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Discussion Starter #1
I was at the Philly Auto show last night and I have some interesting news on the Solstice.
There were three spoke people there. Two were female announcers and a fellow who was the man in charge. They all were very knowledgeable and nice, answered all my questions and some. I asked the one girl “who she said was 5’8” to sit in the Solstice.
She had plenty of room. I also asked the gentleman if you would sit in the Solstice “He said he was 6’ 1” “ and he had room. I am 6’0” so I will have no problem.

The Solstice this year is not the same car from last year; this is an experimental production car. I was allowed to go up to the car where they showed me the VIN # in the dash under the front window – and yes it was a real VIN # ending with an X, which they said, stood for an experimental production car. I also got a good look under the car and was very impressed with the suspension. This car is going to handle nicely. As far as the fit and finish “excellent” – they did a great job on the tolerances on all the panels. The car is all sheet metal except for the front & rear bumpers. The weather stripping around the front window frame still has that protrusion on both sides.

They said the Solstice is going into production next month and will be available around July. For the remaining of this year Pontiac will be producing 20,000 to 25,000 units and for next year they said the number would be greater than 25,000 units. They also said that only for this year the 5-Speed manual & the 4 cylinders 170 HP would be available. I ask what about next year “they smiled and said you will have to just wait and see”. I spoke to them more about it and I got the impression that that Pontiac will be offering other power options along with an automatic.

The Solstice will start at $19,000 and top out at $24/$26,000. The $19 really was $19,995 “Marketing”. When the spoke person gave her 5-minute speech “may I say she was very nice looking and also very friendly – she let me up on the platform but I was not allowed to sit in the car” she said the Solstice had a SIMPLE THREE GAUGE INSTRAMENT PANEL with an optional flash screen. I ask about the flash screen “It is one screen where you can select different screens like oil/temp and so on” NICE.

This is the best part – I keep on asking her to open the trunk. I can’t open it but I will give you a detail description on the trunk layout. The top is a soft top with a GLASS window. The trunk is only used to hold the top when not in use. When the top in folded in the truck “You will not be able to fit anything in it”. When the top is up “still not much is going to fit in this trunk”. I asked about the gas tank in the trunk and the safety issues. They said not an issue and extensive testing was and is being done.

My big question was – will there be a hard top coupe available? They responded – the plans are to have one available in 1 to 2 years.

They told me that several production Solstices are being driven by Pontiac Reps for testing as we speak. The cars are out on the roads being driven daily. They took down my information and will be sending me detailed information on the Solstice.
:thumbs
 

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Good job getting up close AJC.

Sounds like the are really setting the bar very low for the trunk ("room for nothing") so maybe people will be ok with the little room the find ("hey that's better than nothing"). Reps should read their information pedestal in front of the car that says 177HP (they keep repeating the original 170HP). On the "baby arms" issue, later versions like the one at NAIAS showed them almost gone (more finished look to the rubber trim).
 

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Awesome news AJC.
In a way I'm really glad they're not hiding the trunk space issue from people. Anyone else notice they didn't start adding the small trunk space to their speel until after we had the images posted here of the trunk and began debating about it?

AJC said:
They also said that only for this year the 5-Speed manual & the 4 cylinders 170 HP would be available. I ask what about next year “they smiled and said you will have to just wait and see”. I spoke to them more about it and I got the impression that that Pontiac will be offering other power options along with an automatic.
Were you able to get a clarification of what "next year" meant? Does next year mean cars available starting the begining of 2006, or does it mean 2007 MY verison arriving the end of 2006?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
brentil said:
Awesome news AJC.
In a way I'm really glad they're not hiding the trunk space issue from people. Anyone else notice they didn't start adding the small trunk space to their speel until after we had the images posted here of the trunk and began debating about it?


Were you able to get a clarification of what "next year" meant? Does next year mean cars available starting the begining of 2006, or does it mean 2007 MY verison arriving the end of 2006?
2007 arriving the end of 2006.
 

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AJC said:
2007 arriving the end of 2006.
Ack, don't tell me that. :brentil:
Wait till the end of 2006 for GXP Solstice, wait till early 2006 for Sky, wait till the year 2038 for Sky RL, or just get the Solstice in June. So many hard choices to mess with my head.
 

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That number for the first year is high, except if they call it a 2006 and run that for a little over a year and a half. But the second year number looks right. That is awesome for you guys who want a Solstice. I can't wait it looks like this is going to be an awesome car!!!!
 

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GTOJ said:
That number for the first year is high, except if they call it a 2006 and run that for a little over a year and a half.
GTOJ, check in our news section, there's an article where GM is starting to hint now about increasing production. But 2005 will be half lost before one hits the lots.

Link: Thread Link
 

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GTOJ said:
That number for the first year is high, except if they call it a 2006 and run that for a little over a year and a half. But the second year number looks right. That is awesome for you guys who want a Solstice. I can't wait it looks like this is going to be an awesome car!!!!
I agree the production number for calendar year 2005 is too high. I've been told it was more like 5-7k units for calendar year 2005.

That's cool they would talk to you about the car though. They weren't interested in talking to me about it much when I was at the auto show.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They were very sure about the 20K units for this year and more expected for next year. If they start next month "March" that gives them 10 months of producing cars. The 20K is doable.

The 5-7K for 2005 is incorrect.
 

