Pontiac Solstice Forum banner
1 - 20 of 90 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's a review by some Monty Python lovin idiot...probably from the UK. No wonder the Brits are intellectually and financially bankrupt...

http://www.channel4.com/4car/road-tests/driving-impressions-2005/P/pontiac/solstice05-.html

Here's an excerpt...
Things start well enough. The Solstice is a cracking-looking car: it looks taut and muscular and, gauche Pontiac grille aside, has an appealingly clean and tidy design. The twin cowls behind driver and passenger are a great touch, and the roof is a simple affair to unclip from the header rail and stow behind the large but light rear tonneau.

However, slot into the driver seat and it all starts to unravel. There's nothing wrong with the driving position, but the dash design is a dog's breakfast and the plastics are hard and shiny - a lesson in how cutting the car's costs has also slashed its appeal. It's a relief, then, that the Sky will be getting a much more sophisticated and better-quality interior.

Despite possessing all the ingredients for a tasty roadster - front engine, rear drive, even weight distribution and wishbone suspension - the Solstice feels baggy, inert and squidgy.

The engine shoulders most of the blame. You'd think with a 2.4-litre engine that develops 175bhp at 6300rpm, the Solstice would be bit of a tarmac rippler. Unfortunately, it's not. It feels utterly gutless at low revs - hardly a surprise given the paltry 166lb ft of torque the all-alloy unit develops at a too-high 4800rpm. So even Korean hatchbacks will kick sand in your face if you don't use the revs.


PS Sounds like the ramblings of a crackhead who just ate the dog's breakfast...who themselves would be described as baggy, inert and squidgy by the mainstream populace. :)
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,574 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,171 Posts
What should we expect from people that rarely see the sun shine? From his review one has to wonder if he really drove the car. And where does he get the impression that the Sky will be so drastically different? Maybe he'd had the dogs breakfast the day he wrote this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,210 Posts
Wow, he did trash the car pretty good. Doesn't jive at all with all the America magazine reviews.

Love some of their terms :lol:

squidgy...gotta look that one up :willy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,512 Posts
What I found funny was all of the inaccuracies.

"However, if GM used its existing Kappa platform architecture..." Uh, I thought the Kappa platform was designed SPECIFICALLY because GM didn't have an acceptable platform available to build the Solstice concept on?

"In America, a fully loaded Solstice will sell for $20,000" Great, I want one of those! ;) My not quite fully loaded Sol is priced just under $25K.

I think I'd take a review more seriously if they had bothered to do their homework first. :willy:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,210 Posts
Here's the full text....he's got a few mistakes in there like thinking the kappa platform was existing.

Four years ago, Simon Cox, a British designer at General Motors, created the fabulously sexy Lightning concept car, which was unveiled at the 2002 Detroit motor show to rapturous applause.

At the time, GM announced the slinky two-seater roadster would be made in both left and right-hand drive: in Europe it would become the Opel GT, replacing the Speedster; in the UK it would succeed the Vauxhall VX220; and across the Atlantic it would become the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, two crucial niche products for a beleaguered GM.

Three years later, the reality has proven to be somewhat different.

First, the accountants started looking at the costs involved. To set up a new left and right-hand drive platform would take time and money - more than GM wanted to spend, especially if the Solstice/VX220 were to meet upcoming pedestrian impact regulations.

However, if GM used its existing Kappa platform architecture, it could get around this problem by significantly shortening the car's development process. The only snag was that Kappa was left-hand-drive only - fine for the US and Europe, but bad news for the UK.

So in 2007 we should get a left-hand drive Vauxhall VX220 replacement. Then again, there's a question mark hanging over the future of the VX220 and Vauxhall may well bin the whole programme rather than take on a left-hooker that no one will buy (anyone remember the Fiat Barchetta?).

There's also the small matter of it not being the Solstice that will be rebadged and sold over here, but rather the rakish and more European Saturn Sky, which bears a closer similarity to Cox's original Lightning concept, powered by a supercharged 220bhp 2.0-litre engine with a six-speed close ratio box and a wishbone set-up courtesy of Lotus.

All of which means the Solstice I drove will bear little relation to left-hand-drive model that may or may not come to the UK. Which, to be blunt, is not a bad thing, because the Solstice is a thoroughly underwhelming bit of kit.

Things start well enough. The Solstice is a cracking-looking car: it looks taut and muscular and, gauche Pontiac grille aside, has an appealingly clean and tidy design. The twin cowls behind driver and passenger are a great touch, and the roof is a simple affair to unclip from the header rail and stow behind the large but light rear tonneau.

