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Liitle news brief from Autoweek...

Car News briefs: Seeing Solstices on the road

AUTOWEEK
Posted Date: 7/28/05

Seeing Solstices

If you see Pontiac Solstice roadsters on the road, you shouldn’t be surprised. Despite reports of possible delays to this fall, the first production cars rolled off the line the week of July 18, headed to dealerships about the time you’re reading this. The first 1000 cars go to buyers who put down deposits during the car’s debut on the NBC reality show The Apprentice in April. Dealers have deposits for nearly 10,000 of the two-seaters.

The company plans to race the car and is working on a lightweight model with a hardtop appropriate for amateur racing, says Solstice exec Darren Post. If the project goes forward, a Solstice coupe could be sold to the public for about $1,500 to $1,800 less than the roadster. The base 2006 Solstice stickers at $19,995.
http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=102869
 

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To add to that, the Solstice will be the only car getting the hardtop too. The Sky is not on the planning board for a hardtop option at this time. The idea is Pontiac will be the performance version for the kappa platform even though the Sky will be getting a Redline version for the 2007 model year.
 

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Delnari said:
To add to that, the Solstice will be the only car getting the hardtop too. The Sky is not on the planning board for a hardtop option at this time. The idea is Pontiac will be the performance version for the kappa platform even though the Sky will be getting a Redline version for the 2007 model year.
However, the hardtop is supposed to be retrofittable to the Sky. The Sky and Solstice share the same top (at this time).
 

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solsticeman said:
However, the hardtop is supposed to be retrofittable to the Sky. The Sky and Solstice share the same top (at this time).
What do you mean by "retrofittable"? When the article talks about a lightweight, hardtop "coupe," don't they mean a fixed-roof vehicle? How could that be retrofitted on to a Sky? :skep:
 

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Let me clarify what I meant to say. The Solstice will have a hard-top version for the sport racer; non-removable. Both the Solstice and Sky will have a bolt-on hard-top option for the convertible versions. The Solstice will have 3 versions in the next 2 years, Convertible, GXP, and Sport Racer (pending mgnt approval).
 

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Delnari said:
Let me clarify what I meant to say. The Solstice will have a hard-top version for the sport racer; non-removable. ....
I don't believe this is accurate, at least for the first version.

Removeable hardtop, that will likely fit on a Sky. That portion is still in flux, and no final designs have yet been chosen.
 

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solsticeman said:
I don't believe this is accurate, at least for the first version.

Removeable hardtop, that will likely fit on a Sky. That portion is still in flux, and no final designs have yet been chosen.
How could a roadster with a removeable hardtop possibly be the "lightweight" version they're talking about in the article? Wouldn't such a set-up be even heavier?
 

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Aardvark said:
How could a roadster with a removeable hardtop possibly be the "lightweight" version they're talking about in the article? Wouldn't such a set-up be even heavier?
Removeable hardtop is the lighter of the comparison between the 'vert and a removeable hardtop. IF it's made from the right materials.

A removeable hardtop that I envision would replace all the cloth softtop and hardware - that's what I was calling a removeable hardtop.

Actually, depending on how it's executed, a combined "coupe back" that replaces the decklid AND all the convertible hardware would be the lightest of all - PROVIDED it is made from the right materials AND there isn't anything funny that has to be done to convert the system over. If GM has to add things like protective bulkheads and such to make a coupeback work (which is what I assume that Delnari is talking about when he says hard-top non-removeable), then you lose the advantage you would have had of replacing steel with lighter materials. In that case, minimizing the weight of the total roof is the best approach.

All stuff that has to be looked at - hence the "pending mgt approval" comment from Delnari. Depending on how it's executed, they may be able to pull it off - but I doubt you'll be able to buy it from the factory that way.

Some things haven't yet been completely ironed out yet.
 

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solsticeman said:
If you're racing the car, why do you need to get into the trunk?
Okay, do I have this straight? Autoweek is talking about a fixed-roof coupe that would be sold to the public (most of whom would presumably want some sort of trunk/hatch). You, on the other hand, are talking about a different vehicle (i.e., a "coupe back" not intended for sale to the general public). Is this correct?
 

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Ok let me clear this up.

Later this year/early next year they will make a BOLT-ON hard top for the roadster. This is confirmed as they plan on professionally racing it, and the SCCA requires that all roadsters have a production hard top to race.

Later on they will ALSO make a coupe version with a fixed, normal roof. HOWEVER, this is not confirmed it is only speculation. It's pretty obvious that they will though, but it's not official and we just don't know when it'll happen.
 

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Aardvark said:
Okay, do I have this straight? Autoweek is talking about a fixed-roof coupe that would be sold to the public (most of whom would presumably want some sort of trunk/hatch). You, on the other hand, are talking about a different vehicle (i.e., a "coupe back" not intended for sale to the general public). Is this correct?
See, that's the problem with trying to give out info before it has been decided upon.

RIGHT NOW, there is nothing official, other than GM has announced an SCCA/SSB car they are working on. To be legit, there either has to be a bolted-on removeable hardtop officially designated (from an aftermarket supplier) or the car has to have a factory installed hardtop bolted on (like the rules for the Miata, which if you call for clarification, they have to have the OEM top).

What this top looks like: NOBODY REALLY KNOWS BECAUSE IT HASN'T BEEN DECIDED UPON YET.

It might look like a duplicate of the current cloth (complete with AFBTS-like thingies). It might look like the coupe shown in the autoshow (but if made out of metal and glass would be heavier than the cloth top and currrent metal decklid). It might be made of metal or fiberglass or glass-reinforced SMC, or have a glass or lexan backlight.... It might be a notch-back...

...what comes out for the Club Racing car may not be what eventually becomes available as an OEM top.

...the point is the info forwarded at this time is extremely fluid - which is the risk of trying to leak info before decisions have been made.

Autoweek is going on rumors. That's all. As for what a removeable hardtop looks like - wait for about 8-12 weeks and we'll know more. If they are along on the design, you'll see spy photos or something at that point.

Anything at this time is like trying to choose sides on a game that's not done yet.

Personally, I don't car which, so long as the removeable hardtop removes a crapload of weight. I don't mind how the coupe looks, I just hate that fastback versions generally add weight to a car.
 
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