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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

As some of you know, I'm from Germany. As you probably not know, I'm not very... hmm, let's say I'll need the time (at least 18 months) Opel needs to bring me the car, to put money aside ;)

It will be my first COOL car and I'll be very proud of it once I own it. And I'm willing to work hard for it.

What confuses me a bit is that so many people want a bigger engine/upgrades/modifications.

1st reason: You might get 25% more power for 25% more money. Do you really think, you'll get 25% more fun?

2nd/3rd reason: As has been said before, if the price reaches a certain limit, other cars will be available for that amount of money.
If you have much money, there are lots of cars out there that would give you everything you want.


Please don't misunderstand me. Of course I know that there might be enough other reasons to want a stronger Solstice.

What I want to say is that I think the best about the Solstice is that it comes at a very reasonable price. It is a car that even I, just beginning to work , can dream of. Of course I could also dream of a SL 500 or another beautiful car. But my Solstice dream (OK in Europe my Opel GT dream) could become reality before I'm 72!

Isn't this the true strength of the whole cars concept? That it is a dream that could become true even if you're not THAT rich?

To say the truth, I'd be glad to buy such a great car even if it had 50 hp less. If the price would be suitable lower, it would actually be my first choice.
 

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Your points are very true, but you have to remember we're Americans. We prove on a daily basis that we always want more more more!!! Not everyone is that way as you've seen from reading the forums, but a lot of people are never happy with just having the base model. Personally I would love to have the more powerful version, not because it'll have more power, but because it'll be designed more as a sport/racing car I bet then a normal daily roadster. To some people it might be a racing thing, or an aspiration to always have more, or an attempt to boost ones ego, etc.

I really think it's a cultural thing. If you look at most of the cars in the Euro area they're not massively heavy, fire breathing, muscle cars like most American's are enamored with.
 

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I think the desire for more power is in part from what most Americans consider to be a sports car. At the top of that concept is lots of power.

Most Americans consider the "glory days" to be when muscle cars ruled the road. They could have cared less if the car could stop or take a turn. So long as it was affordable to buy, and decimated everyone else in the quarter mile, they were satisfied.

That need for speed has transcended to today in modern sports cars. People are used to fast cars over here being king, and they are also used to them being affordable. The Mustang for instance has 300 HP from the factory for under $25,000, the price of a fully optioned Solstice. It also has most of the Sol's options as standard (although we are talking about a coupe Mustang GT).

So they see 177 HP for the Sol, and it just doesn't sound impressive enough.

At any rate, that is my theory. Not everyone is like that either, but people who would rather have a classic MG or Triumph are far outnumbered by people who would rather have a big, V8 powered musclecar, or even a fast V8 powered Corvette.
 

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with petrol being relatively inexpensive in the U.S.A. we tend to buy more powerful and less fuel efficient cars. some of it is the marketing also. For example, the smallest BMW available in the U.S.A. is the 325 with a 2.5L I-6. when i have travlled to europe i see plenty of 318 BMWs.
i happen to agree with you...177HP is plenty for this car.
 

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There is no reason why the Solstice shouldn't be more than satisfying in its base 2.4L form. I don't see alot of complaints from thousands of lesser powered Miata owners. It is what both cars were designed to be.

But alas, as is tradition in the US market, there is a calling for a higher powered upgrade. Its enevitable. For me, I want the lower cost and higher mileage of the base model and am willing to sacrifice a little power in the process. :)
 

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The sports car tradition started with the realtively low powered, but good handling European cars. I still remember a sports car club race in the late sixties with a Corvette, Morgan, and Mini Cooper chasing each other around the track. The mini cornered on three wheels, the Corvette would be dropped on the corners and come roaring back on the straights and the Morgan ended up winning.

For me it isn't about power, handling and responsiveness are more important. Looking really cool in the process, well that's priceless.
 

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t.henss said:
Hi all!

As some of you know, I'm from Germany. As you probably not know, I'm not very... hmm, let's say I'll need the time (at least 18 months) Opel needs to bring me the car, to put money aside ;)

It will be my first COOL car and I'll be very proud of it once I own it. And I'm willing to work hard for it.

What confuses me a bit is that so many people want a bigger engine/upgrades/modifications.
I want enough power to make the car feel light when it accelerates. I want adequate power to merge onto highways and to pass slower traffic. I want enough power to accelerate or pass traffic going uphill. I want enough power (torque) to accelerate without having to downshift.

To be honest with you, there is only so much power I can use in a car this light. Most of the 400 would be wasted power 99% of the time. I would only want it there for rare occasional use. Or as a reserve. I would use it on occassion just to feel the rush that only sudden acceleration can impart. It is an exciting feeling. That is the biggest reason I would want all that power. For the rush.

