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Sports Car International magazine has their Solstice review in their Jan 2006 issue that just landed in my mailbox. Just started getting this mag which comes out every other month (TCL or LBJay mentioned it a while back). Don't know too much about the mag but it appears to be a hard-core sports car magazine (Porsche, BMW, etc). Think they are big Miata fans too.

Overall not a bad review from tough critics. I don't have a scanner at home so I'll have to summarize for now until I can get to work. Seems like a fair review, they feel there are things to work on. If you want a fair but tough review this might be it....

========================================================

With guidance from Professor Lutz, the kappa-platformed Solstice graduates beats the odds and graduates from GM university as an honest-to-goodness sprorts car-not with perfect grades, but nevertheless with distinction.

Pontiac got it right everywhere that matters. The car delivers agile handling and responsive controls that sports car nuts demand, and it's wrapped in a swoopy open-top styling that delivers on the car's promise.

Weel balanced, without the excessive understeer that spoils too many cars that are intended to be fun. The Pontiac's nicely weighted steering and brakes are more communicative than those on the MX-5, making it easier to adjust mid-corner than the Mazda. However the Solstice's gas petal is too low for convenient heel-toe operation. It's surely possible, but not easy.

If thrashing the Solstice on some appropriately nasty twisties doesn't put the same involuntary smile on your face that it put on mine, just go back to your SUV.

Suspension compliance is good, providing a fine and dependable ride over irregular pavement. Both springs and damping could be firmer for true racetrack handling and control, but that would have turned off many casual buyers and posers who make the business case for sports cars possible.

Weight....400 lbs heavier than MX-5...in same league as S2000 but doesn't quite match the Honda's rigidity.

Engine...reasonably smooth operation....good low, mid-range response...doesn't scream to the red-line like Honda. MX-5 touch less low-end power but revs more freely.

Shifter works better than we have any reason to hope-considering the original application was the Chevy Canyon pickup truck. Medium-short throws....steady in hand. Unfortunately one gear ratio is way off...critical 3rd gear, revs plunge into a canyon like Evil Knievel parachuting into the snake river. 5th gear is too tall. Pontiac guys know they have a few wrong cogs but say they had to choose from available off-the-shelf ratios to meet the time and cost targets.

Interior....despite the parts-bin sourcing the interior retains much of the concept's appearance....despite the donors (AC from Hummer H3, instruments from Cobalt), the look is nevertheless cohesive. Material quality won't worry Audi, but at least the interior doesn't look like something from Pontiac.

Trunk space is an afterthought in sports cars, and the Solstice is no exception.

Solstice does have opportunities for improvement but most of the issues are minor and can be addressed. No power unlock...door switches too far back...2 step top operation....wind noise with top up. The company says it will have a special package of insulation for cars equipped with On-star. Most of the noise was from the trailing edges of the windows, so the seal design/installation may need to be revisted.

Construction feels reasonably solid. Some of our early test models suffered some "flutter" when you slammed the door. GM said they were working on the issue, stiffing parts inside the door to minimize it, which is encouraging.

We're just glad to have another real sports car available to us.

Pontiac will be rolling out various versions of the Solstice over time, with a hard-topped SCCA stock B version debutting at SEMA in November. The color yellow is reserved for an uncoming special edition, perhaps it will decorate the GXP and it's anticipated turbo engine that will output over 200HP. We can't wait.
 

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mceb said:
Sports Car International magazine has their Solstice review in their Jan 2006 issue that just landed in my mailbox. Just started getting this mag which comes out every other month (TCL or LBJay mentioned it a while back). Don't know too much about the mag but it appears to be a hard-core sports car magazine (Porche, BMW, etc). Think they are big Miata fans too.

Overall not a bad review from tough critics. I don't have a scanner at home so I'll have to summarize for now until I can get to work. Seems like a fair review overall, they feel there are things to work on but if you want a fairly tough but fair review this might be it.

========================================================

With guidance from Professor Lutz, the kappa-platformed Solstice graduates beats the odds and graduates from GM university as an honest-to-goodness sprorts car-not with perfect grades, but nevertheless with distinction.

Pontiac got it right everywhere that matters. The car delivers agile handling and responsive controls that sports car nuts demand, and it's wrapped in a swoopy open-top styling that delivers on the car's promise.

Weel balanced, without the excessive understeer that spoils too many cars that are intended to be fun. The Pontiac's nicely weighted steering and brakes are more communicative than those on the MX-5, making it easier to adjust mid-corner than the Mazda. However the Solstice's gas petal is too low for convenient heel-toe operation. It's surely possible, but not easy.

