The Oldsmobile Starfire is a subcompact four-passenger automobile introduced in September 1974, and produced for the 1975 through 1980 model years. The Starfire is based on the Chevrolet Vega and shares its wheelbase and width. It would be the smallest car bearing the Oldsmobile name since before World War II. An upgraded SX model was available, and the GT was introduced in mid-1975.
The Starfire has a 97.0-inch (2,460 mm) wheelbase and a 65.4-inch (1,660 mm) width. The Starfire, Chevrolet Monza, and Buick Skyhawk were among the first vehicles to adopt the newly approved quad rectangular headlamps. The body style is noted for having a resemblance to the Ferrari 365 GTC/4. Starfire's standard engine for 1975-76 model years was the Buick 231 cid V6 engine using a 2-barrel carburetor that generates 110 hp (82 kW) at 4000.
The front suspension is short and long control arms with coil springs, and anti-roll bar; the rear suspension is a torque-arm design with coil springs and an anti-roll bar. The first generation Skyhawk is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a live rear axle design. Variable-ratio power steering was standard of a recirculating ball type. The brake system features standard power assist including front disc brakes with solid rotors, and rear drum brakes. This was the first GM product to incorporate a torque arm rear suspension (rear coil springs with 2 links) - its design was later incorporated into GM's third and fourth generation F-bodies (Camaro and Firebird).
1976 models could be had with the new optional Borg-Warner 5-speed manual with overdrive transmission. Starting with the 1976 models the front disc rotors were of the vented type.
For the 1977 model year, the 140 CID (2.3-liter) aluminum-block inline 4-cylinder engine with 2-barrel carburetor became standard, while the Buick 231 cid (3.8-liter) V6 became optional on the base model. The GT package included the V6 engine. The Chevrolet 305 (5.0-liter) V8 engine option was added later in the year. The Vega 140 CID aluminum-block L4 was discontinued at the end of the 1977 model year.
The 1978 standard engine was Pontiac's 151 CID (2.5-liter) Iron Duke inline 4-cylinder engine with a 2-barrel carburetor, generating 85 hp (63 kW) at 4400 rpm. Late in the year, Oldsmobile added the Starfire Firenza package which included special rallye suspension, a front air dam, rear spoiler, flared wheel openings, sport wheels and special paint and trim.
The 1979 model year saw a face lift, with twin rectangular headlamps replacing the previous quad rectangular headlamp design. The V8 engine option was dropped at the end of the 1979 model year, as was the 5-speed manual transmission.
Source: Wikipedia, 2012