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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1960’s – Vette vs XKE (immortalized in Jan & Dean’s dead man’s curve) - one survived past the 70's

Early 70’s – Datsun 240Z versus old guard roadsters (TR6, MGB, Fiat 124, and Alfa Spider) - one survived in the USA

1990’s – Battle of the Japanese – 300ZX vs RX7 vs Supra - all died but one was resurrected

2006 – Solstice versus new Miata (you can see this brewing in some of the posts here and because GM said the Solstice will "out sprint" the Miata)

2007 – Solstice turbo versus S2000 and 350Z roadster (if Pontiac delivers forced induction and if the S2000 lasts that long)

This is how I see it stacking up. An interesting question is how long do you think these new sports cars will survive.

I didn't include the Z4 and Boxster as Solstice competition due to the magnitude of the price difference between them, and because a lot of BMW and Porsche buyers are hooked on the brand prestige. I think these two cars could best be considered rivals to each other.
 

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I think the Solstice is going to be hard pressed against the new NC Miata, but I don't think we're going to see either of them die off in the first two years.

With the higher output Solstice/Sky I think is the real chance for the Kappa platform to fail. With the higher price people are expecting a real performer from this car. Even though all of the others cost a lot more, it's still what the cheaper Kappas will be compared too since that's what's in their class of Roadsters under $40,000. I don't think there will be an issue at all of the Solstice being able to produce the numbers required to match the other cars on paper for power based applications. It's going to be if they can deliver handling performance. I really believe that's what it will coem down to if the forced induction Kappas survive or not.

If they can squeeze at least an extra square foot or two with the roof down by a future revision not to far away, I feel GM can make a slam dunk out of the Kappas.
 

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tcl said:
1990’s – Battle of the Japanese – 300ZX vs RX7 vs Supra - all died but one was resurrected
Would that be the 350Z or RX-8? =P

My addition to this list:
Late 90's - ???: Subie WRX STi vs. Mitsu Lancer Evo

(For my money there's no greater present-day rivalry than those two)
 

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60's-2002: Mustang vs Camaro vs Firebird :D

No 1980's cars? How about Fiero vs MR2 vs CRX

Miata vs Solstice will be strong, but I also think it will be friendly. The Miata people seem like they are glad to have some competition!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ho2go said:
My addition to this list:
Late 90's - ???: Subie WRX STi vs. Mitsu Lancer Evo

(For my money there's no greater present-day rivalry than those two)
Great rivalry but I consider those rally cars for the street instead of sports cars.
 

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The Solstice will survive as long as it is a "Miata" and not a "Corvette".

Going upscale in performance and price killed the Supra and 300ZX. Yet the Mustang soldiers on. As long as GM makes the Solstice an affordable sports car true to its roots and not a Pontiac Corvette, it will last in its many incarnations. If they can't resist the temptation toward more power, luxury, size and weight - it will die.

I am very skeptical that Corporate bean counters seeking larger per-unit profits can resist that temptation.

Am I nuts? :crazy
 

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jimbo said:
The Solstice will survive as long as it is a "Miata" and not a "Corvette".

Going upscale in performance and price killed the Supra and 300ZX. Yet the Mustang soldiers on. As long as GM makes the Solstice an affordable sports car true to its roots and not a Pontiac Corvette, it will last in its many incarnations. If they can't resist the temptation toward more power, luxury, size and weight - it will die.

I am very skeptical that Corporate bean counters seeking larger per-unit profits can resist that temptation.

Am I nuts? :crazy
I don't think you're nuts (well, not because of that comment). :D j/k!

But I think the speculation about 240 HP when forced induction arrives is a double-edged sword. How do you one-up that for the next generation Sol? With a bigger engine and the necessary upgrades to brakes, suspension, etc. Snowball!
 

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Price is certainly a big factor in the 1990's 300ZX, RX-8, and Supra going away. All three became really good sports cars, but in doing so their prices creeped up so much that their traditional buyers could no longer afford them, and they competed with other more prestigious sports cars.

How do you improve on the Sol? Increase the power without watering down the whole car. They can add some more boost to the engine, or consider a V6. They could try to offer more standard features without price increases (possibly due to decreasing costs for technology). They won't have to leave the old Sol in the dust with a remodel, they just have to make one that is a little better.
 

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Fformula88 said:
They won't have to leave the old Sol in the dust with a remodel, they just have to make one that is a little better.
:agree

Amen! Pontiac would do very, very well to steal the Porsche playbook and limit changes to annual refinement and modest evolutionary improvement. Read = 911.

