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Technical FAQ

118783 Views 29 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SolsticeMan
by solsticeman

This thread is an attempt to have a one-stop-shopping place to come and get frequently asked information. Think of this thread as a distilled information spot of knowlege accumulated by members of solsticeforum.com over the last year or so.

Some of the information is based on information given out by GM, some of the information is speculative, but all of it is reasonably good guesses at frequent questions. Hope everyone finds it useful. Sources are identified where possible. Almost none of the information is based on "inside information" or "security leaks" - just good detective work, combined with intuition and collective cooperation of the members of this forum, using information available to anyone in public domain and primarily on the internet.


Though it looks like I'm the one creating this information, I am merely collecting it in one spot for easy access to new and seasoned members alike. Please do not think that I'm this smart - this thread (which we suspect will be accessed by many who are not solsticeforum members) is the interesting result of a collaborative effort of many, many forum members.

Hope you find the information on the Solstice for which you are looking, and we hope this helps.

The information in here is periodically updated as becomes available. If you see something that might need correction or have an idea of an FAQ to add, you'll find out this thread is closed for discussion to improve information clarity. Feel free to suggest on this thread Technical FAQ - (OPEN DISCUSSION THREAD) or send me a PM.
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Technical Summary/Specification Sheet Compiled with available information

Solstice Media Release with Specifications (Official as of 7/17/05)

"OFFICIAL" Spec sheet added as attachments, courtesy of conejo148. THANKS! :thumbs:

Something like this (FORMAT IS REALLY ROUGH, but I think it captures almost everything): (Conversions: 25.4mm per inch, 2.2 pounds per kilogram)

Base Price: | $19,995 (Per Lutz, includes $575 destination)
Max MSRP: | $25,500 (estimated)

Vehicle Type: | 2 Passenger, 2 Door, Convertible Roadster
Drive Config: | Rear Wheel Drive

Standard Accessories: | CD Player
Optional Accessories: | Power wdo/locks/mirrors, cruise, remote locking, ABS, A/C, rear defrost, AM/FM/CD, XM, Accessory jack radio, Premium sound, leather trim

Sound System: | TBD, but assumed to be Monsoon AM/FM/CD

Engine: | Ecotec 2.4L DOHC I-4 (LE5) [from 04 NAIAS]
Ecotec 2.4L DOHC Information (downloadable PDF)
Type: | Hydraulic Variable Cam Phasing[VVT], 2.4 L inline 4-cylinder, aluminum block and head with balance shafts

BoreXStroke | 88mmX98mm (2.2L=86mm X 94.6mm)
Displacement | 2384cc (2.4 liter)
Compression Ratio | 10.6:1 (Estimated)
Fuel-Delivery System | electronic sequential port injection (inferred from internet info)
Auxiliary Systems | None (Future forced induction TBD)
Valve Gear | Chain driven double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, Hydraulic roller finger followers,
Power (SAE net) | 170 bhp @ 6400 RPM (04NAIAS Handout)
----------177 bhp @ 6600 RPM (05NAIAS Display)
Torque (SAE net) | 170 ft-lb @ 4400 RPM (04NAIAS Handout)
----------166 ft-lb @ 4800 RPM (05NAIAS Display)
Redline | 6500 (estimated, not documented or announced, pics indicate 7000 redline on gauge, likely inaccurate)
----------Revised to 7000 RPM, based on 05 NAIAS Display info
Fuel | Assumed to be 91 octane recommended

Variable Valve Timing helps deliver 90 percent of the peak torque at as low as 2400 rpm (so in essence 153 ft-lbs at 2400 rpm)

Drivetrain: |
Transmission | MW5 Aisin 5-speed manual (from NAIAS Handout)
Final-Drive Ratio | 3.91:1 (Updated per 3/11/05 dealer info), Limited slip expected optional
Gear [Ratios from Chev Colorado Aisin Trans] | Ratio/Overall Ratio/MPH per 1000RPM/Max test speed
I | 3.75 / 14.66/TBD/TBD
II | 2.26 / 2.24/TBD/TBD
III | 1.37 / 5.36 /TBD/TBD
IV | 1.00 / 3.91 /TBD/TBD
V | 0.73 / 2.85 /TBD/TBD
R | 3.67 /NA/TBD/TBD
Engine RPM @60 MPH in top gear | TBD

