 ragtops.
- Coupes were again featured in base, Formula, and Trans Am trim levels.
- Formulas and Trans Ams got a new, all-aluminum 5.7-liter 305-hp V-8 with a six-speed manual transmission.
- A Ram Air package provided 320 hp.
- Styling was freshened with a front fascia that incorporated a new headlamp design.
- There were updated taillights, too.
- Suspension tuning was revised and base models received a one-piece driveshaft.
- Firebird V-8s with four-speed automatic transmissions had a larger torque converter.
- All Firebirds got standard four-wheel disc brakes.
- A midyear Formula option was an AutoCross package with a beefed-up suspension.
- A $1,125-delete option that turned the Formula into a stripped-down street performance car was also new.