Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,210 Posts
Great article....this is huge!

The first test drive of the pre-production...answers a lot of questions we've had on this baby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
A couple of good quotes:

"THE F WORD STILL HAUNTS THE halls of GM," said Doug Parks, chief engineer for small cars, referring to the Pontiac Fiero, the two-seat, mid-engine sports car that lived a short, unfulfilled life from 1984 to '89. "The Solstice absolutely has to perform as well as it looks. That was the Fiero's problem... it never delivered on its looks until it was too late. The expectations are higher for this project than for anything I've been associated with at GM," Parks said. "Expectations are through the roof. It has to be right, right out of the box."

GM engineers wouldn't reveal details, but they let on there will be more thrust available at some point. The 2.0-liter, 205-hp supercharged version of the Ecotec, now available in the Saturn Ion Red Line and the upcoming Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged, could be offered. And when we reminded the engineers a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec is making more than 1000 hp in the NHRA's sport compact series, they just smiled. We smiled, too, at the thought of even half, or a quarter of that power in this little car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,153 Posts
Great article! I found this paragraph intriguing:

"GM engineers wouldn't reveal details, but they let on there will be more thrust available at some point. The 2.0-liter, 205-hp supercharged version of the Ecotec, now available in the Saturn Ion Red Line and the upcoming Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged, could be offered. And when we reminded the engineers a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec is making more than 1000 hp in the NHRA's sport compact series, they just smiled. We smiled, too, at the thought of even half, or a quarter of that power in this little car."

I still believe they'll bolt on a supercharger before they'd delve into turbocharging. But it will be interesting to see what direction they take it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
2KWK4U said:
Great article! I found this paragraph intriguing:

"GM engineers wouldn't reveal details, but they let on there will be more thrust available at some point. The 2.0-liter, 205-hp supercharged version of the Ecotec, now available in the Saturn Ion Red Line and the upcoming Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged, could be offered. And when we reminded the engineers a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec is making more than 1000 hp in the NHRA's sport compact series, they just smiled. We smiled, too, at the thought of even half, or a quarter of that power in this little car."

I still believe they'll bolt on a supercharger before they'd delve into turbocharging. But it will be interesting to see what direction they take it!
Jinx! :cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
We all notice different things. For me it was "Parks said a typical new car program allows just three months from the time testing cars made with production tools is finished, until actual production begins. With the Solstice he will have nearly a year."

Interesting they did not provide a Fiero to compare to.

This means that if GM decides to push up production, you could take six months out of the schedule here and still have double the normal time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,210 Posts
Here's what I got out of the article...

Notables:
1st time we've seen the top up
1st time we've seen another color other than grey (flat black & 1 pic with gloss black)
Wheels look different than pre-prod model (more spokes)
Solstice is 75-85% complete but still tweaking on-going
Longer engineering time to test & tweak (normal 3 months, Solstice has a year due to plant re-tooling I guess)
Solstice interior space is good (person over 6' had no trouble)
Bigger outside & inside than Miata
Shifter felt great
Weight still being quoted at 2860 lbs.
Engine felt strong...not under-powered
Aggressive exhaust note (sound?)
Able to carry on conversation while driving
Suspension firm but not harsh
S2000 is target for handling
Steering quick & responsive

Cons:
Trunk space is small (forgot those golf clubs)
Visibility seemed tough in front over hood & back over right shoulder
Still saying Fall 2005

Intangibles:
GM went to England home of classic roadsters to test Solstice...could be PR or that they are serious about handling (something Miata likes to think they have market cornered on)
GM seems to be obsessed with doing it right on Solstice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
Does potentialy answer alot of questions, but at only 75 to 85 percent, these are still pretty crude test beds. It is very encouraging that GM has given themselves a good amount of time to get it right. I think there is still alot of oportunity for them to make significant changes.

