This was Pontiac’s first front wheel drive midsize car. It was based on GM’s 105 inch wheelbase A-body platform, which it shared with the Buick Century, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and Chevrolet Celebrity. The first model year was 1982 and it replaced the rear wheel drive LeMans.
Two body styles and two trim packages were offered during the inaugural year. You could get a 2-door coupe or a 4-door sedan in either base trim or 6000 LE trim.
The base engine was a 2.5L TBI I4 which made 90hp and 134 ft/lb of torque. Optional was a 2.8L 2bbl V6 which made 112hp and 145 ft/lb of torque. A third engine option was a 4.3L Diesel V6 that made only 85hp but 165 ft/lb of torque. The transaxle was a 3-speed automatic unit with all engines. The final drive ratio with the I4 was 2.39:1. With the V6s, the ratio was 2.53:1.
1983 Pontiac 6000s were carried over plus got two welcome additions to the family. One was the Y99 rally suspension package which was optional on the entire line.
Bigger news was the new package called 6000 STE, but was a 4-door sedan only. Added here were fog lamps, two-tone paint, wide side molding, AM/FM stereo with seek/scan and equalizer, automatic climate control, cruise control, plus full power on the windows, locks & mirrors. We’re not done yet. Also part of it was an air-controlled leveling suspension, 14 inch aluminum wheels, Eagle GT tires, and a 2.8L 2bbl High Output V6. Horsepower on this one was upped to 135, while keeping the same torque as the standard 2.8.
The 6000 lived on until the end of the decade and proved to be a good seller. It was improved upon each year. The version sure to become collectible is the 6000 STE.