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ok, its not the bangkok times, but here is NYTs mostly very positive (and often pretty humorous) write up in the sunday auto section...

2006 Pontiac Solstice: A Ray of Sunshine Amid G.M.'s Gathering Clouds
By JAMES G. COBB
Published: October 16, 2005

BEFORE Botox or Cialis, before reality shows provided cathartic humiliation before an audience of millions, a shiny red roadster was all it took to drive the midlife blues away. Will that time-tested cure work for a corporation in crisis?

General Motors is having a rough year. Its credit rating and stock keep falling. Sales tumbled after it stopped giving employee discounts to anyone with a pulse. The bankruptcy of Delphi, the big parts maker that was once a G.M. subsidiary, may saddle the company with obligations of $11 billion. Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire investor, is circling like a raptor. And G.M. will soon serve up new trucks and S.U.V.'s in heaping-portion sizes just as the car-buying public is getting a yen for dim sum.

Paradoxically, amid this gloom G.M. has brought out some of its most interesting cars and trucks in years: the Chevrolet HHR retrowagon, the Cobalt SS coupe, the latest Z06 über-Corvette and the unexpectedly likable baby Hummer, the H3.

But nothing quite compares, in style or as a symbol, with the Pontiac Solstice roadster that recently went on sale.

Done right, the Solstice could be one of the "gotta have" cars that Robert A. Lutz, vice chairman and chief of product development, promised when he joined G.M. four years ago. But critics who have noted the company's longstanding tendency to overpromise and underdeliver - and have memories of underwhelming G.M. two-seaters like the Buick Reatta, Cadillac Allanté and early Pontiac Fieros - were not optimistic.

What's more, the Solstice, which starts around $20,000, is a direct challenge to the most successful sports car ever, the Mazda MX-5 Miata - and it comes to market just as Mazda is bringing out a new third generation of its beloved two-seater (with the Miata nameplate removed, in an effort to make the car more manly). The MX-5 works because it is light, agile and simple; G.M. can make a mean S.U.V., but it hasn't been very good at light, agile and simple.

So I packed a load of healthy skepticism into my Solstice test car. I went looking for flaws and quickly found some. I groused about the lack of storage for cellphone, P.D.A. and tape recorder. I mused that it felt 300 pounds too heavy (noting later that the MX-5 weighs some 400 pounds less). Trying to raise the roof in a downpour, I remarked on the multiple steps required, in contrast to Mazda's one-hand, one-step operation.

And then, on my third day with the Solstice, I was smitten.

I remember the exact moment. I was barreling up a familiar mountain road near my house. At a hairpin in loose gravel, I turned the wheel, downshifted to second gear and gunned the engine to climb the steep incline to the left. Suddenly and surprisingly, the normally well-planted back end broke away, sliding rightward toward a precipice.

A bit shocked - most test cars, with front-wheel drive or fancy traction controls, whipsaw a bit at this spot and then groan on - I backed off the throttle. The rear end fell neatly back in line; there was no danger really, just a cheap, addictive thrill.

Like an 8-year-old who has discovered a scary roller coaster, I came back for more. I spent the weekend revisiting the gravel hairpins to play, sending the back sliding out by gunning the accelerator, then tucking it in by lifting off the throttle. Why should rally racers have all the fun?

From that point, the car's faults receded and its charms loomed larger. When I visited the same road a few days later in a new MX-5, I was disappointed to find that despite its considerable appeal, we failed to establish the same man-machine connection.

So I think the Solstice will do just fine. It might sell even if it cornered like a Rambler Classic, simply because it looks so good. Athletic and organic, with more bulges and curves than RuPaul, the design is both muscular and feminine, but not truly cute and not retro in the least. The 18-inch wheels are pushed to the corners. Details, down to tiny scoops behind the front wheels, look right.

The Solstice story started in 2001 when Mr. Lutz, new to G.M., dusted off his dream of a no-excuses American roadster in the European idiom. He happened upon a sketch by a young designer, Franz Von Holzhausen, and ordered up a full-size model.

Just 13 weeks later, the Solstice show car rolled into the Detroit auto show, its paint barely dry. The reaction was so positive that G.M. developed a new vehicle platform suitable for such a small rear-drive car. The Saturn Sky roadster, due early next year, will share this foundation.