If thrashing the Solstice on some appropriately nasty twisties doesn't put the same involuntary smile on your face that it put on mine, just go back to your SUV.

Suspension compliance is good, providing a fine and dependable ride over irregular pavement. Both springs and damping could be firmer for true racetrack handling and control, but that would have turned off many casual buyers and posers who make the business case for sports cars possible.

Weight....400 lbs heavier than MX-5...in same league as S2000 but doesn't quite match the Honda's rigidity.

Engine...reasonably smooth operation....good low, mid-range response...doesn't scream to the red-line like Honda. MX-5 touch less low-end power but revs more freely.

Shifter works better than we have any reason to hope-considering the original application was the Chevy Canyon pickup truck. Medium-short throws....steady in hand. Unfortunately one gear ratio is way off...critical 3rd gear, revs plunge into a canyon like Evil Knievel parachuting into the snake river. 5th gear is too tall. Pontiac guys know they have a few wrong cogs but say they had to choose from available off-the-shelf ratios to meet the time and cost targets.

Interior....despite the parts-bin sourcing the interior retains much of the concept's appearance....despite the donors (AC from Hummer H3, instruments from Cobalt), the look is nevertheless cohesive. Material quality won't worry Audi, but at least the interior doesn't look like something from Pontiac.

Trunk space is an afterthought in sports cars, and the Solstice is no exception.

Solstice does have opportunities for improvement but most of the issues are minor and can be addressed. No power unlock...door switches too far back...2 step top operation....wind noise with top up. The company says it will have a special package of insulation for cars equipped with On-star. Most of the noise was from the trailing edges of the windows, so the seal design/installation may need to be revisted.

Construction feels reasonably solid. Some of our early test models suffered some "flutter" when you slammed the door. GM said they were working on the issue, stiffing parts inside the door to minimize it, which is enouraging.

We're just glad to have another real sports car available to us.

Pontiac will be rolling out various versions of the Sosltice over time, with a hard-topped SCCA stock B version debutting at SEMA in November. The color yellow is reserved for an uncoming special edition, perhaps it will decorate the GXP and it's anticipated turbo engine that will output over 200HP. We can't wait.
Did they put a picture of the solstice on the front cover?





















?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope, no cover.
 

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mceb said:
Nope, no cover.
Thanks MCEB. All business review, seems right on to me, finally. Very encouraging from what comes across as a knowledgable, focused and legit source. Probably not hanging around on a shelf anywhere. What about info on a subscription? ;)
 

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birdliver said:
Thanks MCEB. All business review, seems right on to me, finally. Very encouraging from what comes across as a knowledgable, focused and legit source. Probably not hanging around on a shelf anywhere. What about info on a subscription? ;)
It might be on shelves in bigger news stands like Borders books or B&N. I searched on web and actually got subscription thru Amazon I think.
 

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mceb said:
Sports Car International magazine...

We're just glad to have another real sports car available to us.
I think this says it all. Thanks for the teaser. Can't wait to get my copy of this issue.
 

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Could it be?

"The color yellow is reserved for an uncoming special edition, perhaps it will decorate the GXP and it's anticipated turbo engine that will output over 200HP. We can't wait." (Quote)



O.K. guys. I've loved my yellow 1970 MGB and my Screamin' yellow 1976 Firebird Formula. Now just let me have my banana yellow Solstice GXP and I can drive off into that roadster sunset.
 

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mceb said:
Sports Car International magazine has their Solstice review in their Jan 2006 issue that just landed in my mailbox. Just started getting this mag which comes out every other month (TCL or LBJay mentioned it a while back). ...

Yes, I recommended it since it's devoted mainly to sports cars. I also like the layout and the quality of the photography. Not too long ago they did a series on the best sports cars by rating them one decade per issue. The final issue in the series was an analysis of the 10 best of all time. I thought that series was fairly well done.
 

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mceb said:
Sports Car International magazine has their Solstice review in their Jan 2006 issue that just landed in my mailbox. Just started getting this mag which comes out every other month (TCL or LBJay mentioned it a while back). Don't know too much about the mag but it appears to be a hard-core sports car magazine (Porsche, BMW, etc). Think they are big Miata fans too.

Overall not a bad review from tough critics. I don't have a scanner at home so I'll have to summarize for now until I can get to work. Seems like a fair review, they feel there are things to work on. If you want a fair but tough review this might be it....

========================================================

With guidance from Professor Lutz, the kappa-platformed Solstice graduates beats the odds and graduates from GM university as an honest-to-goodness sprorts car-not with perfect grades, but nevertheless with distinction.

