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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just got an old car mag in with a review of my old Lamborghini model and I got to reflecting on how far we had come in 50 years and thought I'd post this just for a fun comparison.

The 2009 Solstice GXP had the following stats:
4 cylinder 1998 cc $31,000

length 157.2"
width 71.3
height 50.9
wheelbase 95.1
track F/R 60.7/61.4
weight 3000 lbs.
power 260 bhp
torque 260 TQ

0-60 5.2 sec.
top speed 143 mph (convert, 148 coupe)

1969 Lamborghini Islero S
3900 V12 $20,000 (2009 value = $117,000.00)

length 176.5
width 67.5
height 50.7
wheelbase 103.4"
weight 2900
power 350 @7500
torque 289 TQ @ 5500

0-60 5.9 sec.
top speed 161 mph


Net result is that in 2009, a car that 'only' cost $31K had approximately the same power to weight ratio and performance as a 50 year old super car that would have cost well over $100K in today's dollars (ignore the top speed as that results from intentionally accepted limitations for the sake of styling in the case of the Solstice). I was actually quite surprised when I saw how closely the two matched each other in terms of size and performance. To be able to do that for what amounts to less than 1/3 the cost is a testament to the economies of modern mass production (a large part of the cost of the Italian car was due to some pretty advanced custom bits and many, many hours of hand assembly).

One of these days I'll have to take both cars up the mountain and take some pictures of the two, side by side (the only issue being which one do I let my wife drive....)

Until then, here are my two coupes - the Solstice wins on acceleration (although who knows with modern sticky rubber on the Islero) and loses on top speed, a warrantable sacrifice for having such good looks. I'll let someone else do a comparison between the Solstice and a 1969 Corvette, but the Solstice will outhandle and outbrake the Vette every time, losing out only in acceleration on the big block Vettes.

PS - similarities = high tech engines, 5 speed gearboxes, all independent suspension, alloy wheels (magnesium 15x7 vs. aluminum 18x8) and excellent brakes.



 

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Interestin that the Lambo had more power and lighter weight, yet slower accel (to 60, anyway). As you said, tires may have had something to do with it, but I'm guessing maybe the "area under the curve" that a modern turbo engine has, is the main key factor.
 

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Interestin that the Lambo had more power and lighter weight, yet slower accel (to 60, anyway). As you said, tires may have had something to do with it, but I'm guessing maybe the "area under the curve" that a modern turbo engine has, is the main key factor.
I would also credit huge advances in drivetrain components. Lighter weights and less drops in power after the crank. I'd wager that the Lamborghini had much less horsepower at the wheels.


Sent from my iPhone using AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The early road tests on the GXP had them 0-60 at 5.8 rather than 5.2, which would be equivalent to the Islero. I chose the best review numbers to quote.

I'd add also that the power ratings on the Lambo were gross, not net, which only became mandatory in 1972, and the Italians were notoriously liberal with their weigh scales - I suspect that the real curb weight of the Islero is more like 3100 or even a bit more.
 

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You also have to factor in the way they rate modern engines versus the way they rated them in the past.

The current system is to rate the engine with all auxiliary components on the engine (alternator, A/C, power steering pump, and anything else driven by a belt)

The system for rating from the 60s was to rate the engine without any auxiliary components at all. It was an engine only rating.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here is a modern dyno run on an Espada engine, which is the same as the Islero:


and a short but cool video of the first fire up of a rebuilt engine that gives you some idea of lay out and size.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good looking, yes. Fun to tune, no. Each change you make has such a small effect that you take forever to get it right, although once it is right you don't need to change it often.

The engine is high compression (10.7) and has a lot of cam, but very short stroke. You can put it into 5th gear at 1,000 rpm and floor it and it will smoothly accelerate from 20 mph to 160 mph, which fairly remarkable flexibility in the days before injection.

Agree there is no shortage of Webers.

 

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Not to spin the subject in a different direction but do not forget the GMPP tune of the modern car vs the old.
Quick increase in HP and toque by an adjustment of the ECM programming.
 

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If your really comparing 50 years then you need to go back to 59. I had a 59 Corvette as well as my 09 GXP until just a few months ago. In the last few years I seldom drove the Vette because it was like driving a truck compared to the fun to drive Solstice. The Corvette having drum brakes, no power steering or brakes and basically none of the modern day things we have all become used to. Plus old cars leak when it rains.
I have a 09 GXP automatic and my Vette (had for 32years) was a base engine(230hp) with powerglide transmission. Everyone liked the old Vette but I'll tell you there was no comparison. In 50 years things sure did change.
 

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Not to spin this again, but as a new owner into the Solstice GXP world I am truly surprised at the LNF engine capability....in another post just go look at the brand new (so 4 model years newer) jag Ftype and it's 3 liter v6 superchaged motors, 2 choices starting at $69k and 81k, and our little sewing machine I4 2.0 should beat the "entry" jag (at least with a GMPP Tune), and near the $81k model (with tune and IC upgrade). Less than 1/2 the price and 4 yr older tech. course everone is producing Direct Injection gas motors these days now that they have seen the light. Sorry for the offshoot here, I just think this is a very impressive motor ahead of it's time.
 

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To echo Shado's comments - early on in our Solstice ownership (last spring) a black BMW 'vert (not sure of the model) parked next to our '07 Mysterious Sol in a restaurant parking lot. When we came out my wife saw the BMW and noticed the driver parked right next to our Sol. She said "Huh."

