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Forum members,

If you haven't already seen this wonderful 2019 essay about our ride, here's a sample. Then check out Felix's blog for the whole story. This is among the sweetest and most perceptive reviews I have seen and it made me smile. Enjoy!!!

....The long drive home gave me time to reflect just what made me adore the Solstice so much...its looks were stunning, it made the right moves and sounded so good...but it was also un-watered down, uncompromising, unapologetic, and polarizing. I decided that it was like a yoga-instructor track athlete who danced and sang but always took her time to get ready: primarily wore tight, sexy dresses; was reluctant to do chores and absolutely refused to help move furniture; but otherwise was a sweet,fun, dependable,confident, and drop-dead gorgeous partner that was easy to love and delight to live with....

 

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Read the whole piece, stealing time from the heat on this July afternoon. Glad I did the read and even more thankful I own a Solstice GXP. A well written impression of what owning one is like. He has the drop the top dance nailed. I think I'll wait until it cools off and see about lubricating that top from the previous posts in the past week or so. Thanks for posting this.

Richard Snipes
 

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the guy mentions getting it from turo.

I highly recommend this if you want to drive a solstice on vacation but do not have the time to drive yours to your vacation spot. there's not a lot out there because but there are some, I rented one in san jose last year as opposed to drving mine from Houston and back, took it out to the Monterey coast; it was great; nothin like that in south east texas.
 

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Enjoyable read. The author obviously has experience with a range of sports cars. Wonder what he would have made of the Sky?

Have to agree that the top is a bit of a joke. From the same industry that spawned the Ford Retractible, so better things should have been possible.

Ditto the luggage space issue. The envelope of this car was larger than most older sports cars, yet it had a joke of a trunk. I have never seen an analysis of just why that is - what packaging issue caused them to do this. Was it the IRS set up took up more space than other systems? Some one must have looked at that issue in detail.

The reviewer captured the essence of the cars, though.
 

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I think that time saving and cost saving had a lot to do with the top design, and the trunk is a direct result of the top design. The rest stems from the commitment that was made to faithfully put the concept car into production for minimal cost and in minimal time.

For example: the decision to have the top fold into the trunk led to a choice of the fuel tank going underneath it for support, and both of those ate up the trunk space.

A more expensive top could have been designed to fold into a smaller or less obstructive space, and the fuel tank could have been re-packaged, also at greater cost, to fit around the drive line. The latter was actually discussed at some point according to something I read back in the early days.

It all came down to compromises. We may not like all or any of them, but without them we likely wouldn't be here complaining about them, because the cars would not have been produced.
 

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Good points, all. When you look at that lovely tail end it seems like there'd be a bunch of space way down below....But remember we chose to live with a beautiful, athletic yoga instructor of a car and she's waiting in the garage. Can you resist?
 

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Good points, all. When you look at that lovely tail end it seems like there'd be a bunch of space way down below....But remember we chose to live with a beautiful, athletic yoga instructor of a car and she's waiting in the garage. Can you resist?
One of mine is out in the parking lot waiting for me to drive her home, so I didn't resist. Most days i don't.
 

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The coupe is a lot better in terms of cargo space, but the downside is that whatever you are carrying is exposed to public view which may attract thieves. I overcame this by finding a black beach towel I can spread over anything in the back and with the tint in the rear window it is pretty hard to see things.

I have a hard time believing that with an even decent budget the design team couldn't have come up with a decent arrangement for the top and cargo space. I have owner literally dozens of sports cars from the 1950s on and the Kappa design is absolutely the worst in terms of space utilization for top and cargo (unless, as I said earlier. there is some good reason we just aren't seeing).

A 1950s Bugeye Sprite has better rear space utilization and it doesn't even have a trunk lid - everything has to be fed into the rear space over the seats.

Don't misunderstand me - I am not bitching at the Solstice - I accept it as it is. I am just wondering what was behind the poor design and have a hard time believing it was simply limited funds. I guess we'd need feedback from someone on the design team to really know for sure.
 

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Limited funds were probably the least of the three constraints. Time, and the requirement to adhere to the concept car's design would have been the major problems.

I have designed literally thousands of things (none quite as complicated as a car) and having to convert a concept to a working production car in a limited time without changing its appearance is incredibly difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All good points. But I'm looking at the cover photo of the
Pontiac soltice book with those lovely nasels melting into the boot lid and I wouldn't trade that view for a bigger trunk. It's just too .lovely to complain.
 

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The coupe is a lot better in terms of cargo space, but the downside is that whatever you are carrying is exposed to public view which may attract thieves. I overcame this by finding a black beach towel I can spread over anything in the back and with the tint in the rear window it is pretty hard to see things.

I have a hard time believing that with an even decent budget the design team couldn't have come up with a decent arrangement for the top and cargo space. I have owner literally dozens of sports cars from the 1950s on and the Kappa design is absolutely the worst in terms of space utilization for top and cargo (unless, as I said earlier. there is some good reason we just aren't seeing).

A 1950s Bugeye Sprite has better rear space utilization and it doesn't even have a trunk lid - everything has to be fed into the rear space over the seats.

Don't misunderstand me - I am not bitching at the Solstice - I accept it as it is. I am just wondering what was behind the poor design and have a hard time believing it was simply limited funds. I guess we'd need feedback from someone on the design team to really know for sure.
One of my neighbors has a bug eye or frog eye as we sometimes called it. Too cute. That's what's great about the solstice. It evokes all those great classics, Healey's, cobras d-types...just gorgeous.
 

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Outstanding article! The author seems to understand the compromises made to bring the Solstice to market, and reminding people that sports car aren't always practical. My main disappointment w/this article is it's failure (like other reviews) to mention that GM offered a factory warranted GMPP tune.

However this one does which is a first for me: Twelve Days of Pre-Recession GM Christmas: The Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe 12/13/2019

"GM unveiled the GXP Trim for the car in 2006 at the LA auto show. It had just about a hundred more horsepower (260), a limited slip diff, and various other revisions to make it more of a performer. Also available from dealerships was a warranty-pleasing tune that pumped the engine up to 290 horsepower."
 

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Well if that guy is Wong, I don't wanna be right!

I feel confident in saying that several members of the Solstice design team were not extremely experienced with the design elements they worked on. Many of them stole time from other projects to work on the Solstice. The trunk and top and gas tank are where and how they are because that's where they could effectively be placed and operate as needed to make the car meet GM's "bring to market" requirements and cost, which was an extreme penny-pinching exercise.

Also if I recall, back when Pontiac was in business, several members here discovered that they could, in fact, access some recesses in the trunk near the bumper, on each side. Not much more cargo space, but some.

To me, cool cars are always a pain in the ass. I like no compromise, and that's why I appreciate the Solstice so much. If I wanted cargo convenience, I'd buy a Ford Transit.
 
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