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Sorry for this long post:

I have pictures but haven't yet figured out how to insert them. Advice anyone?

Wow. The GM at my dealership told me about a “ride & drive” event here in the Twin Cities on August 2&3. I drove up early on Wednesday, got there just as they were setting up Day 2 of the event, which is designed for Pontiac salespeople to get hands-on training with the new Solstice and Torrent vehicles. There were approx. a dozen cars there (not including the Torrents, which I didn’t really notice), some of every color, all pre-retail production demos, as well as a Miata and Honda for comparison. I simply walked up to a group of guys from Pontiac HQ and introduced myself as a soon-to-be First 1000 owner, and they could not have been more hospitable and eager to show me and tell me about the Solstice. I even got to ride in a Cool one as one of the guys (Scott) took the car through its paces on the course they had set up in a parking lot. More on that below. What an absolute thrill, beginning with my very first glimpse as I rounded a bend in the road and there they were, a about 8-10 cars lined up against the curb, with others waiting on the test track!

Overall impressions—It’s gorgeous, the size is perfect, it sounds great, and handles like a dream. It has a more substantial look than either the Miata or the Honda. Has heft to it, more like a Boxter or Carrera. The single word that now comes to my mind regarding the Sol is substance. This is not a weak or flimsy little car.

Exterior—Forget your concerns about the roof or all the add-ons we’ve been seeing (the flying buttress bumpers, weather stripping, antenna, GM badge, etc.). Your overwhelming impression is the car’s beauty and you don’t notice the add-ons. Sure, I don’t love the GM badge either, but it’s unobtrusive and, at least on mine, I’ll leave as is. I like the roof, it has a substantial feel, very thick cloth. The glass window is sturdy and well integrated into the roof. While there was some of the waviness we’ve seen on the buttresses, IMHO it in no way detracts from the car’s overall stunning look. Even the ends of the buttresses were fine (something I had been very concerned about after seeing the close-up photos here on the forum, which looked terrible to me). When you see the car you don’t notice these things, and looking closely it looks just fine. Fit & finish also looked fine, though I honestly didn’t spend a lot of time looking for problems as these were test mules. Every color is a winner. I’m glad I was forced to choose before seeing them because in person this would have been a very tough choice. No one will be disappointed with their color choice. Mysterious and Envious are very dark, would have been great choices. Black is stunning. Red, Cool, and Pure are exactly what you’d expect. My color, Sly, was what I had hoped. I had been very curious about what shade of gray Sly would be, as I’ve been noticing many different shades in cars on the road, from reddish/brown-tinted gray to blue-tinted. Sly is smack dab in the middle. Essentially a darker version of Cool, with neither red nor blue hues. All the cars had polished wheels, which looked very nice.

Interior—I’m very impressed with the interior. Ergonomically perfect, everything close by, easy reach, right where you want it. Solid feel for the most part (the drink holders are a bit flimsy), steering wheel is solid, seats support well, all knobs and handles feel substantial, gauges look great. I’m 5’10”, about 190 lbs., my sense was that folks bigger than I will have no trouble. I rode in a cloth seat version, and the cloth also felt substantial, and looked great. Very understated texture. Most had black leather, which have a classic, understated look. Some folks won’t like the two-tone, which is what I ordered in my Sly. The gray is a gun-metal color, a strong hint of blue, and lighter than I expected, confirming some of the fears expressed by some of you here earlier. I personally like it, but some of you may not. It should stay a bit cooler than the black. Radio fascia well coordinated with the rest of the dash. My only qualm is the organization of some of the knobs on the dash. Other than the row of three large dials, the rest look somewhat randomly placed.

The Ride—Scott drove the car harder than I think I ever will mine. Accelerated hard, cornered hard, and braked hard. I would score acceleration a B+, cornering and braking solid A’s. Again, I wasn’t driving, but the Sol has a balanced feel that is very evident on the corners and in hard braking. The sound was more impressive—throatier—than I expected, especially when the revs got up there. The car also handled the speed bumps which they had set up very solidly. This will be a blast to drive!

I was only able to stay for a half hour, and it was a mind-blurring experience, I didn’t know which way to look. I snapped a bunch of pictures, just sat in the Sly for a while, talked to the guys, and had to get to work. We all have made a great choice!
 

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Sounds awesome! The only thing disappointment is the 2 tone leather. Maybe we can figure out a way to "dye" the gray parts darker to near black, then it'd look sweet.
 
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