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AJC; Well done! I wonder about Chicago, and what will be disclosed about the Solstice / Sky? Good eye on the VIN. It might be worthwhile to (for those who will be able to talk to reps.) ask about the accommodations that will be needed for the front license plates. The front of the Solstice (IMHO) is very vulnerable to the placement of that front plate. I think, more so than will be the case with the Sky.
:cheers
 

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Good job, no wyou just have to go back and get pictures of the spokesm o d er, I mean car model.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Chip said:
AJC; Well done! I wonder about Chicago, and what will be disclosed about the Solstice / Sky? Good eye on the VIN. It might be worthwhile to (for those who will be able to talk to reps.) ask about the accommodations that will be needed for the front license plates. The front of the Solstice (IMHO) is very vulnerable to the placement of that front plate. I think, more so than will be the case with the Sky.
:cheers

Chip,
Good point on the front plate. Never gave it much though because here in Pa we don't require it. I feel the guys who live in states that require front plates. It's no going to look very nice on the Solstice & Sky.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
achieftain said:
Good job, no wyou just have to go back and get pictures of the spokesm o d er, I mean car model.
After 1/2 hour of talking my wife walked away - so I had to leave
but I got some great info! :nono
 

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Thanks for the great info AJC! I am always cautious about how much stock I put into the autoshow people's information, but most of what they said goes along with information we have seen from other sources appear on the forum.

I'd really like to see that coupe too! Without having heard any other news about a coupe a year or too off, I think we can still be skeptical on it, but it sure would be great. It could also be a sign that GM has seen all the enthusiasm on this forum and elsewhere for a coupe version of this platform too.

One of those coupe rumors also involed a Kappa coupe replacement for the Sunfire. Since then, Pontiac (US) has announed that they declined to offer a Delta platform car, and for now will only have the Vibe while they search for a different compact. Maybe a Kappa coupe will be it.
 

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Fformula88 said:
One of those coupe rumors also involed a Kappa coupe replacement for the Sunfire. Since then, Pontiac (US) has announed that they declined to offer a Delta platform car, and for now will only have the Vibe while they search for a different compact. Maybe a Kappa coupe will be it.
I came across an emissions validation certificate for the USA recently for the ECOTEC 2.2L engine, that listed the Pontiac Pursuit on it along with the Cobalt and ION. The Pursuit is the Canadian version of the Cobalt (looks almost exactly like it). It's going to come out in Mexico as the G4 supposedly, and would make sense coming out in the USA as the G4 too to fit their new Gx naming scheme. I remember reading somewhere the Bonneville was eventually supposed to become the G8.

Unfortunately I think the Cobalt rebadge will more then likely end up being the Sunfire replacement then a coupe Kappa.
 

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brentil said:
I came across an emissions validation certificate for the USA recently for the ECOTEC 2.2L engine, that listed the Pontiac Pursuit on it along with the Cobalt and ION. The Pursuit is the Canadian version of the Cobalt (looks almost exactly like it). It's going to come out in Mexico as the G4 supposedly, and would make sense coming out in the USA as the G4 too to fit their new Gx naming scheme. I remember reading somewhere the Bonneville was eventually supposed to become the G8.

Unfortunately I think the Cobalt rebadge will more then likely end up being the Sunfire replacement then a coupe Kappa.
I cannot find it on the web at the moment, but recently the head of the Pontiac division was asked if they would be introducing the Pursuit (or another name on a rebadged Cobalt) and his answer was that Pontiac has declined to offer a Delta car as a Sunfire replacement, because they are not interested in badge engineering. So I do not think we'll see it, even though they are selling the Pursuit in Canada.
 

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I spoke too soon :smile

Detroit: General Motors will kill the Pontiac Sunfire in June, which could leave Pontiac without an entry-level car for two years or longer.

Pontiac-GMC Marketing General Manager Jim Bunnell says there is no plan to replace the Sunfire. The automaker is looking at several options, including an import priced below the Vibe.

"There is nothing planned in the foreseeable future, in the next 18 to 24 months" to replace the Sunfire, Bunnell says. "It will be some time after that if we were to figure out something that would make sense for us."

He says GM is "just laying out options," including the possibility of an import. "We are going to look at the entire portfolio within GM," he says, "including our opportunities overseas."

Pontiac has declined to sell a U.S. sister car to the Chevrolet Cobalt, which is built on the Delta front-drive, small-car architecture. It does sell a Cobalt sibling, the Pursuit, in Canada. The Sunfire uses the same platform as the old Chevrolet Cavalier.

If GM adds a vehicle, Bunnell says, it would have to reflect the Pontiac brand in performance and content: "We are not interested in badge engineering."

Bunnell says there is debate within GM as to whether Pontiac needs a vehicle priced below the Vibe. GM likely will weigh Vibe sales for 2005 and part of 2006 before deciding.

Pontiac sold 58,894 Vibes in 2004, up 3.5 percent from 2003. That vehicle and a sister vehicle, the Toyota Matrix, are assembled by NUMMI, a GM-Toyota partnership in Fremont, Calif.

The base Vibe costs $17,690, including destination.

Pontiac sold 36,095 Sunfires in 2004, a 17.2 percent drop from 2003. The base 2005 Sunfire coupe costs $11,460 including transportation. A Sunfire sedan is not offered – Rick Kranz, automotive news.
http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=101660
 
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