W72 Package

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Das Performance Package W72 konnte ab September 1976 für die 77er Modelle geordert werden...
First available for order in September 1976 on the 77 models the W72 was the optional high performance engine package (dubbed the T/A6.6 ) available on Formula Firebirds and Trans Am that were equipped with the L78 pontiac engine (also used on the limited production 49 state 77 Can Am).
It raised the output of the L78 to 200hp in 77 (as much hp as the previous year 455-HO) and then upped it further to 220hp for 78 and 79. Road test reports of the W72 cars showed they were capable of 15.3 sec qtr mi@94mph right off the showroom floor.

As it's discription implies it was a "package" not just a cam swap! It adressed the motor, improving breathing on the intake and exhaust, fuel and timing curve and boosted CR(compression ratio) all to make the most out of the cam, then fit the motor to a select transmission with specific gearing on the manual trans / specific programming and stall on autos with shifter improvements following though to the pavement with a performance ratio axle.
You would think that such a boost in hp and performance would be expensive, think again! it was only a 50.00 option in 77, 75.00 in 78, and 90.00 in 79 (as the L78). Try getting 40 hp out of a chevy for that money!

A recent discussion brought to light that Pontiac made no referalls to the "W72 " in 79 . Since there was only one version available they chose to market it under the RPO L78 calling it the" L78 400","T/A 400", "T/A 66 litre" (as they had done in prior years ). Be assured the L78 was W72 equiped and the RPO appeared on build sheets. The 79 L78 required the WS6 special handling and performance pkg (now with 4whl disc brakes) as well as G80(formulas) which did make it more expensive than prior years to acquire an L78/W72, but you werent getting shafted. What you got was a vehicle which could make use of the added power not just on the straight away but in the corners where few cars can dare to go.
The true performance models would have to be the rare 77-79 WS6/W72 formula cpe with posi and no A/C and as few power and conveinience options as possible.

Not to be left out ,the W72 designation resurfaced in 1980 on the 4.9 E/C 4bbl 301W motor which had a dual exhaust like the earlier W72 400s .

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