I think 180 HP is close. I have decided 225 HP in a car that weighs 2900 lbs is ideal

Other than that, I agree with all you wrote. Of course money is a big factor in my decision. If not, then I would want 400 HP as you can never really have too much HP available. (...if you use it wisely.)
 

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To answer your other questions -

The car's primary benefit is its good looks (at any price). The new MX5 will cost little more and will be more refined, so the Solstice is hardly more bargain priced than the Mazda.

The car's secondary benefit is its value. It is a relative bargain in the sports car segment. But for money, I would own a Ferrari over a Pontiac Solstice. I find many of them to be even better looking than the Solstice. Or perhaps an AC Cobra. So yes, the money matters.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I think the desire for more power is in part from what most Americans consider to be a sports car. At the top of that concept is lots of power.
:agree: completely. But I think it goes beyond just Americans. We are slaves of the Texas Mentality (Bigger IS Better!) We fall into that trap more than other nations and cultures. But if you look at the great European sports cars, the ones that are held in the highest esteem are still the Ferrari's, Aston Martin's, Porsche's and others that had quite high horsepower for their times.

I think the difference between America and other nations is twofold. First, we do tend to get our higher power with large displacement as opposed to specific output. Second, it is not that we value high power more than others, but that we denegrate low power. In many countries, you would never hear a MG called a "girls car". In many countries, the lower powered cars are considered plenty adequate while called weak, wimpy or chic car here.

Of course most of this has to do with the relative gas costs in the relative nations. But I think high horsepower sports cars are considered highly desireable and the best of the best in Italy, Britain, France, Russia and whereever. It is the acceptance of low powered cars that separates the rest of the world from snobbish Americans who look down upon it.
 

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I kindof agree on the not needing too much power thing, though torque is a good thing to have cause it's a pain to wring Hp out of some things that have high Hp and low torque (i.e. the high revvers).... I will say though sometimes the higher ones are much better built. Take a Z3.. The 2.3 is wobbly and far to flexible with not so great feedback and less than perfect handling while the same car in the 3.2 Liter M roadster version is a different beast all together. Much better put together, much better appointments in the interior, and lots of performance minded upgrades to suspension, chassis stiffness, intake airflow, and exhaust. different car all together.

I don't mind though. My yamaha R1 is PLENTY fast for me... 0-60 in 2.4 seconds, who needs a fast car. I just want something to run to pick up a movie or go pick up some beer in that has SOME sort of "fun" associated with it.
 

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You titled your thread appropriately. If we go back to the roots of small, fun 2 seat roadsters for the American masses one car comes to mind, MGTC. It was THE car that started a revolution, regulary beating up V* Mercurys and Oldsmobiles on the twistys, while doing it all with less than 80 hp and non-synchro 1st and 2nd gears. The '53 'vette stayed close to the roots but wasn't enough. We Americans, even though we have more wide-open spaces than you Germans, measure performance one quarter mile at a time. Top speed means little if your eyeballs aren't forced to the back of your skull during the process. So, I approve of the 177 hp myself, it will be, with the minor exhaust and intake GM upgrades available every bit as fast as my wife's supercharged GTP (sub 7 sec 0-60). Remember that the Z3 it the market with less than 150hp it's first year.
 

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achieftain said:
Remember that the Z3 it the market with less than 150hp it's first year.
I have a friend who just bought a 1997 1.9L Z3. It's got only 138HP and weighs 2,701 lbs. He's owned v6 3 and 5 series BMW's all his life before that. Even with the much lower power, he loves the Z3 more then any of the BMW's he's had. Plus he still loves the performance even more too.
 

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brentil said:
I really think it's a cultural thing. If you look at most of the cars in the Euro area they're not massively heavy, fire breathing, muscle cars like most American's are enamored with.

No, but try driving on one of Germanys autobahns and feel a Mercedes, BMW or Audi blow by you at 150 mph plus. One of our American muscle cars may win a quarter mile duel, but after that, all you'll see is Euro tailights, briefly.
 

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DeepSol said:
No, but try driving on one of Germanys autobahns and feel a Mercedes, BMW or Audi blow by you at 150 mph plus. One of our American muscle cars may win a quarter mile duel, but after that, all you'll see is Euro tailights, briefly.
Not with the new GTO you wont!!!
 

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LatinVenom said:
Not with the new GTO you wont!!!
Opel/Vauxhall sell the Manaro in Euro regions.

DeepSol: In general though not every road is the Autobahn. Also most people don't own a Porsche, AMG, Ferrari, Lambo.
 

