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I was driving behind a BMW Z4 today, and thinking to myself that it's about axactly the size of my new Solstice, and it hit me. How is it that the Z4 is the same size and specs as the Solstice, yet it claims almost twice the estimated trunk space of the Solstice?? Both cars have drop tops, RWD, rear muffler and gas tanks in the back, yet the Z4 claims almost double the storage. If we are indeed to get smaller trunk space, what do we get in exchange? Stiffer frame and better handling? Better exhaust? Larger fuel capacity?

Anybody have a Z4 and can tell us how they laid it out to get a nice size trunk? It might help us think of ways to mod the Solstice (and Sky too I imagine) for more trunk space if GM blows it.
 

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AeroDave there is a thread already under the HOT OR NOT Pontiac Solstice. I think you will find it interesting
 

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AeroDave said:
I was driving behind a BMW Z4 today, and thinking to myself that it's about axactly the size of my new Solstice, and it hit me. How is it that the Z4 is the same size and specs as the Solstice, yet it claims almost twice the estimated trunk space of the Solstice?? Both cars have drop tops, RWD, rear muffler and gas tanks in the back, yet the Z4 claims almost double the storage. If we are indeed to get smaller trunk space, what do we get in exchange? Stiffer frame and better handling? Better exhaust? Larger fuel capacity?

Anybody have a Z4 and can tell us how they laid it out to get a nice size trunk? It might help us think of ways to mod the Solstice (and Sky too I imagine) for more trunk space if GM blows it.
I would think the the reason for the smaller trunk in the Solstice would be because of the of the HARDTOP! :thumbs
 

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AeroDave said:
I was driving behind a BMW Z4 today, and thinking to myself that it's about axactly the size of my new Solstice, and it hit me. How is it that the Z4 is the same size and specs as the Solstice, yet it claims almost twice the estimated trunk space of the Solstice?? Both cars have drop tops, RWD, rear muffler and gas tanks in the back, yet the Z4 claims almost double the storage. If we are indeed to get smaller trunk space, what do we get in exchange? Stiffer frame and better handling? Better exhaust? Larger fuel capacity?

Anybody have a Z4 and can tell us how they laid it out to get a nice size trunk? It might help us think of ways to mod the Solstice (and Sky too I imagine) for more trunk space if GM blows it.


Yup, I've got a 2003 BMW Z4 2.5i and will be in the market for a new ride mid-2006 (or 2007 at the latest). I'm seriously considering the Sky as I really like the looks. I don't expect it'll have the performance and handling of the Z4 (which is outstanding), but at 50 - 60% of the price of a Z4, I wouldn't expect it.
What I do need is sufficient head and legroom as well as a trunk which will hold a few overnight bags for a weekend getaway or 2 small "Sunday" golf bags (with the top down).
My Z4 holds 2 medium sized bags (see pics 2 & 3 below) with no problem and while I do not expect the Sky or Solstice to have that much trunk space (based on what I've read here), if it can't hold 2 Sunday bags then that would be a show stopper for me.
As for how BMW does it - I dunno, but pic #1 below is a cutaway which may be of some use:





 

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Good thread AeroDave. Love the pics, I'd love for my Sol to hold 1 golf bag :smile
 

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Good question. I need a trunk with at least enough space for two small bags. golf is no big deal for me. i think solstice will have enough space for what i need it for.
 

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How's this for a wordy response???

Looking at a better pic, it's starting to become more obvious.

The Z4 configuration puts a complicated-shaped fuel tank behind the occupants and IN FRONT of the differential, and what appears to be saddled over the driveshaft and forward part of the differential.

Then a multi-fold compact top that is very efficiently stacked on top of the differential AND the lateral attachments for the suspension (small cradle), then a bulkhead/seperator to the trunk. The suspension is compact, being multi-link, and fore/aft motion is controlled by trailing links rather than a traditional "A-Arm" - another packaging efficient design.

The trunk floor is very low, since the structure is what I suspected (stamped steel), and a complicated (and likely expensive) muffler is packaged beside the location of the battery, below the trunk.

In the solstice, it's starting to become obvious where they had to cut costs. There's only a wall between the occupant and the rear compartment. The fuel tank appears to be very simple (and therefore cost effective), and packaged on top of the differential. The top (from the cutaway drawing) appears to be a two-fold mechanism, which is less efficient and packaging is further aggrevated by the AFBTS's.

The muffler is one of the most cost effective types out there - oval cannister type and situated in the only space left - under the rails, and establishing the floor of the trunk ABOVE the longitudinal structure.

Then, at the top of the trunk, there has to be structure to hold the hinges for the reverse clamshell opening trunk, and the hinges and trunk springs themselves. I'd bet that eats up a crapload of volume alone - maybe 2 cubic feet by itself.

So, I'd bet

-if the fuel tank were shaped to go "around and in front" of the differential (at subtantial cost, possibly a dual-sump fuel pump, which I think the Z4 uses to get the fuel on both sides of the driveshaft "dips"),

-the roof were more traditionally stacked (without complications like the AFBTS's),

-they used a more volume efficient muffler (again more expensive) , allowing a dropped pocket (at least) to increase storage a bit more,

-And they created a separate compartment for the top, allowing a traditionally opening trunk and separate closing tonneau (ala 'Vette convertible)...

We'd likely pick up a good 2-4 cubic feet, maybe more... but...

