Timbo talking about the 2.9L proposed Fiero engine , which he claims parts from it made production on the 2.8L:
"Van, first sneak peaks were either in Car and Driver or Motor trend in 1982. I was the one and only advanced engine engineer at Pontiac Engineering and in 1982 got the assignment to find an optional engine for the Fiero. Almost everything GM had fit in the rear engine compartment with the 90 degree V configurations packaging the best. At the time, there was tremendous competition between Pontiac and Chevrolet so I did not even propose as SMB. The Cadillac 4.9 iron head aluminum block V8 and the Buick iron even fire 3800 dropped right in. Our asst chief at the time didn’t want to tell me what to do but encouraged me to look at the 60 degree V6 “corporate” engine manufactured by Chevrolet. I heard GM’s engineering staff was working on an all aluminum version so I visited them. They had production tooled the aluminum sand cast head with Karl Schmidt and the die cast aluminum block at a GM Central Foundry. After a short discussion, we decided to increase the bore .014″ to just barely make it a 2.9L and turbo charge it. Usage would be a low volume optional engine for the STE and the 1986 Fiero. E staff supported it 100% supplying heads, aluminum rocker covers, blocks, head gaskets and I was responsible for the intake, throttle body, exhaust manifolds, turbocharger and related hardware design and engineering. The rest of the parts I got from Chevy. We built 2 LA9’s (that was the production RPO I picked which stood for aluminum 2.9L), and 4 STE’s both autos and manuals. The Fieros were crazy fast with 4 sec 0-60’s and ended up scarring the beezus out of our GM president when he spun out on a damp surface one morning. It was just the reason he needed to support Chevy’s protest (it was faster and cheaper than the Corvette) and kill the project. We still needed an optional engine, so that night we put the red turbo intake and Holley throttle body on an iron 2.8L, the sexy red aluminum rocker covers, and the SS turbo exhaust manifolds, dropped it in an engineering car and presented it as the optional engine for the 2M6 THE NEXT MORNING.. What sold it was the ease which we pulled this off and later when dynoed, we learned the 2.8 with the PONTIAC engineered intake and exhaust made more power than Chevy’s X11 H.O. package, causing them to loose the H.O. designation. As they say on Gas Monkey, ” have you some of that Chevy!!!!!” The top of engine parts from the LA9 turbo made it into production as originally designed and developed on the iron V6."
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