From Mr Lutz....
By Bob Lutz
GM Vice Chairman
As I write this, I'm on an airplane, returning from Portland, Oregon, where a group of leading auto journalists got their first opportunity to drive, or should I say, wring out the Pontiac Solstice on some of the world's nicest mountain roads, including a closed-course, private mountain pass put in by the legendary Sam Hill (origin of the question "Where in the Sam Hill....?", testifying to the high-altitude remoteness of his chosen luxury residence).
Compared to earlier pre-production examples, these cars had the latest air induction system for vastly reduced induction noise, and a freer (but still legal) exhaust system, which produces a very pleasant sporting exhaust note and adds greatly to the character of the car.
While most professional journalist-evaluators hate the question, "So, what did you think?" (it is considered bad form for the host to ask this question, which puts the guest on the spot), in this case the reaction to the car was offered spontaneously: it was declared an overwhelmingly competent and desirable car by all, with special praise going to style, refinement, compliant ride, sharp steering, high grip, and neutral handling at outrageous cornering speeds, especially considering the almost-incredible price.
I do believe the car made the point we intended for it to make: the product development process at GM is back on track. We understand beauty, excellence, the best-in-class imperative, and value for money, and the organization has the will and the capability to deliver. I felt huge pride in the GM team that created this exceptional car, and optimism knowing it is but an early signal to the public, and a warning to our competitors, of more to come, as GM finally musters its enormous global talent pool and focuses it on winning products.
And, speaking of delivering, I am told that the First 1,000 Solstices are being built now in our Wilmington, Delaware, assembly plant and will be shipped the first week of August.
P.S. And here's the bitter orange marmalade recipe.
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