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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
While I think the design of the production Solstice wheel is very attractive, I think that size of wheel is awful reaching as far as practical performance. The upcoming Chevy Cobalt SS also has an 18" rim, and while the design is good it looks comically overdone. (ignore this if the Solstice wheel isn't that size, I thought it is/was)

I'll probably be looking for a nice set of 17"'s myself. Thoughts?

Edit: Duplicate thread. Mods feel free to delete. :]
 

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I think they went with those 18's more for the look than the practical performance they get out of them. However, there may be another reason for 18's, and that would be BIG brakes. If it needs those 18's to fit over the brakes, a new set of 17's may not fit, meaning you'd be stuck with the 18's.

I'd personally like smaller wheels, because I do not think you need 18's on a small roadster for performance reasons, and tires that big only increase replacement costs (which are important for a cheaper car. A lot of people can afford a $20K roadster, but if the tires cost $1000 a set for short life sticky performance rubber, they may not be able to afford to drive the car).
 

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I love the big rims. I've always been a corvette man, but now that Ive graduated from college and am getting married...I see that it will be a few years before I can afford one. I've been looking at s2000s and miatas..not that I'd ever get one...but I'm just comparing the looks to what I imagine the solstice to look like. The wheels look too small to me. so bring on the 18s!! If the wheels were smaller they also wouldn't fill the wheel well...and that would look horrible.
 

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I don't really like when the rims are so big but I did see the Solstice in Columbus and the rims are just right in my opinion. They help make the car look mean.
 

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No doubt about it, the 18" wheels look awesome on this car, but it would get better acceleration and have lower unsprung weight with 15" or 16" wheels. I can't believe such a small car needs such big brakes. I know, people would say it looks like a stock Miata 4x4, but it might actually perform and handle better. Flame away, I can take it. :cheers
 

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Personally I like the 18 inch rims. I know that from a performance perspective they hinder the car, but this car is not designed to be the fastest thing out (if you want that get a corvette), but it is designed to compete with a miata and give Pontiac an image car. Under those conditions it shines, slightly quicker (estimated speed from the mule reviews) and it is a beautiful car that will bring people into the dealerships.
 

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Solstice is an image car and the 18's look great, but I don't know that they look so much better than a set of 17's that I would not buy one with 17's and get a Miata or something else instead. I'll reserve final judgment until I can drive the car regarding any potential acceleration penalties (which they can partly offset with gearing) and ride/handling penalties. It just surprises me that the 18's are not an optional wheel instead of being standard.
 

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Fformula88 said:
Solstice is an image car and the 18's look great, but I don't know that they look so much better than a set of 17's that I would not buy one with 17's and get a Miata or something else instead. I'll reserve final judgment until I can drive the car regarding any potential acceleration penalties (which they can partly offset with gearing) and ride/handling penalties. It just surprises me that the 18's are not an optional wheel instead of being standard.
I'm sure there will be smaller wheels on the base model. Show cars always display the car with all it's options and upgrades. Pontiac has said it will have 18" wheels, and I'm sure it will, IF you order the performance package or the next trim level up. The 20k base car will get you to the dealership, but most will opt for a much more expensive version to get things like 18" wheels and better this, that and the other thing, and that is how they'll make their profit on this car. That's why I believe the base car will have smaller wheels, to give the dealer somewhere to go, and to get the profit up.

Ask yourself, how many people stuck with the base Mini? You almost never see those with the little wheels. That was another example of a "Bargin car" under 20K, but most left the lot well over 20k. They know that people attracted to the Solstice will want it to look as much as possible like the concept car and will be willing to pay extra for it. I doubt it will be just the wheels either, I'm sure they'll dress down and down grade several things to meet the 20k price, but more importantly, to get you to upgrade and spend more on options. That's where they make thier money.

Maybe I'm too synical, and maybe I'm totally wrong. I truley hope so, but that's just how the car business seems to work. Doesn't mean the base car will totally suck though, it might very well turn out to be a great bargin, and an excellent place to start for those that want to modify and race. Maybe they'll follow the Harley Davidson model, offer you a solid base point and then offer you lots of ways to customize your personal Solstice. Seems to work for them. Anyhow, I'll bet you there'll be more than one wheel size.
:cheers
 

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solsticeman said:
I don't think that's the case. I think the $20,000 will have 18" standard. Nowhere does it mention anything smaller.
You could be right. They haven't mentioned anything smaller, but I can't see them passing up an easy way to make a buck off an upgrade. I think everyone pretty much agrees that 19" rims would be just too big, and with most people having the opinion that bigger looks better, it's a no brainer for them to put small wheels on the base and have most people opt for the bigger 18" wheels. I don't really know what they're going to do, but if I was running Pontiac, and the aim was to make money, that's what I would do.

Maybe they'll just offer different styles or finishes at a greater cost, but by changing size, they can tell you that your getting performance as well as looks. This may not be entirely true, but it is a rationale for spending more money. Anyhow your right, they have only mentioned one size, and they have made a big deal out of it, so it would seem that the base will have 18"rs on it. I just know how things can change in a year or so. No worries, I'll buy it no matter what size wheel comes as standard. :D
 

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Expect GM will do like they do with their other cars and trucks and offer different diameter wheels, at additional cost of course, with the 18" being the largest. Wouldn't be surprised if they "package" them with other upgrades. The larger wheels on Silverado trucks can only be had as part of the XL package with added power everything, cruise control, etc. And, of course, little badges to let people know you paid more.
 

