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Discussion Starter #1
Dont get me started on the "top up- trunk open" question. GM has done some realy stupid things before but this would be stupid enough to KILL the KAPPA car in short time. Some hate the Fiero but if all the draw backs of this car (little to no trunk, no V6, gas tank in the center of of the trunk, no compleet set of gauges, cant open the trunk with the top up) come true it's a gonner for sure, and an even bigger "flop" than the Fiero :mad
 

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Rickady,

Can you say, "grand-slam home run"? I thought you could... The Solstice will be a runaway hit and called a "bargain" to boot. Don't worry about it. :smile
 

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Rickady88GT said:
...(little to no trunk, no V6, gas tank in the center of of the trunk, no compleet set of gauges, cant open the trunk with the top up) ...
Rick',

I'll shorten your list to these... and explain why:

Rickady88GT said:
...(little to no trunk,...,..., ..., ...) ...
Is really all that's truly going to be a problem.

No V-6, is a juxtapose problem with a low-cost roadster. A V-6 would catapult the cost significantly, if not in true cost to GM then cost to us for the marketing of a V-6. You're talking a $30K+ car. The MR2 (even though it has been cancelled), the S2000 (even though I think I heard rumor they were cancelling the US version... or updating it), and especially the Miata have been successful with ONLY 4-cylinder versions available. Non-availability of a V-6 won't kill the Solstice, or any 2-seat low cost car. Too high a price WILL kill it though. The SSR is a great example of a fun, distinctive, and great concept killed by price. I'd have bought one myself at $30k. Hard time swallowing $40K+. Even if they never offered the 6.0l, if the price were low $30's to start with they wouldn't have had an issue with selling them. I have to side with GM on this one.

Gas tank in MOT (or GTMOT/"git-maht") is really related to trunk volume/top/styling issue. If the gas tank were in the middle of the trunk and the car delivered on ride handling steering braking performance, and you could fit two sets of golf clubs in the trunk, the GTMOT issue wouldn't BE an issue.

Removed the last because you CAN open the trunk without taking the top down. Some things are merely inconvenient, and some things are colossally stupid. Besides, the steps to stow the top are (they HAVE to be, mechanically) 1) Open the trunk, 2) Stow the Top, 3) Close the trunk. Just no other way to do it. So to get in the trunk, you only have to do steps 1) and 3). Maybe have to fool with the AFBTS' but the top can remain up and latched. There is just no other way to sequence the top that I can think of that would require you to fully stow the top before getting in the trunk. It just mechanically doesn't make sense to do it any other way.

I removed the gages lacking, because after being in a miata, I think the normal MX-5 only has an oil gage and coolant temp gage in addition to the three on the Sol', and these CAN be added to a solstice after you get it, so I consider this a minor infraction. The Honda S2k has only the digital bar tach, a number readout of speed, a digital bar fuel, and a digital bar temp - only one more than the Sol'. I suppose if the DIC functions like the Trailblazer, you can display temp digitally - so you've got the equivalent of the Honda S2K right there.

There's also the strong possibility of GM trying to take advantage of the aftermarket and developing a "performance gage set"? Dunno, but I do know that there is such a thing for the SSR that you can buy either as a dealer-add-on or a SPO part.

That does leave:
-Trunk Volume

and I think you forgot:
-Top operation convenience, quality (sealing, noise, etc.)

And here, you have captured one of the two things that might be 'kappa killers'. Interesting to note, though, that both of these would be solved by a coupe (even if it were a t-top, they've got the structure, right?). These are big ones - they could be really painful, we'll just have to wait and see.

I left off the spare tire/run-flat/fix-a-flat issue. I doubt it will kill the program - It is an insignificant factor in the SSR, the Z06 is not any less of a car because it has an inflator kit, and I think the RX8 is doing just fine on non-run flats with an inflator kit. Run flats come with a buttload of baggage too (mass, bone-jarring-teeth-rattling ride, replacement cost).

But yep, the stuff in red is definitely going to be potential "rocks under the water" navigation for the Sol and li'l' sis Sky.
 

