The 1984 Oldsmobile Toronado featured an updated front end with a new grille that contained horizontal bars, with a color-coordinated band that traveled the entire length of the front end. Another change was to the park and turn signal lamps, which were now fully exposed.
Optional equipment included electronic instrumentation that had blue fluorescent digital speed displays, plus bar graphs for the fuel level and temperature. Buyers were also given the option of purchasing a voice system which warned of problems in overheating, low oil pressure and charging failures.
Powering the Toronado was a 252 cubic-inch V-6. Other optional engines included a 307 cubic-inch V-8 or a 350 cubic-inch diesel V8. A four-speed automatic with overdrive was standard. Disc brakes were in the front with drums in the rear. Pricing began at $16,100 for the two-door, six-passenger coupe and quickly rose, depending on the list of options selected. In total, Oldsmobile produced 48,100 examples of the Toronado during the 1984 model year.
For 1984, Oldsmobile introduced a Caliente (RPO WJ8) package on the Toronado. It had a padded landau roof and stainless steel crown molding, with a Toronado emblem. On the side was bright molding that highlighted the car's line. Standard equipment included dual electric remote mirrors, locking wire wheels covers, electronic instrument panel cluster, and leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. Adding to the list of luxury items were standard leather seats with optional sheepskin inserts. In total, Oldsmobile sold 5,007 examples of the Caliente package. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
This 1984 Oldsmobile Toronado Caliente has just 14,000 actual miles with all service records from delivery when new. It has an automatic transmission and is loaded with all options available from Oldsmobile except for a sunroof. The Caliente Toronado was built to complete with a Cadillac Biarritz and Lincoln Mark V. It is one of only 5,007 built. It is equipped with all of today's modern equipment like cruise control, Bose radio, full leather, 6-way seats, power windows, and digital dash for miles or kilometers. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
The Oldsmobile Toronado was sold from 1966 through 1992. It was built as a low-priced luxury car with excellent performance and a revolutionary design. The name Toronado has no meaning; it was made up for a 1963 Chevrolet show car.
The American automobile manufacutrer Cord had created a vehicle in the mid-1930's that used front-wheel drive. Since that time most American automobiles used rear-wheel drive. The Toronado, a full-sized American car using front wheel drive, is credited with revolutionizing and stimulating the industry to use the front-wheel design. A few European manufacturers, such as Morris/Austin with the Mini, had been utilizing the benefits of front-wheel drive. For the American Automotive Community, it was a risky concept. The front-wheel design was viewed as a reason why Cord had gone bankrupt. Many were skeptical of having the front of the vehicle handle most of the weight, be responsible for steering and braking, and drive the car.
GM's design chief William L. Mitchell was tasked with creating the Toronado. The styling was bold and the V8 engine was powerful. The engine was placed behind the front wheels to address the problems of front-drive designs such as weight bias. With 385 horsepower and 54%/46% front/rear weight distribution, the vehicle was fast and the handling was excellent.
During the year of introduction, it was awarded the coveted 'Car of the Year' by Motor Trend. The 'Car Life's Award for Engineering Excellence' was also bestowed up the Toronado.
When it was introduced, it was available as a two-door hardtop coupe. The only engine available was a 385 horsepower, 425 cubic-inch V8 engine. 34,630 examples were produced.
In 1967, the Toronado received minor aesthetic changes. The 425 cubic-inch V8 was the only engine available. Over 20,000 examples were created.
The big news for 1968 was the introduction of the 455 cubic-inch V8 rated at 375 horsepower. Minor aesthetic changes were made to the front of the vehicle including the fenders and grille. Over 26,000 examples were created.
For 1969, a vinyl top became optional equipment. The 425 and 455 engines were still available. The rear of the vehicle was updated to offset the changes that had been made to the front of the vehicle.
1970 was the final year for the first-generation Toronado. A GT version was introduced. The GT featured dual exhausts, a nugget-gold metallic, a GT hood badge, notched rear bumper, and 400 horsepower from the 455 cubic-inch V8. With a zero-to-sixty time of only 7.5 seconds, the Toronado GT was sneaking into muscle-car territory. Only 5,341 GT's were created, making it a highly collectable and sought-after vehicle. There were over 20,000 examples of the 2-door coupes for 1970.
In 1971, the second generation Toronado was introduced and lasted until 1978. The vehicle was more luxurious and less sporty then its predecessor. It is also recognized as being one of the first vehicles to use high-mounted auxiliary brake lights. From 1974 through 1976, General Motors equipped the vehicle with airbags, another safety innovation that was foreign at the time.
In 1977 and 1978 the XS model was introduced. It featured a hot wire 'bent-glass' rear window.
Due to increasing safety and government regulations, and fuel shortages the entire industry was down-sizing the output of their engines. The 455 V8 engine was replaced by a 403 cubic-inch power-plant.
The third generation ran from 1979 through 1985. A variety of engines were offered during this time including diesel, gasoline, V6, and V8 flavors. All were seriously de-tuned and offered fuel-economy over performance.
Independent suspension was placed on the rear of the vehicle. This not only improved the performance of the vehicle, but also the quality of the ride.
The fourth generation of the Toronado was introduced in 1986 and lasted until 1992. The vehicle continued to decrease in size and sales. The only engine available was the 231 cubic-inch V6.
On May 28, 1992, the final Oldsmobile Toronado rolled of the Hamtramck, Michigan assemble line. After a long and successful production life span, the vehicle was no longer produced. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2007