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AeroDave said:
I'm sure there will be smaller wheels on the base model. Show cars always display the car with all it's options and upgrades. Pontiac has said it will have 18" wheels, and I'm sure it will, IF you order the performance package or the next trim level up. The 20k base car will get you to the dealership, but most will opt for a much more expensive version to get things like 18" wheels and better this, that and the other thing, and that is how they'll make their profit on this car. That's why I believe the base car will have smaller wheels, to give the dealer somewhere to go, and to get the profit up.

Ask yourself, how many people stuck with the base Mini? You almost never see those with the little wheels. That was another example of a "Bargin car" under 20K, but most left the lot well over 20k. They know that people attracted to the Solstice will want it to look as much as possible like the concept car and will be willing to pay extra for it. I doubt it will be just the wheels either, I'm sure they'll dress down and down grade several things to meet the 20k price, but more importantly, to get you to upgrade and spend more on options. That's where they make thier money.

Maybe I'm too synical, and maybe I'm totally wrong. I truley hope so, but that's just how the car business seems to work. Doesn't mean the base car will totally suck though, it might very well turn out to be a great bargin, and an excellent place to start for those that want to modify and race. Maybe they'll follow the Harley Davidson model, offer you a solid base point and then offer you lots of ways to customize your personal Solstice. Seems to work for them. Anyhow, I'll bet you there'll be more than one wheel size.
:cheers
I totally agree what you said. It makes perfect sence for Pontiac to heavily decontent the car, and then rake in the money with option packages. Wheel upgrades, maybe whole suspension upgrades, interior options etc etc. But as Solsticeman said, I too have not seen anything about the 18's being an option, or a smaller standard wheel. based on everything that has been put out so far, I was under the impression the 18's would be the standard wheel. Maybe they just haven't announced their intentions with wheel size, or even decided whether they will use a smaller one and if so, how much smaller.

Needless to say, that sub $20K roadster will not have much on it as far as options, creature comforts, or possibly even finished items (one car company favorits is not to paint outside mirrors, door handles, etc on their base versions).
 

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GM is very careful about using and developing tires that work with their vehicles. Another tire size means a whole other development program. If you put up a base $20,000 vehicle, how many do you hope to sell if you have other models that are $22,000 or more? My guess: not many, 'cause you're probably taking a hit on those $20,000 cars.

So how many of the 20,000 solstices produced will be the $19,999 versions? Maybe 10%? Use that as an estimate, that's 2,000 cars. That's an awful lot of cars without A/C.

Developing a specific wheel (of course you can't just grab a styled wheel from the field, nor can you just use another 17" wheel from another car) for just 2,000 cars you are already losing money on doesn't make sense. Developing tires to meet handling, ride and other characteristics is not just "picking the thing that's black and round and fits in the wheel well" either. That would add significant time to the development of a car that is trying to be out sometime within the next 12-14 months...

I think the lowest cost solution would be to offer, say, a painted aluminum18" wheel with the current forging, offer the same tire as is available on the rest, and charge for upgraded finishes (body color/polished/chromed/etc.).

To get to a sub-$20,000 car, just de-content the crap out of it - take out anything that is not needed to have the car perform (handle, ride, steer, brake and generally be safe), which means no A/C, crank windows, maybe even no carpet or deleted other things that are not absolutely required and don't hit too hard on appearance.

I think this car would look very goofy with grey-molded fascias and grey non-painted mirrors. But a car with the dashmat deleted, or hood blanket deleted, or a 300 CCA battery means de-contented without hurting the performance.

Maybe they should offer it without a passenger seat? :thumbs

Bottom line, my conclusion: 18"X8' Aluminum wheels, Standard, with the P245/45R18 tire, standard. No changes in tire or wheel size because the volumes wouldn't support the extra development effort.
 

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Makes sense but I keep thinking how much more expensive 18" tires are over 17". We're talking over $400 a car difference! Yeah, retail but still, it's a big hit. And true, it's a low volume car, but I'm guessing just the rental car market alone would far exceed that 2000 figure. Go to Florida or Hawaii and rent a Solstice. Sounds like a fun vacation! But I bet those cars would have AC.
 

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With the size tire (width, aspect, load rating) on this weight vehicle, I'd bet they wear better than a 17".

If it is an RS-A as the C&D article states, there is a P245/45R18 Goodyear tire, an Eagle RS-A. It's $175/tire.

A P245/45R17 Eagle HP Ultra is also $175/tire.


If you drop down to the P225/45R17 or P235/50R17 Eagle RS-A, the price is $127 or $124/tire - but a change like this is a big hit on the load rating, and I'd expect these tires to have shorter life. The sidewall is also lower (for the 225/45), meaning maybe more chance that your brand new 17" wheels might get damaged. Less width probably means possible lower cornering capability...

Don't think the change in properties is worth the $200 you'd save on tires every two years, but that's a tradeoff I'm not willing to make.
 

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Its hard to say what GMwould actually pay for a given tire over another tire on the car anyway. Retail differences could be big, but they will have a tire contract with Goodyear, or whoever, and be getting these things at a negotiated price. I am betting GM does not pay a whole lot for its tires from the factory, since it buys in such bulk. Not just for this car, but for all its cars worldwide.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what gets decontented. I also doubt we'll see unpainted bumpers, but mirrors, those could be unpainted plastic, or a generic black instead of body color. Power options will be minimal obviously. They may even lose a little money on the <$20 cars, and plan on making it up on the options from higher level models. The loss may just be accepted as part of the marketing cost to be able to brag about the low price in advertising.
 

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Fformula88 said:
They may even lose a little money on the <$20 cars, and plan on making it up on the options from higher level models. The loss may just be accepted as part of the marketing cost to be able to brag about the low price in advertising.
Yeah, they call those "loss leaders" I think. An old tried and true marketing trick. Get you to the dealership with such a low price, but sell you a car costing thousands more.
 
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