Not only did the show car design make it into production without dumbing down, G.M.'s engineers seem to have had free rein to make the Solstice perform. That they accomplished this in a $20,000 car is not just remarkable; given G.M.'s recent history, it is almost inconceivable. In a recent interview, Mr. Lutz pronounced himself "98 percent" pleased with how the car turned out.

G.M. used a trick to make the Solstice happen. Under its Crunch Gym skin, the car is a parts-bin Frankenstein. Its Ecotec four-cylinder engine was pulled from the HHR, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Ion. The five-speed manual transmission is from the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado pickups. The fog lights are from the Pontiac Grand Prix, the backup lamps from the GMC Envoy and the air-conditioner controls from the H3. Donations were accepted from foreigners: the air vents and outside mirrors came from Fiat, the seat frames from Mexico's Opel Corsa.

Somehow, the car doesn't feel cobbled together, as if the parts were speaking in different tongues. True, some bits of the cockpit look a bit cheap, but no worse (and probably better) than many recent G.M. interiors. The curving driver-oriented instrument panel, which sweeps down to meet the shifter, complements the exterior. The gauges are attractive and the three-spoke steering wheel, a design that has begun to appear in other G.M. cars, feels great.

I mentioned flaws. While there is a glovebox, pockets on the seat cushions and a cubby on the cabin's rear wall, there's no place to toss sunglasses or gadgets. I kept wondering why a couple of shallow trays hadn't been molded into the blank plastic covering the driveline tunnel.

Of the three cup holders, two are hilarious. They pop out of the back wall of the cabin, keeping your coffee handy at your elbow. When the top is down, hot liquid blows on your arm.

The off light for the passenger air bag is glaringly prominent. The seatback adjuster is wedged in so tightly you can't use it when seated. Annoying power locks won't let you out until the key is removed.

The trunk is missing in action. The fuel tank intrudes, chopping up the space, which vanishes when the roof is lowered. If you're planning a sunny weekend getaway with a close friend, figure on sharing a thong - or check into a clothing-optional resort. (Pontiac is working on a luggage rack for the deck lid.)

At this price, the performance is hard to fault. Yes, more power would be nice. It's a safe bet that a hotter engine will eventually be offered.

A sixth gear wouldn't hurt, given the big gap between fourth and fifth. The shifter, while not as crisp as, say, the Honda S2000's, works just fine. An automatic gearbox will come in the spring.

The brakes are emphatic and the tires are grippy, with excellent traction. From its proportions to its handling, the Solstice seems balanced, and it accomplishes this without slavishly copying Madza or MG.

Given that Detroit has little roadster experience, and that the Solstice looks and feels rather American - in the best sense - the car should be a point of pride for a company on edge. In Mr. Lutz's view, "It is a graphic demonstration of General Motors' capability to a skeptical world."

When you buy a Solstice you don't pick a color but an attitude. In Pontiac's paint scheme, red is called Aggressive, silver is Cool, gray is Sly and black is Mysterious. Then there is Envious. That is green, and it will be the color of your friends.

INSIDE TRACK: American beauty.
 

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For being a humerous and pro-Solstice article, he mostly mentioned the bad points.

Good article, none-the-less. He finally pointed out some flaws that other reviewers haven't mentioned, like the Air Bag Indicator light.
 

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First I see a reviewer claiming that one car is ten billion times better than another, now I'm hearing how a car has more curves than a transvestite. (RuPaul)

Whats next?. The Solstice handles lines better than Boy George?

It's a car than even Lindsey Lohan can't wreck?

Geez! :willy:
 

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I really liked this part

And then, on my third day with the Solstice, I was smitten.

I remember the exact moment. I was barreling up a familiar mountain road near my house. At a hairpin in loose gravel, I turned the wheel, downshifted to second gear and gunned the engine to climb the steep incline to the left. Suddenly and surprisingly, the normally well-planted back end broke away, sliding rightward toward a precipice.

A bit shocked - most test cars, with front-wheel drive or fancy traction controls, whipsaw a bit at this spot and then groan on - I backed off the throttle. The rear end fell neatly back in line; there was no danger really, just a cheap, addictive thrill.

