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Hello to all forum readers - it is terrific to have this site available and I look forward to spending more time here next year when there might actually be some hard facts, specifications, data and perhaps some early road tests. At the moment many of the posts on this forum are pure speculation, supposition, assumption, innuendo or conjecture. None of us really know what this machine will be like until the first one is out of the assembly line. But thanks to the chap who posted the only hard data I have seen: the photos from the NY Auto Show.

In some ways the Solstice looks too good to be true. A sexy looking little roadster with a hot little engine for US$20000? I await with great anticipation but I remain guarded. We must remember this is an inexpensive Pontiac, not a Lotus or a Nissan 350Z or even a Mazda. I sure hope GM gets it right with this little baby. I wonder if they will be able to pull off good roadster specs for $20000 or whether it might end up a Frankenstein, cobbled together from bits of GM pieces from whatever is left over? I certainly hope not. I also wonder if they will actually be able to get it out of the factory for $20000, or is that a come-on?

I am excited about this vehicle and I sure hope they get it right and that we all don't have to pay too much over the odds for her!

Larry.....
 

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Like I Have Said Before...they Have Been Saying To Much That It Will Cost 20,000 If They Go To Much Higher Than That...they Will Look Bad
 

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Styling, low base price, higher performance SC option, everything looks great on paper. But this is GM, whose reputation for reliability hasn't been all that great. I'm sure this is an unpopular view here, but I wouldn't even buy a Toyota or a Honda in it's first model year.
 

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lagagnon said:
... None of us really know what this machine will be like until the first one is out of the assembly line. ...
Larry.....

You forgot, we'll get a good read if there are any magazine writers allowed to drive this machine ahead of production, or if one of us uses our contacts and gets a small jaunt in one...

So far, most people I've talked to (working on the car) have said that they are keeping pretty tight control on who they let drive and ride. I don't want to abuse my contacts for a sneak preview ride in one and p*ss the guys off. Most of the time, when asked "how is it?", I get a big grin and a statment something like "it's coming along..."
 

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Really we do know a lot about it. Details like the shape of the headlights/taillights/grilles may change but the basics won't.

There will be a base car available for under $20k, the question is "Will anyone want it ?" since GM is a past master at making a base model obviously a base model with filler plates in the dash screaming "An option goes here !" (funny thing, to collectors, radio block off plates are often prized).

Lineup will not be as extensive as for the Cobalt but can expect the base model maybe to be an Ecotec 2.2 without VVT but with automatic only, am/fm radio, and 15 or maybe 16 inch wheels with tall, skinny tires. A/C an option unless too hard to de-integrate. Will be popular with rental car companies & help meet CAFE but not easy to find otherwise.

People will be pointed to either of two upscale versions (at slight additional charge), for $22k-$24k the 2.4 VVT with appropriate trim and 17" wheels and either automatic or five speed and a host of "comfort and convienience bits" for those who appreciate such but have no intention of racing, and a "limited availability" s/c version with manual trans and most of the go pieces plus a certain amount of "comfort and convienience" for significant extra cost ($25k-$27k ?).

May also be a special "limited road use" version with no comfort and convenience bits like A/C. S/c, manual trans only, and LSD you either get for a "special price" or do not get at all. This may be farmed out to Ed H. & co or someone like them in which case expect a $30k+ tag

Yes, this is conjecture but is based on the target market the car is focused on (Miata and its imitators) and a mechanism Pontiac has used successfully many times in the past: A very few real racers for publicising and image creation, a near-racer for the row your own gear set and a automatic not-so-fast version for those who want the image without effort, and a very few "loss leaders" to provide an attractive base price no conventional dealer will floorplan.

It's the American way.
 

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I fully expect the major auto mags to start writing 'First Drive' type articles well in advance of the Solstice actually showing up at dealers. I agree - I anxiously await them, and I do have confidence that GM is doing this one right. This is Lutz's baby, and he knows that the media and other car makers know it. At this point, his personal reputation is on the line with the success and quality of this car. Given his history, I am sure he will succeed.
 

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I'm afraid that GM is going to do the same thing to it that they did to the Fiero. Entry Model Base Everything and it won't be what everyone expects it to be, then a few years later they figure it out and it's to late, It's already lost the respect. I say this being a driver of the 18 year Fiero GT. I look at this as my replacement, but I am skeptical that the 20K price will have anything close to what I want, and I have heard that the SC or any other decent option will be a year or two away. Do I want to spend the money on the first option to just kick my self for the next year or two.