The Autoweek artical was I thought very positive. Just reconfirms that I want one! :thumbs I do hope they make room for a little luggage though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
nasty wheels, but i still love the car. the article leads me to believe that the high perf version will be priced closer to the S2000 than the base car. not a bad strategy, GM can go after two types of buyers with two trim levels of one car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
I dont know about you guys, but seeing it with the top up is impressive and damn does it still look good. secondly yeah those rims are different, they do have more spokes but they still look good giving us an impression of any good rim could look good on a car that looks good to begin with. Thirdly, the fact about the ECOTEC engine and all is posibilites that the engineers are keeping the back of their head is very very interesting. plain and simple this article is the most informative articl about the solstice I have ever read. and another thing i wanna mention, is about the Stunt Driving with Pontiac cars was on again this morning yet again and the car looks soooooooo sweet sitting there beside the guys talking about it. just in general anyone who cant, dosent or just hates pontiac for being pontiac has to respect the solstice cause car sounds like the talk of all of north america!!!! :cheers :cool :thumbs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Bizz said:
nasty wheels, but i still love the car. the article leads me to believe that the high perf version will be priced closer to the S2000 than the base car. not a bad strategy, GM can go after two types of buyers with two trim levels of one car.

i actually liked those wheels on the solstice, but to each his own.

again, a VERY informative article. its good to hear i'll fit with no problem. but i guess i'll be counting out my clubs fitting anywhere in the car unless i show up at the course solo. either way, this article started to make me drool thinking about driving my baby!
 

·
Mod Emeritus
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
Wow, how encouraging! Its nice to get the perspective of someone who has actually driven the car, and autoweek seems to have been impressed by it despite only being at 85% of where it will be, and having it limited by speed.

They note its not quite as tossable as a Miata. Probably an issue more of the cars weight than the tuning of the suspension, although I am sure that extra 15% of tuning they have to do will help a lot.

Also very encouraging is how much they liked the clutch and shifter feel. That for me, is a bigger disappointment in the Fiero than the lack of more power. A low HP car can be fun to drive if you can really drive it, but a stiff and clunky shifter with a pain to operate clutch can quickly sap away that fun.

I look forward to the Solstice more and more every day! I wish it was for sale right now so I could run out and get it! Waiting another 18 months is going to be a big pain, but at least it gives me time to save up $$! I wonder if Car and Driver or one of those mags had a driver there as well. It would be nice to get some more perspectives!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Vita said:
I will be counting out my clubs fitting anywhere in the car unless i show up at the course solo.
I have already figured out where my golf clubs will go (since my wife doesn't play).......... in/on the passenger side of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Great Article. Just got my Autoweek today, and was nice to see the larger photos. I do like how it looks w/ the top up - much better than most convertibles. It has a nice hard top shape to it actually, whereas so many other verts look a bit ackward.

Glad to hear it is coming along well, but had hoped we would here more about the S/C version. 205 is decent, but I think we are all hoping it will be more.

Nevertheless, awesome to see more news!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
not to ruffle any feathers, but why does everyone compare the solstice to the fiero? everytime its brought up, i scratch my head. the fiero was designed and touted as basic transportation, not a sports car at its inception. the fiero was not a convertible. it wasnt front engined.

what? cuz its a two seater and rear drive? those are the only similarities i see.

why dont they say GM is still haunted by the corvair? :rolleyes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
Well maybe the Corvair, Fiero, and Solstice have a lot in common. All had engines between 2400 and 2800 ccs. Both Fiero and Corvair were autocrossed heavilly. Both had a large "cult" following. Both were "image" cars.

Further, ever since Pontiacs lost their suspenders, there has alway been someone pushing for a two seater. From that standpoint the Solstice has more in common with the 1964 Banshee right down to the clamshell rear compartment opening than any more modern car (that was supposed to go into production also. Didn't). The Fiero was touted ans an "economy" car (even was a high mpg version that few ever saw) to get it past the corporate bean counters.

BTW the Nov 9, 1982 Fiero announcement starts off "Pontiac announced today that its 1984 two seater sports car..." For that matter, if the engine is behind the front axle, it too could be called "2M4".

Must admit I am biased. My preference is for oddball cars and for GM cars so when I get the chance for both in one it is a good day.

ps I won a lot of autocrosses with an "improved" '65 Corvair Corsa (140 hp) convertible (also had a Corvan and a Fitch Phoenix). I have an '86 Fiero 2.8 sitting in the garage & my son learned to drive with an '84. Daily driver, hobby, and lifestyle is an '88 Reatta. Grew up with a gaggle of Jags. I really like six cyl engines also, straight, flat, or Vee. :smile
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top