Like an 8-year-old who has discovered a scary roller coaster, I came back for more. I spent the weekend revisiting the gravel hairpins to play, sending the back sliding out by gunning the accelerator, then tucking it in by lifting off the throttle. Why should rally racers have all the fun?

From that point, the car's faults receded and its charms loomed larger. When I visited the same road a few days later in a new MX-5, I was disappointed to find that despite its considerable appeal, we failed to establish the same man-machine connection.
I thought the MX-5 was supposed to bring man and machine together as one. at least they advertize it that way...
 

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Not a bad review, especially considering it's from the Old York Times. I expected to read something about how it's a travesty to be wasting precious natural resources by shamelessly cruising in a combustion engine powered vehicle for nothing but hedonistic enjoyment.
 

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Cooler King said:
Not a bad review, especially considering it's from the Old York Times. I expected to read something about how it's a travesty to be wasting precious natural resources by shamelessly cruising in a combustion engine powered vehicle for nothing but hedonistic enjoyment.
? Have you read the New York Times before? It don't sound like it Jethro.

Anyway, bizarre assesments aside, this was a really well-written review. Pretty high-calibre of writting I'd say. Makes me wonder with the gravel/hairpin stories though- sounds like suicide!
 

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Remo said:
? Have you read the New York Times before? It don't sound like it Jethro.

Anyway, bizarre assesments aside, this was a really well-written review. Pretty high-calibre of writting I'd say. Makes me wonder with the gravel/hairpin stories though- sounds like suicide!

Maybe he didn't read the part of the manual about drining and driving. :lol: :lol:
 

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Cooler King said:
Not a bad review, especially considering it's from the Old York Times. I expected to read something about how it's a travesty to be wasting precious natural resources by shamelessly cruising in a combustion engine powered vehicle for nothing but hedonistic enjoyment.
You have the NY Times confused with the Washington Post! :willy:
 

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Fortimir said:
You have the NY Times confused with the Washington Post! :willy:
:lol: ... but not anymore! Did you read Warren Brown's column in the Washington Post on Oct. 9th?
 

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The guy mistakenyl claims that the Miata is the best selling sports car of all time. Sorry, the trophy goes to the Vette, which is way ahead. Mazda
misleadingly calls the Miata the best selling two seat "roadster" (convertible) ,
which eliminates most of the Vettes that have been sold. Lately the Vette in the North American market has been trouncing the Miata, about 3 to 1 for
the past six years.
 

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kingarthur said:
The guy mistakenyl claims that the Miata is the best selling sports car of all time. Sorry, the trophy goes to the Vette, which is way ahead. Mazda
misleadingly calls the Miata the best selling two seat "roadster" (convertible) ,
which eliminates most of the Vettes that have been sold. Lately the Vette in the North American market has been trouncing the Miata, about 3 to 1 for
the past six years.
True, the corvette sold its millionth in 1993, and has been averaging worldwide (primarily US) volume of around 40,000 since. So the total certainly trounces the Miata, and the Corvette, being "America's" sports car, is most certainly "a sports car". It is prolly approaching 1.5 million in its history by now.

The miata has barely sold a million worldwide. BUT, they DID do it in less time, so the "sales velocity" (for lack of a better term) is technically better. 1.5 million in 52 years is not as good a "sales velocity" as the miata, which achieves a million in roughly 13 years. Which car is "better selling"? Depends on your definition.

Total sales: Corvette.
Sales Velocity: Miata.

Which car is better? Puh-leeze.....
 

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Classic66vair said:
I thought the MX-5 was supposed to bring man and machine together as one. at least they advertize it that way...
The sad part is, the old Miata really does bring man and machine together. I haven't driven the new one, and hey, it may do it too, but the feel in the cockpit isn't nearly as driver oriented as the Solstice (or even the previous Miata). It's got a touring feel, whereas the Sol and the old Miata have a cockpit feel.

Tony
 

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Picked up my sly solstice 10/20 in Minneapolis and it was worth the wait. :willy: I am 5'10'' 190 and the solstice is a perfect fit. I am just telling everyboby.
 
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