Jay Leno’s 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 Still Makes Him Smile

Despite the Aztec, Pontiac’s immortal legacy is one of muscle. And not just the classics, but also the early 2000’s models like the GTO and G8 GXP. Jay Leno has already expressed his appreciation for the old Pontiacs. But in a recent video, he looks at something more modern: 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6.

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 introduced a 2002 Corvette for the price of a minivan, reports Road & Track.

According to Hagerty, the Trans Am and WS6 plates have a lot of history for Pontiac Firebird fans. Like the CC for Chevrolet, the Trans Am meant a sporty Firebird. The WS6 made its debut on the 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am as a conversion kit. But by the time the fourth generation of cars debuted in 1992, it was done, according to Hagerty.

In 1996, however, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 returned, according to Hagerty, but in a slightly different form. Yes, it was still a manageable package that gave the Trans Am improved shocks and springs, stiffer anti-roll bars and larger wheels, Automobile reports. But he also gave the muscle car a working exhaust system and a working Ram Air hood. The result: The 5.7-liter LT1 V8 under the hood has been boosted from 285 hp and 325 lb-ft to 305 hp and 335 lb-ft. But Pontiac wasn’t finished yet.

2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6

Starting in 1998, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am received the same 5.7-liter LS1 V8 as the modern Corvette. It has 305 standard horsepower, reports Road & Track, and is equipped with an aluminum driveshaft and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, reports DriveMag. But the Trans Am WS6 has 320 horsepower, according to Hemmings. And with a short six-speed manual transmission, the Hurst can go from 0 to 100 mph in 5 seconds, the equivalent of a modern Corvette, reports MotorTrend.

2002 was the end of the road for the Pontiac Firebird, Trans Am WS6 and all. So it’s only natural that last year’s models are packed with features. Leather seats, an electric cooler, removable roof panels and Goodyear F1 tires are standard, according to Autoblog. Also a limited-slip differential, trailer gears and a small power increase to 325 hp and 350 lb-ft, according to Hagerty.

For Jay Leno, the 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 is the best version of the intriguing.

Jay Leno owns one of these last Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6s. And for him, the swan song car is the best ever built.

APPROPRIATE: Is the Pontiac Solstice a good car?

He’s driven every generation of Trans Am at Daytona, and even the big-engine models from the 70s weren’t as good as 2002. Jay Leno even calls his Trans Am WS6 a four-seat Corvette. That’s to be expected, since it shares parts with the Corvette, according to Hagerty. And, according to Leno, better to drive than a modern Camaro.

Although GM cars from the early 2000s weren’t necessarily known for the quality of their interiors, Jay Leno describes the interior of his Trans Am WS6 as beautiful. It is true that his car is as good as new, the only non-standard part is the battery. And even after 20 years of driving, he hasn’t had any problems.

APPROPRIATE: Jay Leno takes a Lancia Stratos HF Rally Legend for a spin.

Jay Leno calls the 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 a real world car. Something fun to do on the weekends and while traveling. It has comfortable seats, and without the chicken shit, it’s a bit of a quality ship. And even with the sports suspension, it doesn’t drive fast. And of course there’s the rumble of the LS V8.

These are very affordable muscle cars.

Of course, the WS6 package upgrades mean that Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams equipped with this package will have a small premium. However, fourth-generation Trans Ams are not necessarily expensive.

2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 rear view 3/4 | Bring a trailer

APPROPRIATE: The 2005 Pontiac GTO serves up a dose of old-school cheapness.

A 2001 Am WS6 trans can cost about $32,000, according to Hagerty. But the average price of a BaT is between $20,000 and $25,000. And some examples go much further. A 2001 Trans Am WS6 automatic convertible sold for $9,900 at a Sotheby’s auction in September 2019. Such a low price certainly makes me smile.

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