I said "Not a problem honey. We got all the fun for about a third of the price."
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Mike, I didn't choose an older Corvette (first because I don't happen to own one, but mostly because) they were previous generation sports cars. Agree I should have said 40 years.

The late 60s was a time of great technological advancement, ironically right before the 'automotive Dark Ages' set in with the smog issues from 1972 on.

They had disc brake cars, something that American makers had dragged their heels on (the Corvette didn't get 4 wheel discs until 1965 - my old British equivalent, plastic body, big V8 engine, the Jensen CV-8, had them from 1961 and one of my MGs had 4 wheel discs in 1958).

I agree that the early Vettes were truck like. I raced against them, and turned faster lap times in my MGA, mostly because I had far better braking and handling and they had far better acceleration.

I also agree that the LNF engines are the neatest bit of gear I have played with in a long, long time (and I have worked with DOHC 4, V-12, high output V8 etc.). I am still waiting for someone to stick two of them end to end in an old rod and pull about 800 BHP out of the pair (not hard to do). Would make a killer looking straight 8! It would be nice if GM had developed a DI V8 version using LNF patterns - two banks on a single crank and crankcase, but they were too far down the SBC path to bother and to give them their due, the LS series of Chev V8 is pretty impressive too.

The Lamborghini was interesting because it incorporated a lot of race car technology, even though Ferrucio didn't go racing. They used Ferodo DS-11 brake pad material when it was just on the verge of being phased out on Formula 1 cars (I continued to use it for a decade after in my racing sports cars), they had a well thought out independent suspension system, better than Corvette or Jaguar, and they produced a very well balanced good handling car I have noted that no one expects you to throw a vintage Lambo into a 4 wheel drift, but I can confirm that it does so very well indeed).

The only thing I would wish of the Solstice is that it wasn't such a heavy car, stuffed with technology. I don't want Onstar, nor power steering that saps the feel out of it, nor a lot of the other systems that seem to be so ubiquitous in modern cars, yet I appreciate that this is all you can expect - Lotus makes the only minimalist sports car I know of today.

I would love to utilize an LNF in an old style car weighing maybe 2200 lbs., and I keep urging the MGB guys to use one for a swap (I have an MG with a 3.4 Camaro V6 in it myself, so I don't need to do another project like that any time soon).
 

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Mike, I didn't choose an older Corvette (first because I don't happen to own one, but mostly because) they were previous generation sports cars. Agree I should have said 40 years.

The late 60s was a time of great technological advancement, ironically right before the 'automotive Dark Ages' set in with the smog issues from 1972 on.

They had disc brake cars, something that American makers had dragged their heels on (the Corvette didn't get 4 wheel discs until 1965 - my old British equivalent, plastic body, big V8 engine, the Jensen CV-8, had them from 1961 and one of my MGs had 4 wheel discs in 1958).

I agree that the early Vettes were truck like. I raced against them, and turned faster lap times in my MGA, mostly because I had far better braking and handling and they had far better acceleration.

I also agree that the LNF engines are the neatest bit of gear I have played with in a long, long time (and I have worked with DOHC 4, V-12, high output V8 etc.). I am still waiting for someone to stick two of them end to end in an old rod and pull about 800 BHP out of the pair (not hard to do). Would make a killer looking straight 8! It would be nice if GM had developed a DI V8 version using LNF patterns - two banks on a single crank and crankcase, but they were too far down the SBC path to bother and to give them their due, the LS series of Chev V8 is pretty impressive too.

The Lamborghini was interesting because it incorporated a lot of race car technology, even though Ferrucio didn't go racing. They used Ferodo DS-11 brake pad material when it was just on the verge of being phased out on Formula 1 cars (I continued to use it for a decade after in my racing sports cars), they had a well thought out independent suspension system, better than Corvette or Jaguar, and they produced a very well balanced good handling car I have noted that no one expects you to throw a vintage Lambo into a 4 wheel drift, but I can confirm that it does so very well indeed).

The only thing I would wish of the Solstice is that it wasn't such a heavy car, stuffed with technology. I don't want Onstar, nor power steering that saps the feel out of it, nor a lot of the other systems that seem to be so ubiquitous in modern cars, yet I appreciate that this is all you can expect - Lotus makes the only minimalist sports car I know of today.

I would love to utilize an LNF in an old style car weighing maybe 2200 lbs., and I keep urging the MGB guys to use one for a swap
(I have an MG with a 3.4 Camaro V6 in it myself, so I don't need to do another project like that any time soon).
I hear ya with stuff like Onstar, but on the flip side of things it could have been worse. Pontiac stuck with keeping pricing low, so all that heated seat, power 20way seating, heated mirrors, power wings to deploy, etc. etc. is not there. There aren't buttons all over the interior to clutter things up. Matter of fact I think they stayed minimalistic and so we miss out on use of aluminum for body panels, some suspension components, etc. Course I guess that has to be otherwise we'd be complaining about the cost of the car. It's not bad on weight if you look around.

But anyway, putting an LNF into a lighter vehicle, the guy I just bought a Hahn IC from is planning on putting one in a pretty cool looking Toyota Corolla wagon that he says will weigh about 2300 lbs or so. I told him he should post up the results this spring, it should be pretty darn fast.
 
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