Bangok, Thailand? No wonder they don't know the humps are "nacelles" and the colors are "Steel and Sand".There are also two good-looking behind the seats humps flowing to the end of the car.
Fitted into our test car were cream and grey colours which looked quite ordinary.
My wife is from Laos and her family and friends will often fly over to Thailand to visit relatives and have a needed (or not so needed) operation ... for alot less than a similar operation in the US. (All expenses included) :thumbs:solli4me said:BTW:Thailand has an excellent hospital at the fraction of the cost of the USA. For those without health insurance, outsourcing yourself is the way to save big bucks. True!
Here it is.First Article said:PONTIAC SOLSTICE
THE GENERAL'S MX-5 (ALSO TITLED "Solstice has 7,000rpm to play with.
When roof down, there is no boot space left. )
The all-new Solstice won't be heading for world markets, but previews a new rear-drive platform that may eventually be used in GM's global brands
Cabin gets various trimmings, but quality is on the low side.
The rear-wheel-drive platform makes the Solstice a fun car to drive.
Solstice has 7,000rpm to play with.
When roof down, there is no boot space left.
Although the Pontiac Solstice is a roadster only available for the American market, its platform is expected to be widely shared with other future models sold by brands within General Motors.
The so-called Kappa architecture includes rear-wheel-drive, front-engine and two-seat features. Such a recipe is aimed at global models like the popular MX-5 from Mazda, as well as the Honda S2000 and Toyota MR2/MR-S.
The next GM model to get Kappa will be Saturn, another US-only brandname. It is expected in 2007 and will be called Sky.
By that time, Kappa is also anticipated to make its way into the all-new replacements of the Opel Speedster and Vauxhall VX200 sold in Continental Europe and Britain respectively.
And who knows whether Saab, Holden, Daewoo and Chevrolet will also ask for Kappa, but all with different styling and engines. In short, making Kappa a global platform sounds interesting, although nothing is final yet.
Shifting gears to the Solstice, its design seems to be interesting - a mix between retro and modern lines. The front end, for instance, sees the bumper blending into the main body with the grille and headlights neatly embedded in it.
The same goes for the rear where the tail lamps are curvaceous in appearance. There are also two good-looking behind the seats humps flowing to the end of the car.
The 18-inch five-spoke alloys are also effective in filling the wheel arches at corners of the car.
Inside, there are choices of various trimmings. Fitted into our test car were cream and grey colours which looked quite ordinary. The quality itself is on the low side and seems to be a downside like in so many other American-made cars like the Corvette tested last week.
The steering wheel, complete with multi-function switches is great to hold on, the circular panel dials fit the car's sporty nature and other switches are logically laid out.
While the driving position isn't a problem, the adjustments for the seats can only be ideally made when the door is open; when it's closed, you end up your right hand between the seat and door to reach for the electric adjustments.
Although the canvas top must be opened and stowed away manually, it can be done reasonably quickly. When the roof is down, there is virtually no luggage room - even when the roof is up, a golf bag can't fit into the boot.
The 2.4-litre four-cylinder motor produces a healthy 177hp.
After start-up, the four-cylinder engine doesn't hint too much of the car's sporty character. The test drive took place in the US and was filled with strict speed limits that kept me driving at no more than 120kph.
The 177hp 2.4-litre inline-four motor is raucous and you can feel the vibrations transmitting to your right foot via the gas pedal. Even at high engine revolution over 4,500rpm, the Ecotec unit sounds unexciting.
The test car came with a close-ratio five-speed manual gearbox which has a long throw and is notchy to use. A five-speed automatic option is due next year.
While the brakes yield good stopping power, handling is effortless and balanced, thanks to a 50:50 front-rear weight distribution.
Road-holding is equally impressive, but the ride is fidgety at low speeds when traversing road imperfections.
The Solstice retails for around 800,000 baht in the US which comes with Bose MP3 sound system, navigation system and all kinds of safety features like twin airbags. That would come to around two million baht, if the Solstice is imported to Thailand, the same price level with the MX-5.
But you don't have to mourn that the Solstice is only sold in the US. Like the Corvette, the Solstice's flaws are low-rent cabin quality, crude powertrain and and unrefined ride.
But as said earlier, the Kappa platform plays a key role in future roadsters of GM's brand. The sporty handling the floorplan manages to yield is great, but still needs more refining to make it work in other road conditions around the globe.