Lori Queen (is that her name) the small car VP for GM in charge of the Solstice, had done an interview regarding the body panels shortly after the Detroit NAIAS. I forget where I saw the interview, and couldn’t dig up the article in a quick google search. But essentially she said that they had considered using plastic panels (Reaction Injection Mouldings and Reinforced Reaction Injection Mouldings, straight fiberglass is old tech now and no longer used) but that they would have been more expensive to produce than going with the hydroformed steel panels at this volume. The hydro formed panels were cheaper to do at the Solstice’s expected volume, so that is what they went with.wezzrocks said:Sure fancy hydro-formed bodypanels may look good, but fiberglass is light and if i remember right, cheaper. It's something to think about, less about color and licenceplates.
GreatWhiteNorth said:When I was @ the Woodward Dream Cruise and looking @ the Solstice on display, I got talking to a guy that worked for GM in the fibreglass area of the company. He was lamenting that the body should have been made of fibreglass because he said they bid on the Solstice but were beat out by a lower cost to do it in hydroformed metal.
The Solstice's lines are so clean that it would be a shame to have them disrupted by multiple door dings. I would have preferred plastic body panels. Need to locate a good paintless dent removal shop just in case.Fformula88 said:...
I wonder how resistant the panels might be to light dents and dings. The idea of going to hydro formed frames is that they are more rigid. Might a hydro formed body be more rigid too?
Its going to mean long lots from the far end of the parking lot, and absolutely no grocery stores! Grocery stores are the absolute worst between other cars parking close, carts, kids, kids plus carts. *shudder*tcl said:The Solstice's lines are so clean that it would be a shame to have them disrupted by multiple door dings. I would have preferred plastic body panels. Need to locate a good paintless dent removal shop just in case.
I was reading an article in Automotive Engineering International and it was all about the hydroforming process on the Solstice. I'll see if I can make a PDF of it and make it available for people. Pretty informative article. In there they broached the subject of the plastic panels and said that they were thought about for a while but disregarded because of complaints with Saturn's body panels not having consistent body gaps. They didn't want to sacrifice the minor details like having mis-matched body gaps, thereby giving the car a "cheaper" appearance, just so the car would be ding resistant. They mentioned something about why they didn't go with fiber glass as well, but I can't remember it right now. I'll definitely see if I can copy that tomorrow at work.tcl said:I would have preferred plastic body panels.