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Interesting writeup. The most glaring thing I see is Mazda’s estimate that the car will weigh only 22 pounds more than the outgoing model! That is an incredibly small weight gain considering the larger dimensions of the car, and the added equipment. I have to imagine they have used a fair amount of exotic materials in this car to achieve the light weight.
 

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POWERTRAIN: 2.0-liter, 160-hp, 140-lb-ft I4; rwd, six-speed manual
CURB WEIGHT: 2470 lbs (est.)
0 TO 60 MPH: 7.6 seconds (est.)
...
The engine will also be fitted with a two-stage intake and variable valve timing, with a larger throttle body and lighter flywheel. The whole thing will breathe out through a four-into-one exhaust, and be good for up to 27 combined mpg, according to Mazda.
I would like to point out the comment about VVT on this engine. Everyone keeps saying the new engine is the 2.0L from the Mazda3. Ummm, the 2.0L Mazda3 engine doesn't have VVT. The 2.3L engine does however.

They also refer to the original 160HP and not the supposed 170HP. I keep seeing the 160HP in more places too then I do 170HP. However on the Mazda site they now have the official Specs up where they didn't before and it says [email protected] and 140 [email protected] Looks like we'll have them beat fairly well on Torque delivery and rating. It also now has the CR of this engine. We should feel lucky with our 10.4:1 ratio since theirs is 10.8:1 with a Recomended and Minimum fuel rating of 91 octane.
 

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brentil said:
Looks like we'll have them beat fairly well on Torque delivery and rating.
Unfortunately, with our extra weight and big heavy 18" wheels, I feel the torque advantage will almost be a wash in the real world.
 

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AeroDave said:
Unfortunately, with our extra weight and big heavy 18" wheels, I feel the torque advantage will almost be a wash in the real world.
These two cars are going to run neck and neck. The Miata will be no slouch, but the added torque of the Solstice should make up for the weight difference.

I am not too concered which one is a few tenths faster anyway, but I know all the automotive rags will make a huge deal out of it. Neither of these cars are drag racers, but magazines (and internet racers) like their 0-60 times.
 

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170 is official. Half the pubs are still reporting 160 but NY show had 170 and as brentil found US website also has same figure now.
 

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The most interesting write up of the MX-5 I've seen to date was in the April issue of Automobile magazine (there was a scaled down version of the article on their web site the last time I looked). It mentioned how much attention to detail Mazda invested in the car such as palm load measurements and how that matters in the way the steering wheel feels in your hands. The more I read about the MX-5, the more I think their design priorities are in line with what I want in a car. Automobile plans to test drive the MX-5 in June and publish the results in the September issue which hits news stands in August.
 

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I would take Mazda "official" hp numbers with a grain of salt. When they introduced vvt on the Miata a few years back and at the launch of the RX8 they overstated the hp figures (and then offered full refunds to people who purchased).

I think the real question is just how many 2 seat convertibles the market can support. If the Miata sold 50k units year one with close to zero competition has the market really expanded that much to support upwards of 5-7 models competing against one another:

Solstice
Sky
Miata
S2k
Z4
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Not 2 Seats, but I would consider them competitors
Beetle
PT Cruiser
 

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brentil said:
I would like to point out the comment about VVT on this engine. Everyone keeps saying the new engine is the 2.0L from the Mazda3. Ummm, the 2.0L Mazda3 engine doesn't have VVT. The 2.3L engine does however.
The 2.0 and 2.3 are basically the same engine. The bore is the same on both. The deck height of the 2.3 block is 11mm higher to accommodate the longer stroke. The heads are interchangeable.

With in weeks of release, I expect to see someone try a 2.0/2.3 block swap.
 

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AeroDave said:
Unfortunately, with our extra weight and big heavy 18" wheels, I feel the torque advantage will almost be a wash in the real world.
Actually I've been thinking about it lately. If the 18x8 rims we have are considered "light weight" that puts them in the 20-25 lbs range on average. The 17x7 wheels on the new Mazda Miata NC though might not be light weight. However even if they are most light weight wheels of 17x7 are in the 19-24 lbs range on average.

Going to tirerack.com and looking at rims, the average weight of a 4-100 17x7 rim for the current Miata weighs 20.5 lbs. Looking at 5-115 18x8 rims for the Pontiac Bonneville gives an average of 22 lbs. That's not too much of a weight difference. The weight difference I'm betting between the Solstice 18x8 and the Miata 17x7 will probably be around what the weight difference of the Miata 16x6.5 and the Miata 17x7 rims going off average weight differences.