However, slot into the driver seat and it all starts to unravel. There's nothing wrong with the driving position, but the dash design is a dog's breakfast and the plastics are hard and shiny - a lesson in how cutting the car's costs has also slashed its appeal. It's a relief, then, that the Sky will be getting a much more sophisticated and better-quality interior.

Despite possessing all the ingredients for a tasty roadster - front engine, rear drive, even weight distribution and wishbone suspension - the Solstice feels baggy, inert and squidgy.

The engine shoulders most of the blame. You'd think with a 2.4-litre engine that develops 175bhp at 6300rpm, the Solstice would be bit of a tarmac rippler. Unfortunately, it's not. It feels utterly gutless at low revs - hardly a surprise given the paltry 166lb ft of torque the all-alloy unit develops at a too-high 4800rpm. So even Korean hatchbacks will kick sand in your face if you don't use the revs.

The problem is, the engine hates revving and winding it up to its 6300rpm power peak takes an age, resulting in nothing more than what's-the-rush acceleration. Pontiac claims a 0-60mph time of 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 120mph: both figures seem hugely optimistic from the driver's seat.

The 16-valve unit also sounds coarse and loud, like a large industrial drier trying to digest a handful of ball bearings. Roof-up refinement is good, but drop the roof and that harsh engine note pervades the whole cabin. The driver touch points also transmit every engine vibration to your feet and hands.

Ride and handling are equally lacklustre. Throw the Pontiac into a corner and the nose gets all nervous; the back end gets squidgy and squirms; and, instead of weighting up progressively, the steering goes all light and lifeless. At least the gearlever has a decently short and precise throw, and over Detroit's shockingly surfaced roads, the Solstice felt robust. If you want driver engagement and entertainment, though, try the new Mazda MX-5 instead.

So the question you're probably asking is this: if the Solstice is so unappealing why is it being built? Well, context is everything. In America, a fully loaded Solstice will sell for $20,000, or around £11,500. And at that bargain price most, if not all, of its faults can be readily forgiven.

GM's engineers promise the Sky that morphs into the next generation VX220 will be a significantly better car than the Solstice. It will have to be, because as it is, the Pontiac Solstice is a huge disappointment.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,600 Posts
The article talks of context, so lets take this review in context.

The reviewer is benchmarking the Solstice against the existing Vauxhall VX220 which is 800 pounds lighter and comes with 220 HP in turbocharged form. Is it any wonder he found it lacking? The Solstice is not a VX220 and never will be.

The review also recommends the MX5. No doubt it is probably the better car for England and Europe, where driving is more a form of entertainment on twisting secondary roads, unlike the huge open spaces of America where driving is a necessity and most driving is done on the interstates.

I understand this review from the point of view of the author and feel it is likely accurate from his point of view. He even recognizes the very very low cost of the car, which should imply the lack of say a 300 HP motor and full racing suspension for those blokes who want to tour the Isle of Man (at a cost of 30,000 pounds stirling and up.

Read between the lines and all the reivewer is saying is, this is a nice cheap sports car for America but I'll take the Lotus. Big deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
What do you expect when they drive on the wrong side of the road :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,171 Posts
jimbo said:
The article talks of context, so lets take this review in context.

The reviewer is benchmarking the Solstice against the existing Vauxhall VX220 which is 800 pounds lighter and comes with 220 HP in turbocharged form. Is it any wonder he found it lacking? The Solstice is not a VX220 and never will be.

The review also recommends the MX5. No doubt it is probably the better car for England and Europe, where driving is more a form of entertainment on twisting secondary roads, unlike the huge open spaces of America where driving is a necessity and most driving is done on the interstates.

I understand this review from the point of view of the author and feel it is likely accurate from his point of view. He even recognizes the very very low cost of the car, which should imply the lack of say a 300 HP motor and full racing suspension for those blokes who want to tour the Isle of Man (at a cost of 30,000 pounds stirling and up.

Read between the lines and all the reivewer is saying is, this is a nice cheap sports car for America but I'll take the Lotus. Big deal.
I might be willing to accept his review in the manner that you have, but the problem I find with it is that it is obvious he didn't do his homework. I don't believe a reviewer has to like a car simply because I do, but missatatements telll me a writer hasn't done his or her research, and that's just sloppy journalism and tells me that nothing they write sould be taken seriously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
The Kappa DID exist when the decision to use it for the VX replacement (now Sky) was made. It might not of been called the "Kappa", but it was already being developed for the Solstice. The decision was made more recently, not in 2002. The history of the VX replacement was GO, then a NO-GO, then a GO-as-a Kappa.