To buy or not to buy that is the question
 

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Bull_07 said:
I'm afraid that GM is going to do the same thing to it that they did to the Fiero. Entry Model Base Everything and it won't be what everyone expects it to be, then a few years later they figure it out and it's to late, It's already lost the respect. I say this being a driver of the 18 year Fiero GT. I look at this as my replacement, but I am skeptical that the 20K price will have anything close to what I want, and I have heard that the SC or any other decent option will be a year or two away. Do I want to spend the money on the first option to just kick my self for the next year or two.

To buy or not to buy that is the question
you dont want the factory power adder, so buy one ASAP. :D
 

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Bull_07 said:
I'm afraid that GM is going to do the same thing to it that they did to the Fiero. Entry Model Base Everything and it won't be what everyone expects it to be, then a few years later they figure it out and it's to late, It's already lost the respect. I say this being a driver of the 18 year Fiero GT. I look at this as my replacement, but I am skeptical that the 20K price will have anything close to what I want, and I have heard that the SC or any other decent option will be a year or two away. Do I want to spend the money on the first option to just kick my self for the next year or two.
To buy or not to buy that is the question
Many people want the higher HP version but I think there is definately a market for the base model as well. It's a personal opinion depending on your needs and wants. Don't buy the entry model in year 1 if you really want higher HP because as you say, you'll be kicking yourself later.
 

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i wouldnt worry about the base model having "nothing". i know a lot of people think the 19,995 is going to be empty, and u are going to have pay 24,000 to get like a cd player, ac so on and so on...but i dont think thats true...one thing i have noticed about roadsters is everything comes pretty standard except maybe leather interior.....
 

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Bull_07 said:
I'm afraid that GM is going to do the same thing to it that they did to the Fiero. Entry Model Base Everything and it won't be what everyone expects it to be, then a few years later they figure it out and it's to late, It's already lost the respect. I say this being a driver of the 18 year Fiero GT. I look at this as my replacement, but I am skeptical that the 20K price will have anything close to what I want, and I have heard that the SC or any other decent option will be a year or two away. Do I want to spend the money on the first option to just kick my self for the next year or two.

To buy or not to buy that is the question
There were some people disappointed by the 1984 Fiero's lack of performance to back up its looks, but that really doesn't have anything to do with its eventual cancellation IMO. The next year they added the V6 and it got much better reviews. The bad public perception from the 84 engine fires, and GM's inability to properly market future models as NOT being fire prone was their biggest fault. Lack of power steering was a second fault as it turned off a lot of drivers on the test drive who struggled to steer it at low speeds. The third strike against it was the need to sell 75K a year, mainly because it was built off a dedicated platform in a dedicated plant. That was just an unrealistic volume to be sustained by a 2 seater niche vehicle, so prices skyrocketed as sales declined, and it turned into less and less of a value.

As for the Solstice, by the preliminary first drives it appears that they are well on track. It is not a rocket with the 170 HP engine, but it is enough motor to make it very entertaining. It should run in the 15's, which is not considered fast in this day and age but isn't slow by any means either. Besides, Miata sells ok with a lot less power. I think the look is just about final, and that is why GM showed the new version at Detroit as the "production" model. There won't be any major styling revisions at this point.

Sure, they could mess this whole thing up, but they seem so determined to do this one right from the start that I cannot imagine it being anything less than a success!
 

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while a price of 20k is low for a roadster it is far from cheap. the solstice is a stunning looking car, but it does not cost any more to create a beautiful car than an ugly looking car. The options that i can see GM putting in are power windows/locks, automatic, cruise, and ac. However, at 20k cruise and ac could be standard. i am fairly sure that power windows/locks are an option since the show car had crank windows. Also, looking at the show car with the crank windows there seems to be a setting on the hvac system for ac and on the wheel there looks to be buttons for cruise. the radio shown has a slot in it for a cd, but they could allways have an upgraded option. While i have no idea if the show car was considered base or upgraded i would be willing to bet that was or was close to the base configuration. If memory serves the 2.4 is standard as are the 18inch wheels. Even if ac, cruise, and power windows/locks are not standard how much would they cost as an option? 2000? Reliability wise if you believe the jd power's rankings there is not much difference between the best car manufacturers and the worst, and, if memory serves, GM has improved greatly to where they are one of the better car makers. While you are correct that there is nothing concrete to base our hopes on, there has been a good amount of information that can be used to create a basic impression of the car. The recent reviews in the car mags of the mules provide an interesting look into the development of the solstice, and they all seem to like the solstice even in its early form. Finally, this is a halo car designed to bring people into the dealerships and to change pontiacs image, by making it an option heavy car that has alot of reliability problems GM will just be destroying what little of its remaining cachet.
 

