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Bob made a 6/2 blog entry. Looks like Bob is testing one for us ;)

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2005/06/almost_summer_d.html#more

(Almost) Summer Driving

By Bob Lutz
GM Vice Chairman

It’s been great to read all the Solstice comments in response to Lori Queen’s posts. I’ll just say that Lori and I appreciate your patience. You won’t be sorry you waited once you have one. I also noticed that amid the Solstice discussion, that issue of rear-wheel drive arose again, so I’d like to take the opportunity to address that one more time, along with a couple other questions I was asked previously.

About potential GM rear-wheel-drive products: First of all, for those who say GM is overcommitted to front-wheel-drive, I’d say that’s not quite true. We have the small rear-wheel drive architecture that will spawn the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. We have the Cadillac CTS, STS and SRX, three excellent rear-drive vehicles. And of course we have the Chevrolet Corvette and the Cadillac XLR. And the rear-wheel drive 2005 Pontiac GTO is practically sold out, despite initial worries of whether it would ever reach its targeted volume of 18,000 a year. Right now on the West Coast they just don’t have enough of them to go around, because it’s such a great car to drive. So there’s a whole host of rear-wheel-drive cars that we have already.

We’re fully cognizant of the advantages and disadvantages of rear-wheel drive versus front-wheel drive. We know that rear-wheel drive for the enthusiast driver produces a greater and more visceral sense of control. That isn’t to say that you can’t do a great front-wheel-drive car, and we certainly do a lot of those, with great vehicle dynamics.

But there is something very appealing about a rear-wheel-drive car, and it’s not lost on us. We have not at all abandoned our hopes and dreams for rear-wheel-drive passenger cars — we’ve just stopped work on one particular program. Does that mean there won’t be another and a better program to follow that one? No. Has the current trend toward nostalgia vehicles escaped us? No. Are we studying this phenomenon? Yes. That’s all there is to say about it at this time.

Also, someone asked me if I had to buy any car under $30,000, what would it be? I think, and I’m not just being a homer, I would go with the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP, which is just south of $30,000, and a terrific vehicle to drive. I would also give strong consideration to the new Chevy Impala SS V8.

Finally, I was also asked what I’m driving currently… Right now I’m driving a test-fleet preproduction Solstice, a Hummer H3 and a preproduction Pontiac G6 coupe with the 3.9-liter V6. I’m sort of rotating through these vehicles, and enjoying myself very much. We get stopped a lot, both with the G6 coupe, and especially with the Solstice. People really like the looks of that G6 coupe — it does stand out. With the H3, it’s interesting, because people do a double-take. At first they think it’s an H2, but then suddenly it dawns on them that it’s smaller than that. It’s fun to watch.

It’s probably more fun to watch than to read about. But the H3 is doing very well right out of the gate right now, so I’m confident that you’ll have a chance to witness the phenomenon in person soon. Let me know what you think.
 

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You know, I really wish I had that problem. What pre-production vehicle do I want to drive today? :D
 

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brentil said:
You know, I really wish I had that problem. What pre-production vehicle do I want to drive today? :D
That would be a "nice" problem to have.
 

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So Bob, how does one get on the pre-production test drive list? I'll be retiring again soon; so, I'll have alot of free time! :)
 

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I know what he means by the double take on the H3. I saw one parked on the street the other day, and did a few double takes. (a triple take) :lol:
 

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My wife used to work at the Cadillac Clark Street plant (~15 yrs ago). Every month or so, she would get to bring a new Caddy home for the weekend :yesnod: and yes that was me driving that Allante around Detroit in February with the top down :thumbs:

Why did I ever let her quit that job? :willy:
 

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Bob is my hero!

If Bob is lurking here...

Thank you Bob Lutz for such a great looking vehicle. (No, I'm not on GM's payroll.)

I know I didn't get one of the first 1,000, even though I have a time 2:37:39... And I know you must feel as bad as I do about that. So Bob, how about letting me buy your pre-production test Solstice after your done? I'ld probably pay list for that slightgly used ragtop.

Just a random thought.

(Of course, my wife will tell you all my thoughts are random and most of spare thoughts are centered around aquiring a beautiful Solstice. I wonder what color Bob ordered???)

Yours Truly, ;)
 

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I find it interesting that people continue to bash the GTO all over the net, and here Bob admits to it being just about sold out for this model year. I know GM has yanked all rebates from the car, and it has been selling at a rate about 70% better than last years car. So much for prematurely putting the car in it’s grave as a “flop.”

I too wish I had the problem of which great, new vehicle not for sale yet I had to drive, although I suspect among those three the Solstice would get the most seat time! :lol:
 

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Fformula88 said:
I find it interesting that people continue to bash the GTO all over the net, and here Bob admits to it being just about sold out for this model year. I know GM has yanked all rebates from the car, and it has been selling at a rate about 70% better than last years car. So much for prematurely putting the car in it’s grave as a “flop.”

I too wish I had the problem of which great, new vehicle not for sale yet I had to drive, although I suspect among those three the Solstice would get the most seat time! :lol:
It is old-think. The 2004 Goat did not sell and needed incentives. The LS2 appears to be all the incentive that was needed to sell these cars. I guess that extra 50 horses is making a world of difference. Also, I think some people are over the shock of the bland looks (ie - getting used to the looks) and other people are liking the idea of a 400 HP sleeper.
 

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My First GM Car

Just to let Bob know he is on the right track, the Solstice is my first every GM purchase. I had British cars growing up in British Columbia. A Ford pickup truck in Alberta. And since moving to Ontario, a Chrysler minivan when the kids were little, sedans by Toyota and Mazda and currently drive a Volvo V70.

I considered a used Z3 or Boxster and most recently the S2000.

For me the Solstice is a great looking car at a reasonable enough price to be able to buy new, get exactly the options I want. Like everyone else north of the Mason-Dixon Line and the longest undefended border in the world, I'm just hoping it gets here before the snow.
 

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jimbo said:
It is old-think. The 2004 Goat did not sell and needed incentives. The LS2 appears to be all the incentive that was needed to sell these cars. I guess that extra 50 horses is making a world of difference. Also, I think some people are over the shock of the bland looks (ie - getting used to the looks) and other people are liking the idea of a 400 HP sleeper.
I think the hood scoops and split tail pipes helped too. Even though the overall styling is still the same and not retro, it makes the car look more like what people expect a GTO to look like and less like every other 2 door.

The LS2 does help too, but I cannot imagine many people would have been dissatisfied with the LS1. Maybe they were all just waiting.

Oh, and to think GM cut production this year because they were expecting it to flop, and now they cannot get enough! :brentil:
 

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Fformula88 said:
Oh, and to think GM cut production this year because they were expecting it to flop, and now they cannot get enough! :brentil:
yeah that bothers me .. and they could have fixed the bumper for 2006 and sold even more of them in Canada. Although i'm sure they would screw it up somehow like release it in the winter.. not that they ever do that.
 
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