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Discussion Starter #1
I drove a "Cool" colored Sol two weekends ago for about 3 hours total time. My thoughts:

-Good torque, good high rpm power, not lacking anywhere powerwise
-engine was somewhat rough when revved but not bad
-Great exhuast note!
-Awesome shifter with good feel
-Good gear ratios, roughly 2500 rpms at 70 mph in 5th
-Excellent Ride...this really impressed me. Handled MI freeways very well
-Great handling, just the right amount of body roll making it feel like the tires had full contact in hard corners.
-good brake feel and power
-Nicely weighted clutch
-Top was very easy to operate, as easy as a Corvette.
-Comfortable seats
-I am 6'2" and 180 lbs. I fit comfortably but will describe it as "snug"
-Not much trunk, my carry on size suitcase went on passenger floor

-This car is an attention magnet (if you didn't know). It caught almost everyone's attention. People were hanging next to me on the freeway to get a better look and I got stopped in parking lots for people to ask questions. One guy thought it was a Jag.

-Interior styling was good, very smooth, but it could have been finished better. Not bad for the price, but not a Honda level interior. Felt kind of claustrophobic with the top up, but easily tolerable.
 

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From your Forum name, I take you have some SCCA experience :thumbs:

Now that you've had a chance to drive the Solstice, how do you think it will do in SCCA Solo C Stock? I don't plan on beating mine to death, but I will most likely run a few Solo events. Gotta' represent in front of the Miata guys ;)
 

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SCCA HP Racer said:
One guy thought it was a Jag.
Yes, in my eye it has a little Jag, a little 1st gen Z, and a little Cheetah. Love the curvacious body, long hood, short deck look. It's modern but classic.

Thanks for the report.
 

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thanks for the review. :agree:
the honda s2000 (at 30+K) interior used better materials but was noticeably"snug" for me at 6' 185 lb- much more so than the solstice. given the price point, i think the pontiac designers did an excellent job with the interior- aestheticaly, ergonomically and tactile.i ordered the leather package, but after seeing the cloth would be more than happy with the standard interior.
the motor was not as smooth as the little inline six in my bmw, but what motor would be? i'd love to have seen an inline six in this car...maybe even more than the v8 conversions afoot.... but no one will do it and GM wisely took a motor off the shelf and tweaked it so we could have a $20,000 sports car in 2 years. with the twin counterbalancers, it is fairly smooth for a i-4 IMHO.
the trunk is .. well it is what it is- not much.
mostly i'm glad you liked the way it handled, because with your experience racing that counts for a lot- the handling is what sets sports cars apart from pony cars.
 

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cdb
i'd love to have seen an inline six in this car
I wish they had fitted the 275 hp 6 that is in my Trailblazer. I really like this engine.
 

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Editguy said:
cdb

I wish they had fitted the 275 hp 6 that is in my Trailblazer. I really like this engine.
that is a great motor- tuning it for a sports car would make it even more impressive. it might not fit in the solstice, but i'd like to see someone try it.
3 years on ward's 'best motor' list... here's what they say
GENERAL MOTORS
4.2L DOHC I-6
The first time Vortec 4200 chief engineer Ron Kociba showed his creation to the press almost three years ago, his face had an expression, if you can conjure the image, combining cat-that-ate-the-canary satisfaction with the cautious optimism of a poker player betting a good, but not totally airtight, hand.

Kociba knew his team had developed a pivotal engine. Of that he was certain. Problem was, the new engine had only six cylinders and was earmarked to launch in a midsize SUV segment whose customers seemed increasingly hell-bent on having eight.

Now, with a third-consecutive 10 Best Engines trophy under the Vortec 4.2L I-6's belt, General Motors Corp.'s decision to green-light the Powertrain division's straight-6 truck engine proves the General often is capable of excellent feats of engineering. The Vortec 4200 remains a favorite of Best Engines judges because of its crisp responses and no-nonsense power delivery. If the late running back Walter Payton were an engine, he'd be the Vortec 4200: lithe, composed and always capable of the instant burst of power.

“If BMW (AG) decided to make a truck engine, it wouldn't be ashamed if this was it,” says one Best Engines judge, paying perhaps the ultimate compliment in comparing GM's inline 6-cyl. with BMW's fabled straight-6 efforts.

And the Vortec 4200 passes the real acid test, the one that may have given Kociba sleepless nights: When V-8 power became available in GM's midsize SUVs and their offshoots — so far, the only applications for the Vortec 4200 — much of the press and much of the buying public preferred the inline 6-cyl. instead of the V-8. Mission accomplished.

We see the Vortec 4200 as a win-win for everybody. We get a fabulously responsive, criminally refined, V-8-rivaling 6-cyl. in an SUV.

GM gets an engine that's easier and less-expensive to produce (one cylinder head instead of two makes for meaningful savings, alone), an all-aluminum, high-volume engine that doesn't put a hurting on the company's tenuous corporate average fuel economy position.

All the things that are so right and proper about the Vortec 4200 have kept it comfortably placed on the Best Engines list. It's surprisingly thrusty, with 90% of its peak torque available by 1,600 rpm. And the glorious inline-6 “rip” is there when snapping wide the deliciously precise, electronically controlled throttle. And heck, it's only 15 hp short of the 5.3L V-8 it “competes” against.

The Vortec 4200 is one of the most versatile and satisfying engines available at any price. It's skillfully engineered, brilliantly executed and immensely gratifying to use.