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It'll be great. With the looks it has and the specs they've given, they would have to actually work at making it suck. As to reliability, I'm sure it will be average GM. It's not going to be Toyota or Honda, but neither is BMW or Mazda. GM cars are very reasonable to live with most of the time. If they were as bad as the press or some people say, they would have gone the way of Fiat and Yugo. I'm affraid though, if you're looking for Toyota or Honda standards of reliability and build quality, you're going to have to buy a Toyota or Honda.

The price for the base model will no doubt be very close to 20k. There will be option packages that will raise the price, and most people will do that. Time has shown that Americans like all the goodies on their cars and dealers like to give it to them because thats where the profit is. The base car will probably have smaller narrower wheels, no power conveinieces, no driving lights, simple AM/FM CD player, cloth seats, 5 speed only, no LSD, no performance mods and maybe no AC. There might also be limitations on colors. The desire for a little extra will drive most of us into a package of one sort or another. That doesn't mean that the base model isn't still a hoot to drive and can't fill alot of peoples needs.

I agree with others who believe that the exterior styling is pretty much set. Based on that, the car already doesn't suck! Have some faith, it might just be a revolution at GM. :cheers
 

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The show cars I saw and took pics of were not crank windows - they were power. I think there's only one of the show "production" ones. (MCEB's pics of it are in the gallery).

As for the black ones (Mules?) from england, none of the articles said whether they were manual windows or power.
 

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solsticeman said:
The show cars I saw and took pics of were not crank windows - they were power. I think there's only one of the show "production" ones. (MCEB's pics of it are in the gallery).

As for the black ones (Mules?) from england, none of the articles said whether they were manual windows or power.
I think show cars are closer to the "ideal" car, ie; one with options installed. If the show car was shown to have crank up windows, they would have caught hell for it from the press and public. Just as engineers are working to add options to the original concept, they are also engineering ways to remove things to help meet the 20k price point and provide dealers with options to sell. I don't believe the "production" show car at all reflects the actual "base" model that will sell at 20k. I don't think it's too far off though, and believe that the base will still be a heck of a value.
 

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I'm also betting that the Lutz influence will make this car meet or exceed expectations. It could also be milestone car considering how few true sports cars have been produced by US auto makers.

Regarding a first year buy, how long has this car been in serious development? If the cycle was relatively short, it might make a first year buy a little more risky unless most of the expensive components have already proven themselves.
 

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Just a few disjointed thoughts along these lines.

Do they not have two to four times the normal lead time (depending on release date) to get the bugs out of the manufacturing process?
I agree with many of you about the HP issue. I would like a little more kick but I am not willing to wait for a couple of years. Miata and Greddy almost seem synonymous. Someone out there is gettin over 750 HP from the 2.0 and 2.2 ecotec. I would like to find them and get a small boost (about 20 to 25 % increase) turbo slapped on. When GM offers (sooner or later) s/c or turbo as an option, we will be paying several K extra for it. I would just as soon do it myself (sooner)
 

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I'm affraid though, if you're looking for Toyota or Honda standards of reliability and build quality, you're going to have to buy a Toyota or Honda.
the problem is, that even toyota and honda dont have toyota and honda reliability and quality. :smile

i'd also like to offer the opinion that JD Power should not be used as a quality survey, no matter what they want to call it. its a customer satisfaction survey. anytime a complaint like "it uses more gas than i like" or "the cupholder placement is inconvenient" are allowed in a quality survey it ceases to be one. a quality survey should be about, and only about quality. does it work or not? a cupholder that wont securely hold your super-hippy mocha cappucino from starbucks because of the cups shape, but will hold many other container types is not a quality issue. it the cupholder rattles, falls out, or fails to open, or snaps in two then it is a quality issue. :smile

sorry for the super-hippy remark, no offense meant to any super-hippys out there. :jester
 

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Bizz said:
the problem is, that even toyota and honda dont have toyota and honda reliability and quality. :smile
Good point - in the recent studies they both have definitely had their problems. I think it is a combination of them slipping a bid, and the others making HUGE strides in catching up, especially the domestics and Koreans.
 

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2006solstice said:
Good point - in the recent studies they both have definitely had their problems. I think it is a combination of them slipping a bid, and the others making HUGE strides in catching up, especially the domestics and Koreans.
human psychology plays a part, too. people who choose import over domestic because of a quality or reliablility factor are less likely to admit/report problems with their cars.

anyone read C and D's longterm wrap up for the honda element? i friggin piece of the interior just fell off 2 or 3 times. if it were an aztec they were testing, you can bet that a solid 3-4 paragraphs would be spent on the subject explaining why domestic=bad and import=good. :rolleyes
 
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