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Interesting to note, though, that both of these would be solved by a coupe
It's possible that the gas tank location/no trunk space issue is actually why there is no coupe. Picture if, instead of having no space under the rear deck, you had to look at that big box taking up all the space where the rear seats would normally be. Of course, if you had gas tank location as one of your top priorities when designing a coupe conversion to an existing Kappa platform, ther are several possible ways around that issue.

I'm optimistically hoping that there are no other issues that become evident when we actually get to drive the car. The two biggies you mention are only what we've been able to ferret out from the wealth of information coming from GM! I'm sure they know that they will be graded on a much higher curve than when the Miata first appeared. My biggest concern is the, for GM, rush to market and with it lack of engineering and development time. That may be the root cause of the two failings you list.
 

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Personally I'm hopping for a year 2-3 smallerremodel of the car once it has proven it will make money for GM. I would gladly pay $1000 more per car if it meant AFBTS less roofs and more trunk storage space.
 

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DreamerDave said:
It's possible that the gas tank location/no trunk space issue is actually why there is no coupe. Picture if, instead of having no space under the rear deck, you had to look at that big box taking up all the space where the rear seats would normally be. ...

I didn't mention rear seats. I only meant a 2-seat coupe. 2+2 seating requires a platform stretch, so it's really another platform (yet ANOTHER greek letter, or "prime"?).
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Solsticeman I know your intentions are good but you know we disagree on several things. I dont believe GM put the gas tank in the center of the trunk or ruled out a V6. I believe they planed from the start to put a V6 in the KAPPA but not just yet. The price of a back to basic's car has nothing to do with a V6. The V6 will be an upgrade. There will always be a basic KAPPA for those that dont want power. For those that do we will gladly pay more for a V6 (boosted Four's are not good enough, it's almost an insult) My list was full of things that has been discused and or debated and are not going to be an issue with me.
1) I dont believe we will have to put the top down to open the trunk
2) With the gas tank just behind the seats like the Vette the trunk will be big enough
3) The KAPPA will get a v6
4) The tank is not going to be a huge hump in the center of the car's trunk
5) And I can add extra gauges if GM does not offer them (BTW I think they will offer them)
So to sum it all up I was not saying that the KAPPA will die because they have thies problems, I was saying the KAPPA will die IF GM was STUPID enough to let thies probems get in the final production cars.

But this is not the thread to debate the things that have been debated before, so that is why I said "Dont get me started on....) :cool
 

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Rickady88GT said:
Solsticeman I know your intentions are good but you know we disagree on several things. ...:cool

It's kool. We can agree to disagree on the gas tank.

Can I remind you:

GM Firm that Solstice Will Not Get a V-6

Now, it does say "Solstice", not Kappa, but I'll also point out that it seems both the Curve and Nomad (perfect opportunities to pop a V-6 in the Kappa if it ever could get one) were both FI I-4's. I'll also point out that the Holden Torana was "underground buzz" of a V-6 Kappa, but when debuted at the Sydney Auto Show was identified as a "new platform, similar to the Kappa but heavily modified". This was my point, to change a platform optimized around a certain configuration (say convertible, 2-seat, short wheelbase, and one engine) requires so much work as to become a different platform.

In the link, there was some speculation that the Sky would end up with a V-6. But the magic 8-ball was right, "signs point to NO" was confirmed.

One other thing, I am just pointing out a counterpoint that it's only your feeling (or desire) for a V-6 that you state firmly the Kappa will get a V-6. Some folks could pop in here, scan through a thread, and see your post
Rickaddy88GT said:
...3) The KAPPA will get a v6
...
and conclude, incorrectly, that the Solstice or Sky will get a V-6, when GM has stated quite clearly both in evidence and in print that it is highly unlikely.

It will be great fun for all of us to look under the hump and put this stuff to rest.:D

PS: there's an option for "splitting threads" that I'll have to try sometime. Since this is mostly about AFBTS, and we're starting to drift about "Kappa Killers". Did it!!!, kool!!!
 

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DreamerDave said:
It's possible that the gas tank location/no trunk space issue is actually why there is no coupe. Picture if, instead of having no space under the rear deck, you had to look at that big box taking up all the space where the rear seats would normally be. Of course, if you had gas tank location as one of your top priorities when designing a coupe conversion to an existing Kappa platform, ther are several possible ways around that issue.