Pontiac got it right everywhere that matters. The car delivers agile handling and responsive controls that sports car nuts demand, and it's wrapped in a swoopy open-top styling that delivers on the car's promise.

Weel balanced, without the excessive understeer that spoils too many cars that are intended to be fun. The Pontiac's nicely weighted steering and brakes are more communicative than those on the MX-5, making it easier to adjust mid-corner than the Mazda. However the Solstice's gas petal is too low for convenient heel-toe operation. It's surely possible, but not easy.

If thrashing the Solstice on some appropriately nasty twisties doesn't put the same involuntary smile on your face that it put on mine, just go back to your SUV.

Suspension compliance is good, providing a fine and dependable ride over irregular pavement. Both springs and damping could be firmer for true racetrack handling and control, but that would have turned off many casual buyers and posers who make the business case for sports cars possible.

Weight....400 lbs heavier than MX-5...in same league as S2000 but doesn't quite match the Honda's rigidity.

Engine...reasonably smooth operation....good low, mid-range response...doesn't scream to the red-line like Honda. MX-5 touch less low-end power but revs more freely.

Shifter works better than we have any reason to hope-considering the original application was the Chevy Canyon pickup truck. Medium-short throws....steady in hand. Unfortunately one gear ratio is way off...critical 3rd gear, revs plunge into a canyon like Evil Knievel parachuting into the snake river. 5th gear is too tall. Pontiac guys know they have a few wrong cogs but say they had to choose from available off-the-shelf ratios to meet the time and cost targets.

Interior....despite the parts-bin sourcing the interior retains much of the concept's appearance....despite the donors (AC from Hummer H3, instruments from Cobalt), the look is nevertheless cohesive. Material quality won't worry Audi, but at least the interior doesn't look like something from Pontiac.

Trunk space is an afterthought in sports cars, and the Solstice is no exception.

Solstice does have opportunities for improvement but most of the issues are minor and can be addressed. No power unlock...door switches too far back...2 step top operation....wind noise with top up. The company says it will have a special package of insulation for cars equipped with On-star. Most of the noise was from the trailing edges of the windows, so the seal design/installation may need to be revisted.

Construction feels reasonably solid. Some of our early test models suffered some "flutter" when you slammed the door. GM said they were working on the issue, stiffing parts inside the door to minimize it, which is enouraging.

We're just glad to have another real sports car available to us.

Pontiac will be rolling out various versions of the Sosltice over time, with a hard-topped SCCA stock B version debutting at SEMA in November. The color yellow is reserved for an uncoming special edition, perhaps it will decorate the GXP and it's anticipated turbo engine that will output over 200HP. We can't wait.
Sounds like a pretty good reveiw to me,only makes me want the car more.Like I needed that! :willy:
 

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That was one of the best reviews I have seen about the car. Very objective and not opinionated. he stuck to the facts and gave VERY legitimate criticism about our beauty of a car. He was also very forthcoming that Pontiac is making a sincere attempt to correct some of the issues. That is great news to me.
 

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:thumbs: :thumbs:
Two thumbs up from me.
 

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Mceb, I gotta say again that I love this article. The Darren Post quote and the point about no heritage (low cost roadster) and Lutz force feeding the development process is something that should be more widely reflected on and is missing from all of the less insightful tests/reports on the Solstice. Let's hope GM picked up on what really happened here. ;)
 

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Owned my Solstice since 08-24-05

Good review. I have owned my Solstice since 08-24-05 and it's everything I wanted in a car. Chris of Troy
mceb said:
Sports Car International magazine has their Solstice review in their Jan 2006 issue that just landed in my mailbox. Just started getting this mag which comes out every other month (TCL or LBJay mentioned it a while back). Don't know too much about the mag but it appears to be a hard-core sports car magazine (Porsche, BMW, etc). Think they are big Miata fans too.

Overall not a bad review from tough critics. I don't have a scanner at home so I'll have to summarize for now until I can get to work. Seems like a fair review, they feel there are things to work on. If you want a fair but tough review this might be it....

========================================================

With guidance from Professor Lutz, the kappa-platformed Solstice graduates beats the odds and graduates from GM university as an honest-to-goodness sprorts car-not with perfect grades, but nevertheless with distinction.

Pontiac got it right everywhere that matters. The car delivers agile handling and responsive controls that sports car nuts demand, and it's wrapped in a swoopy open-top styling that delivers on the car's promise.