...then the car starts to lose character. Just kidding, but I'd bet we could add the "top down clean look" as another conscious tradeoff more toward form (the design appearance) than function. The price of reverse clamshell opening, and price pressures for uncomplicated and low cost parts have likely given us what the Solstice is.

At least, that's what I think. Take it with a grain of salt, 'cause I'm certainly not a GM designer or a GM Packaging engineer. I just run the place...unnnhh... I mean... IF I were Bob Lutz, I'd run the place and have something to say about it... unnnhh... I'm just going to end it here...
 

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solsticeman said:
Looking at a better pic, it's starting to become more obvious.
Good insight. I hadn't really considered the cost aspect. It sounds like BMW has used complicated, space effieceint components that cost lots more. So to answer my own question, what we get in return for sacraficed space, is a covered convertable boot and 20k price tag. I can live with that. Seems the only hope of finding more room back there is to find something else to do with the muffler and lower the floor pan between the frame rails. Easily said, probably very difficult to do. With the car being so low, and RWD, I don't know where else you could put it. Maybe it can just be smaller? :confused
 

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I do not care about the trunk space either, but I will bet we are in VERY small minority. GM/Pontiac is going to have a hard time selling these cars, (SKY included) if the trunk space is as bad as the congectures been posted on this forum come to be true. :(
 

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Thanks solticeman, great explaination. My golf bag doesn't like it but I understand it better.
 

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I still always wonder what that bulge/compart shaped section is right under the curved roll-over bars. It seems like it would be a couple cubic feet behind the front seats almost.
 

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Thanks solsticeman so very much for the explanation. Myself, I'm not concerned with the amount storage area in the trunk. But now, at least when someone asks me about the lack of it, I can better explain to them the 'why' of it as opposed to my usual technology challenged 'blank look'. :rolleyes
 

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Another MR-2

I tend to agree that lack of storage space could be a real minus for the Solstice/Sky. I'm reminded of the Toyota MR-2 which had 1.9 ft3 of storage space according to Edmunds. The MR-2 had never been a big seller. I took a brief look at one a few years ago, and the almost non-existent cargo space stopped me almost immediately.

Okie_Sol
 

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MR2 had other issues as well. Gonna be interesting to see how this plays out with Solstice and it's trunk.
 

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The Fiero only has 5.85 cubic feet of trunk space, but it is very usable 5.85 cubes. The rear trunk isn't all that wide, but it is very deep, and its upper half is long. You can easily fit a few grocery bags in, golf clubs will fit (although more than 1 bag is not easy at all) folding chairs for two will drop in. Especially those new colapsable bagged ones.

The cubic foot number for the Solstice sounds scary, but I think it really depends on the shape. If its wide and shallow like the Miata, it won't hold nearly as much real stuff as it would if its deeper.
 

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solsticeman said:
Looking at a better pic, it's starting to become more obvious....
good analysis sman. i agree and would add another considerable factor: it looks like the miata and the bmw top forward hinge points are much farther forward than those on the solstice, allowing for shorter links and for their tops to stow farther foward. look at how far away the hinge points are on the solstice because of those high vertical stampings along the aft door edge.

i suspect they went ahead too quickly freezing the design analysis and the tooling for those stampings before they had the top fully worked out....

i can't lay all of this off to "lower cost." some of it is from stupidly being a slave to the idea of having those those head fairings be one piece with the rest of the trunk lid, thus requiring the aft hinge. (some gm designer stated "minimum seams as" a goal.) i'll say it again: if they had made a separate short little cover for the top with those headfairings molded in and normally hinged the rest of a separate trunk lid, they'd have a much better design.

but i'll bet nobody wanted to buck the honcho who wanted the "minimum seam" look.
 

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In that cutaway picture of the rear of the Solstice, I've often wondered why the two floor pieces on either side of the of the frame rail are flush with the top of the rail and not flush with the bottom. OK, the area between the rails has to make room for the muffler beneath it, but by dropping those two little pieces it would make two pockets that would total at least one cubic foot. And it was clearly wasted space, as seen in those undercar car show pictures a while back.
 

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AeroDave said:
I was driving behind a BMW Z4 today, and thinking to myself that it's about axactly the size of my new Solstice...
Wow, AeroDave! When did you take delivery of "your new solstice?"

Little Freudian slip there? :D
 

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okie_sol said:
I tend to agree that lack of storage space could be a real minus for the Solstice/Sky. ...
The Solstice will likely have a very small amount of luggage space, but every late model roadster I’ve researched has at least one major issue in my book. For example, I took the following vehicles off my list for the reasons below:

Honda S2000 – impractical power band
Porsche Boxster – poor engine access, high price for a weekend driver, high cost of parts and service
Mazda Miata (current version) – tight interior, a little underpowered
Toyota MR2 – no luggage space, blunt styling
BMW Z3 – Too much chassis flex
BMW Z4 – Controversial styling, high price for a weekend driver
Corvette C5, C6– More power than I want or need, high price for a weekend driver
350Z Roadster - Curb weight about 3,500lbs

Looking at the current choices, I see the main threat as the upcoming Miata being debuted in March and available late summer. If Mazda does increase the size of the interior and the horsepower as the press is reporting, I think these two cars will be fighting for a lot of the same buyers. Right now the Solstice and the 06 Miata are the two new vehicles still on my short list.
 
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