I'm optimistically hoping that there are no other issues that become evident when we actually get to drive the car. The two biggies you mention are only what we've been able to ferret out from the wealth of information coming from GM! I'm sure they know that they will be graded on a much higher curve than when the Miata first appeared. My biggest concern is the, for GM, rush to market and with it lack of engineering and development time. That may be the root cause of the two failings you list.
I think you have it backwards. If there was a coupe there would be trunk space, think about it. :rolleyes
 

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Let me pop in here wit my take on the engine. GM has no real need to put a v6 in a Kappa, whether Solstice or not, when they can easily produce a HO version of the I4 with simple addons. IMHO a S/C I4 at about 245 hp carries more CHarisma to me than a 215 hp normally aspirated v6. It'll maintain a better weight distribution with the 4 and consider where this car fits in the lineup. We're talking a base stripped down 170++ hp roadster that weighs less than a GrandAm sedan with same engine. We're talking low 7 sec 0-60, I believe. Sure the new Caddy is 5 sec, but those two seconds cost 10k a piece.
 

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AJC said:
I think you have it backwards. If there was a coupe there would be trunk space, think about it. :rolleyes
In a 2 seat coupe would be more space (like the orange concept). Think Dave was thinking of a 2+2 coupe.
 

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Awesome way to make threads about specific topics this way.

My thoughts on this are that the only thing that could really kill the Solstice would be the trunk space. If you can't even fit in a small golf bag, I think it's going to really deter from the usual Roadster buyers. Especially as I've pointed out before beign so cheap and so stunning visually I'm betting there's going to be a whole new set of people who never thought of owning a Roadster before wanting to get into this car, and they're going to be used to 8+ cu.ft. of trunk space.

I really don't think the lack of a v/i-6 engine will hurt the Kappa cars at all. If you look at my Excel file I made that's in the FAQ you can easily see that there are ZERO Roadsters under $34,000 that have a v/i-6 engine in them. The 350 Roadster, Crossfire Roadster, and Z4 are the ones sitting at $34,000 for their base models. Everything else under that price range is an i-4 or Turbocharged i-4. The i-4 engines even occupy Roadsters upto $40,000 base price too. I think what will hurt the Kappa's though is if there is no high powered version over the next two years to allow it to compete agianst the other high powered Roadsters out there. Currently as it stands the Solstice is already the cheapest Roadster for Dollars to HP ratio. Here's a comparison of some of the data I collected ordered by $$$/HP (lowest to highest). As you can see the Solstice is #1 on this list...


  • Model----------------------$$$/HP--HP-----Base Cost--Engine Type
  • Solstice--------------------$113----177----$20,000----I-4
  • 350Z Roadster--------------$119----287----$34,150----V-6
  • Corvette 2005--------------$129----400----$51,445----V-8
  • Thunderbird-----------------$135----280----$37,750----V-8
  • S2000----------------------$137----240----$32,950----I-4
  • Sky-------------------------$138----170----$23,500----I-4
  • MS Miata--------------------$145----178----$25,780----I-4 Turbocharged
  • Corvette 2004---------------$145----350----$50,835----V-8
  • Crossfire Roadster SRT-6---- $149----330----$49,120----V-6 Supercharged
  • MX-5 Miata------------------$156----142----$22,098----I-4
  • Crossfire Roadster------------$159----215----$34,085----V-6
  • Viper SRT-10-----------------$163----500----$81,495----V-10
  • SLK350 Roadster--------------$170----268----$45,500----V-6
  • SLK55 AMG Roadster----------$170----355----$60,500----V-8
  • TT Roadster Quattro AWD v6--$173----250----$43,150----V-6
  • TT Roadster Quattro AWD-----$176----225----$39,700----I-4 Turbocharged
  • MR2 Spyder-------------------$182----138----$25,145----I-4
  • Boxster-----------------------$183----240----$43,800----H-6
  • Z4 3.0i-----------------------$184----225----$41,300----I-6
  • Z4 2.5i-----------------------$186----184----$34,300----I-6
  • Boxster S---------------------$190----280----$53,100----H-6
  • TT Roadster------------------$197----180----$35,500----I-4 Turbocharged
  • Lotus Elise--------------------$210----190----$39,985----I-4
  • XLR--------------------------$237----320----$75,835----V-8
Also Turbocharging/Supercharging the current engine as proven by the 2.0L Supercharged documentation will only add about 30 lbs of weight. Where as most of the v/i-6 engines worth putting in the Kappa (if it would fit and meet GM's requirments for it) would add easily another 100 lbs to the weight, pretty much putting the car into the 3000+ lbs range. I'm also betting if they force induction the VVT engine they'll end up with a far better fuel economy as compared to most v/i-6 engines that would be producing the same or less power.
 