So technically if GM was nice and Mazda sucked our 18x8 rims could theoretically be lighter then the Miatas 17x7 rims. :D
 

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LBJay said:
The 2.0 and 2.3 are basically the same engine. The bore is the same on both. The deck height of the 2.3 block is 11mm higher to accommodate the longer stroke. The heads are interchangeable.

With in weeks of release, I expect to see someone try a 2.0/2.3 block swap.
Here's the Mazda official information for these engines for comparison. I also added the 2.4L VVT ECOTEC.
 

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brentil said:
The 17x7 wheels on the new Mazda Miata NC though might not be light weight. However even if they are most light weight wheels of 17x7 are in the 19-24 lbs range on average.
On the Miata the present 16x6.5 are 15.5 lbs. The 02 SE 16"s were considered heavy at 18 Lbs. If Mazda follows suit, I expect the 17" NC rim to be well under 19 lbs

The stock 18x8 RX-8 rim only weighs 21 lbs and with Bridgestone RE040 225/45/18 the package comes in at 48 lbs.

A 205/45-17 tire will be about 20 lbs. With even a heavy 18 lb rim the combo is 38 lbs.

The Goodyear 245/45/18 RS-A tire weighs 28 lbs. With a "lightweight" 21 lb rim the combo is 49 lbs. 11 lbs per wheel difference. If the RS-A are run-flats add 3lbs ea.
 

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LBJay said:
On the Miata the present 16x6.5 are 15.5 lbs. The 02 SE 16"s were considered heavy at 18 Lbs. If Mazda follows suit, I expect the 17" NC rim to be well under 19 lbs

The stock 18x8 RX-8 rim only weighs 21 lbs and with Bridgestone RE040 225/45/18 the package comes in at 48 lbs.

A 205/45-17 tire will be about 20 lbs. With even a heavy 18 lb rim the combo is 38 lbs.

The Goodyear 245/45/18 RS-A tire weighs 28 lbs. With a "lightweight" 21 lb rim the combo is 49 lbs. 11 lbs per wheel difference. If the RS-A are run-flats add 3lbs ea.
I'm going with the standard 16x6.5" wheels and 205/50/16 tires on the new MX-5. The tire selection is a lot better and I think a 50 series tire is a low enough profile for me (based on past experience with performance vehicles having tires ranging from 55 to 40 profiles).
 

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I find the bench racing comparos between the Solstice and UMCSC to be ironic in that almost every other sports car being built will outperform them. Buy what you want and drive the wheels off it between washing and waxing. If you love it, who cares what else is on the road.
 

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Weight is important on wheels, but more important to acceleration numbers is the diameter of the wheel. The weight is spread further from the centerline of the axle on an 18" rim vs a 17" rim. So even if the 17s and 18s were the same weight, it would be easier to accelerate the 17. Tires on an 18" wheel are also that much further from the axle centerline compared to 17s.

As a rule of thumb for car weight, 100lbs = .1 second in a quarter mile.

That Autoweek article states that 9500 miatas were sold last year...that's really low!

Compression ratio is also not the sole determining factor for required fuel type, combustion chamber design and shape, cylinder head material, and cam timing also play major roles.

;)
 

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SCCA HP Racer said:
That Autoweek article states that 9500 miatas were sold last year...that's really low!
Because end of 2nd generation, everyone holds out for new model. Miata has had 50,000 unit years I believe (first couple after a new gen).
 

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Mceb has a great point. I’ll also add that sales of sports cars generally decline as the car ages too. The first model year or two when the car is hot, sales are generally very brisk. Hen they slowly decline as the car gets older. The higher its age, the fewer it will sell in this market. The ’04 Miata was in its 6th model year. I think the best a company can hope for in the niche sports car maket is probably 4 years of strong sales before they really decline. The Miata is the old sports car on the block. People will buy something that is more fresh, or as mceb said, wait for the new model.
 

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I'm sorry, Miata's dead in the water. Fat Actress (on Showtime) showed a circle jerk hookup scene in the park. All drove Miata's.
 

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Fformula88 said:
The ’04 Miata was in its 6th model year. I think the best a company can hope for in the niche sports car maket is probably 4 years of strong sales before they really decline.

Sales were only down in the US. Sales of the MX-5 in Europe were showing strong increases. Actual sales numbers in Europe were higher than the US.

That is one marketing advantage that the MX-5 has over the Solstice. A wordwide market tends to even out sales. If the Solstice is less than a major hit, or has a slump in sales, GM will drop it quick.
 
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