The Sunbird was introduced for model year 1976. The only body style its first year was a standard coupe w/trunk configuration. Base engine was a 140 CID 1bbl I4, which had an aluminum block. Also offered was a 140 with a 2bbl carburetor. The top engine option was the venerable 231 CID 2bbl Buick V6.
In 1977, the 140s were dropped, and Pontiac’s own 151 CID 2bbl I4 became the standard engine. A hatchback body style was newly created this year. A sporty trim level called Sunbird Formula was also added. This package gave you some styling cues of the Trans Am. These were a rear spoiler, T/A steering wheel, and decals. A better handling suspension was also put under the car.
The Big news for 1978 was an available 305 CID 2bbl V8. It made 145hp. The 151 and 231 held on. All three engines stuck around for 1979.
The Sunbird lasted until the 1980 model year. The 151 remained, the 305 was dropped, making the top engine the 231 V6 once again. Transmission choices all years were a 4-speed manual, 5-speed manual, or 3-speed automatic.