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AJC said:
I think you have it backwards. If there was a coupe there would be trunk space, think about it. :rolleyes
Actually, if you look at the structure of the Solstice and assume that the "hump" is hiding something, not just support for the top when its down, then you have to believe the hump would still be there in a coupe. And there's no way GM would re-design the wall which sits between the seats and the trunk area. That would be major frame work to remove that. So, a Coupe would have no more trunk space at all. It just wouldn't have a top to store in the trunk.

You might gain a little if you have a hatchback, but then everyone would see the hump from outside, and you still wouldn't fit golf clubs in there.
 

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Rickady88GT said:
Dont get me started on the "top up- trunk open" question. GM has done some realy stupid things before but this would be stupid enough to KILL the KAPPA car in short time. Some hate the Fiero but if all the draw backs of this car (little to no trunk, no V6, gas tank in the center of of the trunk, no compleet set of gauges, cant open the trunk with the top up) come true it's a gonner for sure, and an even bigger "flop" than the Fiero :mad
I don't understand the need for a V-6, why? Four bangers now are matching V-6's for power. A V-6 isn't needed in the Solstice. Unless your talking about a turbo or supercharged V-6, which there aren't many cars out there that use engines like this, and are still in the $20,000 range. So, lets put the V-6 in it and up the price so the Solstice has to compete with bigger cars that are convertible and have more trunk space, BAD IDEA!!
 

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...the avatar... nice... unhhh... are those rally h'lmps in the grilles?

Anyways... As a 2-seat coupe, at least the 2 cubic feet intended for the top is gained, so we go from 2 to 4 cubic feet. Then, switch it to a fwd-hinge trunk, gain prolly another cubic foot 'cause of the hinges and stuff you can do with simple optimization - now we're up to 5 and we haven't touched the "hump".

But, if yer gonna make a coupe, why not make it a hatch like the orange one shown at the 02 NAIAS? Gain a nice wedge-shaped chunk, prolly 50" wide, 14" high at the seat, tapering down to the tail (maybe 40" long?), stick in a "trunkwall" or "tank protection" if the hump does happen to be the fuel tank... and you gain another 8 cubic feet. Even if they only get 75% of that b/c of styling compromises, that's still a total of 11 cubic feet - which is more than my "idealized standard" of 2.7 cubic feet per possible occupant.

All without really altering the "hump", whatever it is.

Coupe is good.
 

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I’d be careful comparing this car to the Fiero however. The reason GM dropped the Fiero was much more complicated than insufficient trunk space or engine choices. Quality reputation, growing negativity in the press, and the fear of fires hurt it in sales much more than any actual feature of the car.

We keep discussing negatives, but what about the positives of the car? What could be deal makers, instead of deal breakers. Positives in some areas can make up for negatives too.

The Sol will be the cheapest roadster on the market. Money always talks. Look how many Cavaliers GM sells. Sure its done with rebates, but again, money talks. Some people simply cannot afford an extra couple grand to step up to the next competitor, which will help the Sol. Other people may not consider another half cubic inch of luggage space worth an extra $3000, which could help the Sol too.

Second, styling. The Sol is often complimented by people who think it looks a lot more expensive than it is. The styling is polarizing, but a lot of people do really like it. Standout styling is a big motivator in the roadster market. Many buyers would rather sacrifice the extra cubic inch of luggage space for a car they feel looks a lot better. That is another potential deal maker in favor of the Sol.

