The 2000 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 is a powerful muscle car from General Motors and the halo car for the Firebird line. The WS6 takes the Trans Am and adds a ram-air intake fed by functional hood scoops to produce more power, as well as a few other key upgrades. The car competed with the likes of the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, Toyota Supra twin-turbo, Ford Mustang SVT Cobra and General Motors' own Camaro SS.
The WS6 package takes the 2000 Trans Am's GM LS1 5.7 L V-8 engine and breathes on it via a ram-air mechanism located just under the hood feeding cold air to the motor through two beefy functional hood scoops. The LS1 engine powered contemporary Corvette models as well. The 16-valve pushrod motor has bore and stroke of 3.89-by-3.62 inches and a 10.5-to-1 compression ratio. The WS6 package upps horsepower over the standard Trans Am. With its modified air intake and freer-flowing dual exhaust in WS6 trim, the engine is rated at 320 horsepower and 345 foot-pounds of torque.
Drivetrain and Chassis
The Firebird Trans Am is a front engine, rear-wheel drive car. Transmission choices were either a four-speed automatic or the more prevalent Borg-Warner six-speed manual with Hurst shift linkage. Journalists from "Motor Trend" magazine took issue with the manual transmission's second-gear lockout feature, which forces the driver to shift directly from first to fourth gear if the rpms are below a certain level when the shift is attempted. This aids in fuel economy but proved an annoyance. The suspension system consists of double wishbones and coil springs up front with a solid rear axle using a torsion beam and coil-spring setup. Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, sized 11.9 inches in front and 12 inches rear, provide stopping power in conjunction with standard ABS and traction control. The traction control system can be defeated.
Exterior and Interior
The Firebird Trans Am WS6 was available with the coupe, t-top coupe and convertible body styles. Exterior dimensions are 193.7-inches long, 74.4-inches wide and 51.8-inches tall, riding on a 101.1-inch wheelbase. Curb weight is about 3,400 lbs. The WS6 package also adds 17-by-9-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in P275/40ZR17 tires. Inside is standard leather with front airbags for the driver and passenger. Seating is technically for four, though the back seat, with only 28.8 inches of legroom, is best suited for children or for short trips.
In "Motor Trend" magazine's December 1999 testing, the 2000 Trans Am WS6 ran 0-to-60-mph in 5.0 seconds, ripping through the quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds at 107.4 mph. Braking from 70-to-0 mph came in a solid 121 feet. On the skidpad, the car cornered at 0.84 g. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for automatic-equipped cars. Manual transmission drivers should see 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
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