Chevrolet Beretta is a front-wheel-drive coupe produced
by Chevrolet from 1987 to 1996. The Beretta was designed
in the same design studio as the Camaro and the
Corvette, Chevrolet Exterior Studio 3, and was built at
the Wilmington, Delaware and Linden, New Jersey assembly
plants with other GM L platform models, the Chevrolet
Corsica which came shortly before the Beretta, and the
Canada-only Pontiac Tempest four-door sedans. The
Beretta was produced in base, CL, GT, GTU, Indy, GTZ and
Z26 models. A convertible was the pace car for the 1990
Indianapolis 500, and GM initially announced a
production convertible replica, but a coupe version was
Base model Berettas were equipped with the same
powertrain as the Chevrolet Cavalier, the 2.2 L OHV
four-cylinder engine and the three-speed automatic
transmission by default, or the 60-degree V6. A
five-speed manual was available only by special order if
paired with the 2.2 L OHV, however very few special
orders ever took place, and the three-speed automatic
was the default option.
The GT included a 125 hp 2.8-liter V6, which grew to
a 3.1 L in 1991, and the Z51 suspension package with
15-inch styled steel wheels and Goodyear Eagle GT tires.
Also included was a sport cloth interior and sport
steering wheel. The GTU was available from 1988–1990.
Beretta GTUs (with the FE7 suspension package) were
shipped to Cars and Concepts where they were equipped
with 16x7-inch aluminum alloy wheels, custom body kits,
a rear spoiler, mirrors, custom trim, and decals. With
the FE7 suspension the GTU was capable of 0.92 G on the
skidpad, well above most cars in its class. GTUs were
only available in black, red and white.
The GTZ, which replaced the GTU, was the
high-performance version of the Beretta. It was produced
from 1990 to 1993. It came standard with Oldsmobile's
2.3 L high output Quad 4 I4, which produced 180 hp (134
kW) and 160 lb·ft (217 N·m) of torque. Also standard was
a Getrag five-speed manual transmission and GM's FE7
The car posted a 0-to-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds and one
of the fastest slalom speeds of any front wheel drive
car tested. Motor Trend's only
complaint was the Quad 4's NVH (noise, vibration and
harshness) and noted it was one of the most raucous
engines of its time. Beginning in 1991, the 3.1 L V6
could be had as an option on the GTZ, but it was only
available with a three-speed automatic transmission that
increased the 0-to-60 mph time to around 9.0 seconds.
The 3.1 L V6 was standard on 1990–1992 GT models and
optional for all base models and GTs in 1992. Starting
in the 1994 model year the 3.1 L V6 could only be
ordered with an automatic transmission. The 1991
model year saw major interior updates, including a new
dashboard and center console and the addition of a
driver's side airbag.
1994 Chevrolet Beretta Z26 In 1994, the GT and GTZ were
replaced by the Beretta Z26, which put it squarely
between the Cavalier Z24 and Camaro Z28 in Chevrolet's
lineup. The 3.1 L V6 was redesigned and became the 3100
V6 and gained 20 hp at 160. The new 3100 V6 was only
available with a new four-speed automatic transmission.
The Quad 4 HO lost a total of 10 hp (7 kW) in 1994, its
last year of production. The 2.3 L Quad 4 was only
available with a five-speed manual transmission. In 1995
the 3100 V6 lost 5 hp at 155, which also carried on to
the 1996 model.
Beretta sales steadily declined every year of production
as the market turned away from two-door models.
Additionally, GM wanted to prevent the Beretta Z26 from
competing against the V6 powered versions of the Chevy
Camaro, and the Cavalier Z24 in terms of sales,
therefore it became necessary to remove the Beretta from
their lineup. In 1996, Chevrolet ended
production of both the Beretta and Corsica after 10
model years. The Corsica was replaced by the Chevrolet
Malibu in 1997. The last Beretta rolled off the assembly
line on July 30, 1996.
The Chevrolet Beretta Owners Group is a group dedicated
to collecting, modifying, and preserving the Chevrolet
Beretta. The most "expensive" and "desirable" Beretta
models are the GT, GTU, GTZ, Z26, and Indy.
1990–1993 GTZ had a 0–60 time of 7.6 seconds
1994–1996 Z26 had a 0–60 time of 8.3 seconds