Third, interior space. Some people just don’t fit in the Miata. If they want a cheap roadster, the Sol may be the only game in town that they fit in. So it wouldn’t matter if the Miata had one extra cubic inch or 20. (I am referring to the current Miata of course).

Performance, right now it will out perform the current Miata. Lots of speculation leaves the next Miata with any number of engines. We shall see who wins the stoplight battle then.

Oh no! Not the V6 debate again! :brentil: :brentil: :jester

I don’t think the lack of a V6 is the end of the world for the Sol. I would like an optional V6 engine. However, I do not really see a 4 cylinder F/I engine as a bad thing. Just off the top of my head I compiled the following list of vehicles with F/I 4 banger engines.

Saturn Ion Redline in the low $20’s (supercharged 2.0L)
Mazdaspeed Protégé (no longer in production, but with a turbo 2.0L)
Dodge SRT-4 in the low $20’s (2.4L turbo)
Subaru Imprezza WRX in the mid $20’s (2.0L turbo)
Subaru Forester XT in the mid $20’s (2.5L turbo)
Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT in the upper $20’s (2.5L turbo)
VW Passatt/Jetta/Golf/New Beettles in the mid to upper $20’(1.8L turbo)
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in the upper $20’s to mid $30’s (2.0L Turbo)
Subaru WRX STI in the low $30’s (2.5L turbo)
Audi A4, TT in the upper $20’s to upper $30K’s (1.8 Turbo, and upcoming 2.0L Turbo)
Mercedes C230 in the upper $20’s to lower $30Ks (I do not think it is 2.3L anymore, but it is a turbo 4)
Saab 9-3’s and 9-2x’s in the high $20’s to mid $30’s (different 2.0L turbo)

Although some of these cars have been more successful than others, the C230 Mercedes Coupe is the only one I would consider a bust. That said, some of them are considered great hits too. Subaru, Audi, and Mitsubishi have found plenty of performance minded buyers who have virtually eaten up their turbo 4 bangers priced in the $30K’s. People interested in a little more luxury-sport seem keep buying Audi A4 turbos too. The SRT-4 has been a screaming success, and VW doesn’t have a hard time moving 1.8T equipped cars either.

Based on the success of these cars, it does not appear to me than a V6 engine is mandatory in today’s market to attract people who want faster performance, even as price creeps up into an area where there are plenty nice V6 alternatives to consider. I’d take a nice DOHC V6 in the Sol. Who wouldn’t? However, if an F/I 4 banger is not a deal breaker for all of this iron, its not going to be for an affordable roadster like the Sol either.
 

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piippor said:
So, a Coupe would have no more trunk space at all. It just wouldn't have a top to store in the trunk.
You'd gain height? The coupe would have a sloping back with more height than the trunk has plus as you mentioned no top.
 

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I agree with SM and others that the only Solstice killers are trunk space and top hassles. Every other concern is well with in the parameters of the competition. I think there might be solutions to both if they have to, but three factors seem to be driving this car's developement more than any other. Styling, fun to drive factor and cost.

I heard a great quote from a Japanese automaker that said, "The best product American car makers build is concept cars." It's true. American concepts usually blow away all others, and the complaint has been heard for decades, "Why can't I buy that instead of the production crap?" Well, it's clear that GM (and Ford and Chrysler) is hearing this now, and is trying very hard to bring true concepts to the market without mutating them.

This true to concept ideal is why we are to have AFBTS and no trunk space. No way they are going to get rid of the head fairings on the rear deck lid, people love 'em, so the top has to be unique and a bit of a challange to opporate. Also they want the car to have good clean look with the top up, so the engineers life is hell. This is also why they are not going to stretch the rear over hang, or raise the deck height to allow for a bigger trunk. Not true to the concept.

The hump in the trunk sucks, but the way I see it now, it is necessary to keep the car within the other project goals, fun to drive and low cost. The hump seems to provide three functions based on the cut away drawing;

1) a support for the folded top and it's glass window.
2) a cover for the cross bracing on the suspension towers that stiffen the rear suspension.
3) a place for the gas tank.