Engine type: 4.2L DOHC I-6
Displacement (cc): 4,160
Block/head material: aluminum/aluminum
Bore × stroke (mm): 93 × 102
Horsepower (SAE net): 275 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 275 lb.-ft. (373 Nm) @ 3,600 rpm
Specific output: 65 hp/L
Compression ratio: 10:1
Application tested: GMC Envoy 4WD
Fuel economy for tested vehicle (EPA city/highway mpg): 15/21
(edit) just had to add another 2 cents. the salespersons demonstrating the inline 6 honda CBX motorcycle motor would stand a cigarette up on the tank of an idling bike and run the motor up without the cigarette falling over- back in the day when you couldn't see behind you using the mirrors at 25mph on a triumph twin.
an inline 6 is naturally balanced. it is an 'elegant' solution - no counterbalancers required. they also sound great and have a bona fide sports car heritage. it would be a beautiful thing in the solstice.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
No pics, sorry I do not have a digital camera. I think it was cool, it was the same color as the concept cars, kind of gray. It had cloth, cruise, driver info screen (water temp, avg fuel econ, avg speed)AC and foglights. The car had over 1000 miles on it and the avg fuel mileage was 26.0 (25.8 when I was done with it :) )

I was very impressed with the ride and handling, though the car felt wide and maybe not as great for AutoX work as say, a current Miata. I feel this car would be more at home on a road course than going through cones, though I'm sure it would be competitive in Solo and I hope to see some of you racing them!

Most of my experience is in SCCA Club Racing driving a Production car (modified Triumph Spitfire). If any of you have driven a C5 or 6 Vette, the chassis feels similar, which is a very good thing (and they should feel similar with their SLA suspensions and similar construction). I don't doubt that it can pull .9 g, the only thing that may keep it from that is the tires, but if those were upgraded I bet it would get close to 1 g.

Oh one thing I forgot to mention...the sun visors. I never noticed in any pictures, but they fold out of the windsheild header backwards from a normal car, they are not flimsy and feel of good quality. The top is held with one latch in the middle of the windsheild. There is also a button in the glove box to pop the buttresses and hatch if no one noticed that before. Between the seats (behind your right elbow) is a binnacle that is about 6" x 8" x 6" to hold any of your crap, it may be lockable but I can't remember.

PS...the car had NO cowl shake, the first convert I have driven without it.
 

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cdb
that is a great motor- tuning it for a sports car would make it even more impressive. it might not fit in the solstice, but i'd like to see someone try it.
I would like to see it too. Thanks for the info. I didn't know all of that. I just know that I have been very impressed with how smooth it runs, how powerful it is, and very decent gas mileage for the vehicle it's in. I was always a V8 guy, but I have really been won over by this engine.
 

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SCCA HP Racer said:
The car had over 1000 miles on it and the avg fuel mileage was 26.0...

I was very impressed with the ride and handling...

If any of you have driven a C5 or 6 Vette, the chassis feels similar, which is a very good thing...

I don't doubt that it can pull .9 g, the only thing that may keep it from that is the tires, but if those were upgraded I bet it would get close to 1 g.

PS...the car had NO cowl shake, the first convert I have driven without it...
And just like that, all my fears are put to rest. Thanks for the great pocket road test! :thumbs:
 

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Ditto......

I can second the motion on everything stated in this thread. I drove a Solstice for the first time at the Ride and Drive in San Bernardino, CA. yesterday. Besides everything else that was stated......the cup holder held my 22 oz. soft drink just fine....... :yesnod: Saw my dealer at the event. I'm #4 on the first four month allocation, #3's order was pulled by GM last week. My order will be pulled next. I think that was all the good news I could handle in one day (Driving the Solstice and preparation for having my order pulled by GM). Wow! What a car! What a country! :yesnod:
 

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Editguy said:
cdb

I wish they had fitted the 275 hp 6 that is in my Trailblazer. I really like this engine.
:agree:

Love the 4.2 in my Envoy. 50k miles mostly short hops as my wifes daily driver, but several long, fully loaded camping and kayak trips in NC, VA and WV. Pulls great in the mountains.
 

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:agree: I also agree, I love the 4.2 in my Envoy as well. In fact, I test drove a new H3 last night with a 5-speed and while it was fun and had some pep, I just couldn't help thinking the whole time how much I missed the power of the 4.2!
 

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C5Vette said:
:agree: I also agree, I love the 4.2 in my Envoy as well. In fact, I test drove a new H3 last night with a 5-speed and while it was fun and had some pep, I just couldn't help thinking the whole time how much I missed the power of the 4.2!
Yep, the H3 could have really used the 4.2
 

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Have not experienced the 4200 I6 yet but it sounds great and would be plenty of power for a mid-level Kappa or the new HHR and with a small turbo could easily hit 325 hp. Now the coupe Sol doe indeed evoke Cheetah, especially if the front were extended for the length of a 6. I had two Jeep Cherokees with their venerable c.i. I6 with Al head. Both were plenty powerful and that engine dated back from before the Chevy smallblock.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
While I also love the 4.2 (had one in an 02 Trailblazer w/ 4.10 axle ratio), it is too tall and too long for the kappa. The H3 is based on the Colorado, where the 4.2 will also not fit, too bad. If you think about it, I6s require more length than V8s because you have 6 cylinders lined up in a row vs. 4 on a V8. They are also generally taller than V8s because the cylinders are straight up and down vs a 90 degree V in a V8.

The FI car will be plenty fast because I was satisfied even with the NA car.

One other thing to mention, heel and toe was easy in this car for me (but I'm good :lol: )
 
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