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DeepSol said:
No, but try driving on one of Germanys autobahns and feel a Mercedes, BMW or Audi blow by you at 150 mph plus. One of our American muscle cars may win a quarter mile duel, but after that, all you'll see is Euro tailights, briefly.
Is it fair to compare a classic muscle car with a modern Merc or Benz? I don't think so.

Chevy had the C6 Corvette up to 186 on the autobahn. I wonder what those Merc drivers with their 155 MPH speed limiter thought of the Amercan blowing buy them! ;)
 

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Fformula88 said:
Is it fair to compare a classic muscle car with a modern Merc or Benz? I don't think so.

Chevy had the C6 Corvette up to 186 on the autobahn. I wonder what those Merc drivers with their 155 MPH speed limiter thought of the Amercan blowing buy them! ;)
Fformula88 and Brentil:

Having owned my share of classic muscle cars (mostly Mopar), I guess there is a different mentality between us and the europeans. My goal was to be the fastest from one stoplight to the next and in Germany the goal is to be the fastest from one city to the next.

Also, the cars over there are geared differently. Most of the rental cars I drove were one size above a roller skate with a small 4 cylinder engine and I had no problem cruising down the autobahn at 120 mph.
 

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uh..no

DeepSol said:
No, but try driving on one of Germanys autobahns and feel a Mercedes, BMW or Audi blow by you at 150 mph plus. One of our American muscle cars may win a quarter mile duel, but after that, all you'll see is Euro tailights, briefly.
The base Corvette C6 has a top speed of 186 ith a top speed of 186 mph (300 kph). It goes from 0 to 60 (a "regular" six-speed coupe runs 0-100 kph [62 mph] in 4.2 seconds; the Z51 does it in 4.1), and few legitimate production cars can better its quarter-mile numbers of 12.6 seconds at 114 mph.

The base suspension car is capable of .93 gs on a skidpad, while the incredible Z51 package ups that number to .99 gs! It corners like a European car. The LS07 models top at over 200 mph and over 500 hp.
Now..these are not Soltices (Solstii??).
Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That is exactly why I started the thread.

It is NOT difficult to build a car that runs more than 300 km/h or even more (see Bugatti Veyron if you like this kind of thing). You only need a big engine and a low drag.

To say the truth, I've never been very impressed by cars that have a high topspeed.

A) There are only very few places on the world where top-speed is useful (Germany might be one).

B) Near all our "Roller-Blade-Cars" ;) reach the magic 200 km/h limit and that is enough for most people to get very nervous.

C) We sell thousands of cars capable of driving fast to countries where they never reach their limit, sometimes not even half the limit, because it is not allowed.

D) Even if you live in a country where you are allowed to drive as fast as you want, you can't always. Ever been on an autobahn during the day? There are other cars. Trucks. The speed differences are VERY big. I don't know many people that think their BMW is too slow only because the electronic limits it to "only" 250 km/h (ever driven that fast yourself?). Those people normally say the autobahn is too full but not that their cars are too slow.

E) Of course you could stand up early on a sunny sunday morning and find an empty autobahn. There you could go as fast as you want. Buy a Bugatti Veyron and make the 600 kms from Cologne to Berlin in less than 2 hours.

HOW EXCITING!!!

No it is not. Not for a long time. Maybe you'll do it once or twice but then everyone who really likes cars wants to have a bend.

And that is why I started this thread. Because it is my strong believe that a "back-to-the-roots" car makes as much fun on a winding road as a top-notch Porsche, Corvette or Ferrari.

However it is not easy to build a good "back-to-the-roots" car. Maybe that's the reason only few people do. It has to be a relative light car with an excellent balance and handling. It has to be as short as possible to be agile enough for every thinkable turn, whilst at the same time stable enough to handle the power.


So if you say that you want a bigger engine because you like even more torque, than I understand you.

But please stop comparing my beloved vettes with european cars (which I also like most times). A vette has never been designed to be faster than an unlimited Mercedes and vice-versa. But both are very bad cars from the "back-to-the-roots" point of view.
 

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Again, I must stress, for some people it's not about the accelleration or about even the cornering, it's about the whole package (comfort, style, handling, road feel)... Being someone that has had a motorcycle on race tracks before, there's very few (even rediculously exotic) cars that can compare with what even a sub-$10000 supersport or open class motorcycle can do whether it be a straightaway or a tight curve.
It's sometimes just about having an adequate engine that can drive a well handling semi-fuel efficient car that gives an open airy feeling to the driver that makes for the "fun factor" in some cases. If it were all about performance, there's no way this car would be a convertible, since a hard top can be made to be much more stable than any convertible due to it's stiffness in comparison to it's weight. After all, who would by a Z3 M edition coupe other than someone who knows a little about the handling benefits it offers over the convertible version.
 
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