No getting around it, the folded top needs support, so an additional support bracket could be devised that would give you more access to that area, but at more cost.

The cross bracing on the rear suspension towers are required to acheive the fun to drive mission statement. However they could probably be replaced by beefy forged steel or aluminum alloy L brackets, but again, at much greater cost, and possibly weight.

The gas tank is there out of convienience I think. Since the top support and bracing have made the area almost unusable as trunk space anyhow, why not put a simple box tank in there and save more money. I agree with others that the tank could have been behind the seats, but my guess is the bean counters calculated it was cheaper in the hump.

So there you have it, life with a true concept car that everyone can afford might require some adjustments in personal expectations. Will the market tollerate the flaws? Only time will tell. :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again "I want an upgrade V6 offered " It has nothing to do with the cost of a back to the basics car. Why is it that people get all upset over my opinion that a boosted I4 aint good enough? It aint good enough for me and I would not buy one no matter what other cars have them. I have seen the lists of respectable cars with little 4's, but I will not change my mind. I WILL PUT IN A V6 IF GM DOES NOT. It is not even worth debating why I want a V6 i wont change my mind and I am nbot the only one that wants a V6.
So my question to you is why are you against the offering of an optional V6?
The low production of such V6 KAPPAS will keep the brand name in high regard and people will respect the KAPPA that beats the BOOSTED I4's.

If you dont want it dont buy it, dont bother those that do want it.
There is ALLOT to learn for those that think a boosted I4 can keep up. That is why you will NEVER se a I4 in the Nissan Z cars. How mant emails did you send to Nissan on the poor choice of engines? O how many times did you tell others on the ther forums that V6's in any car is a bad choice?
For every good car you come up with that has a boosted $ i can come up with at least two that have better performance with V6's.
Why do I want to see a V6 in the KAPPA, I think it is clear to those that want to see.
 

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Rickady88GT said:
I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again "I want an upgrade V6 offered " It has nothing to do with the cost of a back to the basics car. Why is it that people get all upset over my opinion that a boosted I4 aint good enough? It aint good enough for me and I would not buy one no matter what other cars have them. I have seen the lists of respectable cars with little 4's, but I will not change my mind. I WILL PUT IN A V6 IF GM DOES NOT. It is not even worth debating why I want a V6 i wont change my mind and I am nbot the only one that wants a V6.
So my question to you is why are you against the offering of an optional V6?
The low production of such V6 KAPPAS will keep the brand name in high regard and people will respect the KAPPA that beats the BOOSTED I4's.

If you dont want it dont buy it, dont bother those that do want it.
There is ALLOT to learn for those that think a boosted I4 can keep up. That is why you will NEVER se a I4 in the Nissan Z cars. How mant emails did you send to Nissan on the poor choice of engines? O how many times did you tell others on the ther forums that V6's in any car is a bad choice?
For every good car you come up with that has a boosted $ i can come up with at least two that have better performance with V6's.
Why do I want to see a V6 in the KAPPA, I think it is clear to those that want to see.
I cannot really speak for the forum as a whole, but I bet there are very few people on here who would not want to see an optional V6 engine. People argue in favor of the I4 because that is the engine GM has hinted at the Solstice getting while they have said there won’t be a V6 in it. So instead of speculating on how nice a V6 would be, they are now concentrating on how good the boosted I4 will be, since we know that is the engine we are getting.

You ask why people get upset when you say a boosted I4 isn’t good enough? I don’t think anyone seems upset (as in angry or agitated), but many people do think an I4 is good enough. Would they take a V6? I suspect they would. However, they are also happy with having the boosted I4. For you it’s a potential deal breaker. There may also be some enthusiats here that would prefer the boosted engine even if a V6 were offered too. Some people prefer the rush of power, lighter weight, and better fuel economy a smaller boosted engine offers.

Writing letters to GM is a great idea. They always want to hear about what people might want in a car. I would highly recommend anyone who would like to see a V6 in the Sol tell them that. In the past you have suggested they use the high feature V6. Great idea in my opinion. Even if it never sees duty in the Sol, maybe they would offer a V6 in another Kappa, the Sky, possibly a car under another brand.
 
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