Weel balanced, without the excessive understeer that spoils too many cars that are intended to be fun. The Pontiac's nicely weighted steering and brakes are more communicative than those on the MX-5, making it easier to adjust mid-corner than the Mazda. However the Solstice's gas petal is too low for convenient heel-toe operation. It's surely possible, but not easy.

If thrashing the Solstice on some appropriately nasty twisties doesn't put the same involuntary smile on your face that it put on mine, just go back to your SUV.

Suspension compliance is good, providing a fine and dependable ride over irregular pavement. Both springs and damping could be firmer for true racetrack handling and control, but that would have turned off many casual buyers and posers who make the business case for sports cars possible.

Weight....400 lbs heavier than MX-5...in same league as S2000 but doesn't quite match the Honda's rigidity.

Engine...reasonably smooth operation....good low, mid-range response...doesn't scream to the red-line like Honda. MX-5 touch less low-end power but revs more freely.

Shifter works better than we have any reason to hope-considering the original application was the Chevy Canyon pickup truck. Medium-short throws....steady in hand. Unfortunately one gear ratio is way off...critical 3rd gear, revs plunge into a canyon like Evil Knievel parachuting into the snake river. 5th gear is too tall. Pontiac guys know they have a few wrong cogs but say they had to choose from available off-the-shelf ratios to meet the time and cost targets.

Interior....despite the parts-bin sourcing the interior retains much of the concept's appearance....despite the donors (AC from Hummer H3, instruments from Cobalt), the look is nevertheless cohesive. Material quality won't worry Audi, but at least the interior doesn't look like something from Pontiac.

Trunk space is an afterthought in sports cars, and the Solstice is no exception.

Solstice does have opportunities for improvement but most of the issues are minor and can be addressed. No power unlock...door switches too far back...2 step top operation....wind noise with top up. The company says it will have a special package of insulation for cars equipped with On-star. Most of the noise was from the trailing edges of the windows, so the seal design/installation may need to be revisted.

Construction feels reasonably solid. Some of our early test models suffered some "flutter" when you slammed the door. GM said they were working on the issue, stiffing parts inside the door to minimize it, which is encouraging.

We're just glad to have another real sports car available to us.

Pontiac will be rolling out various versions of the Solstice over time, with a hard-topped SCCA stock B version debutting at SEMA in November. The color yellow is reserved for an uncoming special edition, perhaps it will decorate the GXP and it's anticipated turbo engine that will output over 200HP. We can't wait.
 

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birdliver said:
Mceb, I gotta say again that I love this article. The Darren Post quote and the point about no heritage (low cost roadster) and Lutz force feeding the development process is something that should be more widely reflected on and is missing from all of the less insightful tests/reports on the Solstice. Let's hope GM picked up on what really happened here. ;)
:agree: As well as pointing out that it's not so much that the operation of Solstice's roof is a such nightmare but it's just that the latest Miata's is such a dream. There are very few convertibles in history that didn't require a cover over the folded roof to make its appearance acceptable IMHO, including all previous Miata's .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
DreamerDave said:
:agree: As well as pointing out that it's not so much that the operation of Solstice's roof is a such nightmare but it's just that the latest Miata's is such a dream. There are very few convertibles in history that didn't require a cover over the folded roof to make its appearance acceptable IMHO, including all previous Miata's .
Funny I've seen some comments on the MiataForum where owners aren't happy with the appearance of the Z-fold top when it's down on the MX-5. Something about big gaps its leaves when down so now they are selling a cover for it. Guess you can't win anyway you slice it :willy:
 

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mceb said:
Funny I've seen some comments on the MiataForum where owners aren't happy with the appearance of the Z-fold top when it's down on the MX-5. Something about big gaps its leaves when down so now they are selling a cover for it.

They are just selling two little covers (for the gaps), not one big one. Waste of time and money if you ask me.
 

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CanSol

Shifter works better than we have any reason to hope-considering the original application was the Chevy Canyon pickup truck. Medium-short throws....steady in hand. Unfortunately one gear ratio is way off...critical 3rd gear, revs plunge into a canyon like Evil Knievel parachuting into the snake river. 5th gear is too tall. Pontiac guys know they have a few wrong cogs but say they had to choose from available off-the-shelf ratios to meet the time and cost targets.

I agree, somewhat, with the reviewer and his comment on third gear. It does have a bit of atendency to kill the revs that you are trying to hold from second and so the performance drops off a bit.

I can see that the reviews where they record 0-60 by holding it in second do much better than those that try to hit 60 in third gear.

Just a minor point, I still love the car and I'm fine with 5th.

Only other drawback is that people always want to race, or at least stay slightly ahead of you when you drive down the road.
 
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