His pricing point is wrong, but the evolution to Kappa is correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
mceb said:
Wow, he did trash the car pretty good. Doesn't jive at all with all the America magazine reviews.

Love some of their terms :lol:

squidgy...gotta look that one up :willy:
Squidgy, wasn't that the guy in Laverne and Shirley?.....you know, Lenny's pal!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
toddwcarpenter said:
The Kappa DID exist when the decision to use it for the VX replacement (now Sky) was made. It might not of been called the "Kappa", but it was already being developed for the Solstice. The decision was made more recently, not in 2002. The history of the VX replacement was GO, then a NO-GO, then a GO-as-a Kappa.

His pricing point is wrong, but the evolution to Kappa is correct.
read it agan, He was talking about the Initial development of the Solstice, Sky, speedster replacement(Opel), and VX replacement... There was no Kappa Platform before the Solstice was developed. and when they decided on the platform all the other cars were already in the plans, except for the right hand drive models....which the Kappa platform was never designed for..

"At the time, GM announced the slinky two-seater roadster would be made in both left and right-hand drive: in Europe it would become the Opel GT, replacing the Speedster; in the UK it would succeed the Vauxhall VX220; and across the Atlantic it would become the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, two crucial niche products for a beleaguered GM.

Three years later, the reality has proven to be somewhat different.

First, the accountants started looking at the costs involved. To set up a new left and right-hand drive platform would take time and money - more than GM wanted to spend, especially if the Solstice/VX220 were to meet upcoming pedestrian impact regulations.

However, if GM used its existing Kappa platform architecture, it could get around this problem by significantly shortening the car's development process. The only snag was that Kappa was left-hand-drive only - fine for the US and Europe, but bad news for the UK."
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,574 Posts
jimbo said:
The article talks of context, so lets take this review in context.

The reviewer is benchmarking the Solstice against the existing Vauxhall VX220 which is 800 pounds lighter and comes with 220 HP in turbocharged form. Is it any wonder he found it lacking? The Solstice is not a VX220 and never will be.

The review also recommends the MX5. No doubt it is probably the better car for England and Europe, where driving is more a form of entertainment on twisting secondary roads, unlike the huge open spaces of America where driving is a necessity and most driving is done on the interstates.

I understand this review from the point of view of the author and feel it is likely accurate from his point of view. He even recognizes the very very low cost of the car, which should imply the lack of say a 300 HP motor and full racing suspension for those blokes who want to tour the Isle of Man (at a cost of 30,000 pounds stirling and up.

Read between the lines and all the reivewer is saying is, this is a nice cheap sports car for America but I'll take the Lotus. Big deal.

Hey Brother Jim, it's the bird here. I can go with you to a point, but tell me about a "dog's breakfast". Mom's gonn get pi**ed if you suggest that's an appropriate remark. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Classic66vair said:
read it agan, He was talking about the Initial development of the Solstice, Sky, speedster replacement(Opel), and VX replacement... [/B]
He may have written it in a way that is unclear, but the fact of the matter is that the VX replacement was going to be it's own car. Then, after some bean counting, they adopted the Kappa platform.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Marco said:
Squidgy, wasn't that the guy in Laverne and Shirley?.....you know, Lenny's pal!
squidgy • adjective (squidgier, squidgiest) informal, chiefly Brit. soft and moist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
Well, let's see. I've read 5 or 6 reviews of the Solstice, about half of them
including a Miata for comparison. I think I'm on firm ground in reporting that everything this Limey griped about was contradicted by all or most of the other reviewers. They also provided coherent descriptions and explanations
and were, on the whole professional in their assessments. This chap is off in his own world of caustic comment, trying to distinguish himself by making outlandish statements, and all too familiar tendency for English writers. Ignore the little twits and understand what they're up to. I can guarantee you that if he ran into a Solstice with an owner inside, the last thing he'd do is open his mouth, and if he did , it would definitely be the last thing he did.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,600 Posts
birdliver said:
Hey Brother Jim, it's the bird here. I can go with you to a point, but tell me about a "dog's breakfast". Mom's gonn get pi**ed if you suggest that's an appropriate remark. :lol:
Oh yeah, well Mom can just kiss my... uh oh. Dad's coming! :leaving:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Right to what? Trash what he probably never drove?.....

Pterosaur said:
Well, he has a right to his opinion especially if he is truly English, after all it is the English who are world renowned for their automotive expertise and engineering! ;)
Uh Yeah, Give me a Break! :yawn:
 
1 - 20 of 90 Posts
Top