Sources: Pontiac Solstice GXP Not Green-Lighted…Yet
Date Posted 11-01-2005
DETROIT — General Motors is denying reports that it has green-lighted a high-performance Pontiac Solstice GXP convertible for model-year 2007. A Pontiac spokesman told Inside Line that the automaker is only considering producing the nameplate and has not yet come to a decision. Pontiac currently has only one GXP-brand vehicle, the 303-horsepower Grand Prix GXP sedan, and it would be logical for it to add more.
The regular Solstice uses a 177-hp, 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, a relative of such power plants as the Chevrolet Cobalt 2.0-, 2.2- and 2.4-liter Ecotec units. The spokesman said, "Any Ecotec engine can easily accept either a turbo- or supercharger," and called such modifications "inexpensive ways to add higher horsepower" for performance-edition cars. He said GM is looking at turbo- or supercharging some kind of Ecotec for a Solstice GXP.
However, he said he did not know if GM is investigating more than one engine possibility for the Solstice GXP. The hot-rod Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged uses a 205-hp, 2.0-liter engine, which recent reports say would be the power plant for the hot-rod Solstice. And while reports say the Solstice GXP would swap the base model's five-speed manual transmission for a six-speed, the spokesman said that in testing the base model, GM "tried it with a six-speed and…found that there really wasn't a significant amount of performance difference between [that and] a five-speed."
The spokesman said twin exhausts are a "very distinct possibility" for a Solstice GXP, adding that "dual exhaust tends to be a very popular item, especially among the more performance-oriented crowd." He also pointed out that Pontiac is considering GXP versions of three other vehicles: the G6, the Torrent and the Vibe. Affordability is a significant concern for all GXP models. "Pontiac has this image of being attainable," he said, "and we don't want to lose that, even in our performance editions."
What this means to you: GM is clearly interested in a high-performance Solstice — and so is the buying public. Nearly all base-model Solstices are already spoken for.