This car will be a home run. Still and all, at some point CBC (Corporate Bean Counting) will demand a "fresh new look". Can you imagine someone driving a Solstice into your design studio and saying, "give it a fresh new look that's better than the last." :eek

Can you say "pressure." Years later you would only be known to Sports Car enthusiasts as "the man who ruined the Solstice". Year to year changes should be limited to grilles and wheels for the first decade of production.

I kid you not. :smash
 

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jimbo said:
:agree

Amen! Pontiac would do very, very well to steal the Porsche playbook and limit changes to annual refinement and modest evolutionary improvement. Read = 911.

This car will be a home run. Still and all, at some point CBC (Corporate Bean Counting) will demand a "fresh new look". Can you imagine someone driving a Solstice into your design studio and saying, "give it a fresh new look that's better than the last." :eek

Can you say "pressure." Years later you would only be known to Sports Car enthusiasts as "the man who ruined the Solstice". Year to year changes should be limited to grilles and wheels for the first decade of production.

I kid you not. :smash
Stole the words out of my mouth jimbo.

You never have to out-do the last generation, you just have improve on and evolve the last generation. Porsche is an awesome example with the 911. The other example I was going to say as well is the Lancer Evolution series of cars. It's an entire generation of cars with the simple idea of evolving the previous edition till one day you have the perfect car. You don't change the look drastically over time, you make slight styling changes so people know this is the new version.

So for example with the high output Solstice/Sky they can do simple things over the years to keep making it better, keeping it as the best without having to completely redesign a new model.
  • Improve on the intercooler system, give each year a slight increase in cooling ability and flow rate
  • Improve on the turbocharge over time, use various materials, change sizes, fool around with various types
  • Tweak the VVT implementation to provide more power down low, or increase MPG
  • Work on various sport traction control/AWD systems
  • implement new engine technologies to keep the ECOTEC platform the best
I feel it should be the same way with the looks of the car too. Make small simple changes that keep it always looking like a Solstice/Sky but subtle enough you know this is the Solstice III and not a Solstice IV.
 

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You guys are totally right about the evolutionary changes to Porsche - I was thinking the exact same thing. I think the Miata falls under that category too. It all comes down to a consistent long-term plan for these models - I sure hope GM has one for the Sol.

These small, evolutionary changes are really difficult though, especially in the sports car market. There are always new models coming out with flashier styling, more power, etc. trying to steal your thunder. It's hard to maintain this evolutionary approach in such a competitive marketplace.

e.g. the NC Miata... I'm sure Mazda is feeling a lot of pressure from the Sol. IMO the Sol will cause Mazda to endow the NC Miata with more power than it would have had if the Sol were never to be produced. Now, this would be smart on Mazda's part, keeping the NC Miata competitive, but I'm wondering if perhaps they will be nudged out of their comfort zone a tad, forced to offer a relatively high bump in power despite their history of small, evolutionary changes. And this is where the evolutionary approach can break down. Just my feelings...

I hope the Sol can weather it long-term! How Porsche managed to survive on evolutionary changes is somewhat of a wonder to me (given the competitive nature of the business - I'm not dissing their amazing cars). I give the :thumbs to evolutionary changes for the Sol and think it has a much better chance at this strategy than the Sky.
 

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ho2go said:
What about Vette vs. 911 for a sports car rivalry?
:agree

Bingo. These 2 have been racing against each other on all manner of circuits for ages!
 

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ho2go said:
What about Vette vs. 911 for a sports car rivalry?
I really don't see the two cars sitting in the same playing field usually. However the new Z06 I believe would permit for a Vette vs 911 competition.
 

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I'm going to have to add Ferrari vs. Porsche to this list. No, I can't afford them. And both are moving toward the "supercar" end of the sports car forum. But it seems these 2 have been one-upping each other on and off the race track since World War II.

Ferrari vs. Lamborhini has been heated as well.
 

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One rivalry in which the silence is deafening is Corvette vs. Viper. For some reason, there is no rivalry at all. You would think that being the only 2 premium marques, there would be a dogfight between them, yet they are rarely compared...
 

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did you all know that 2005 is the last year for the MR2 Spyder??..It really was in competition w/ the miata. It was mid engined lightweight (2200 #'s)and under 25K...The Sol does not have to contend with this one!
 

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faultline said:
did you all know that 2005 is the last year for the MR2 Spyder??..It really was in competition w/ the miata. It was mid engined lightweight (2200 #'s)and under 25K...The Sol does not have to contend with this one!
Or rather, the MR2 Spyder does not have to contend with the Sol! :glol
 

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Ford's GT40 vs Ferrari... Two powerful men fighting it out on the race track!
 
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