Wheelbase | 2415mm
Track front/rear | 1537mm/1555mm
Length/Width/Height | 3994mm/1819mm/1274mm
Ground Clearance | TBD
Curb Weight | 2860 lbs (1298kg)
Weight Distribution | Near 50%, 52% front per MotorTrend (assumed with driver?)
Curb weight per horsepower | 16.8 lbs

Type | "Lower-Dominant Tube Structure with Hydroformed Rails" (from NAIAS Handout) assume classified as unit body or similar to Corvette.
Body Material | welded steel stampings, "Sheet Hydroformed" outer body panels

SAE volume, front seat | 46 cu ft (estimated based on Miata/S2000)
Front Legroom | 42.7" (Satch's Pont. Dealer)
Front Headroom | 38.5" (Satch's Pont. Dealer)
Front Hiproom | 50" estimated
Front Shoulder Room | 52.4" (Satch's Pont. Dealer)
Cargo Volume | 3.8 cu. ft. top up/ 1.4 cu. Ft, top down (GM Dealerworld)
Seatback Adjustment | TBD degrees
Seat F/A Adjustment | TBD inches

Gauges | 140 MPH speedometer, 8000 RPM tachometer, fuel level only. Assume digital readout of information system, odo, idiot lights for oil temp, water temp, etc.

Front Suspension | Short-long arm, Aluminum control arms (From NAIAS photo)
Front Anti-Roll Bar | TBD diameter, Ball joint links (from tech-chassis photos)
Front Springs | Coil
Front Shocks | Bilstein Monotube Coil-over
Rear Suspension | Short-long arm, Aluminum control arms (From NAIAS photo)
Rear Anti-Roll Bar | TBD diameter, Ball joint links (from tech-chassis photos)
Rear Springs | Coil
Rear Shocks | Bilstein Monotube Coil-over

Steering | Rack & Pinion, Hydraulic Assist
Steering Ratio | TBD
Turns lock-to-lock | TBD
Turning circle curb-to-curb | 10.7 m (Source: GM Dealerworld)

Type | 4 whl disc, hydraulic with vacuum power assist, (estimate: antilock optional)
Front | 11.65" x 1.02" / 296mm x 26mm; vented discs (cars.com/Malibu Maxx suspected reuse-GM info)
Rear | 10.63" x 0.55" / 270mm x 14mm; solid discs (cars.com/Malibu Maxx suspected reuse-GM info)
Total Swept Area | TBD
Swept Area/Ton | TBD

Wheels | 18.0" X 8.0" (various internet sources, magazines quoting 8.0" width 05NAIAS)
Front Tires | P245/45SR18 Goodyear Eagle RS-A
Rear Tires (if different from Front) | Same
Inflation pressure | TBD PSI
Spare Tire and Wheel | Consensus: None, Inflator Kit similar to Corvette, (Satch's Pont. Dealer)

0-30 | TBD
0-40 | TBD
0-50 | TBD
0-60 | 7.2-7.5 seconds estimated by magazines
0-70 | TBD
0-80 | TBD
0-90 | TBD
0-100 | TBD
0-110 | TBD
0-120 | TBD
Street Start, 5-60 | TBD
Top-gear acceleration, 30-50 mph | TBD
Top-gear acceleration, 50-70 mph | TBD
1/4 Mile | TBD sec @ TBD mph
Top Speed | 120-130 MPH estimated, based on Miata/S2000

From 60 MPH (R&T) | TBD
70-0 MPH @ impending lockup | TBD
From 80 MPH (R&T) | TBD
From 100 MPH (MT) | TBD

Roadholding, 300 ft skidpad | 0.90g (Pontiac Website)
Lateral accel, 200 ft skidpad | 0.90g (Pontiac Website)
Understeer | Minimal (expected)
700 ft slalom speed (R&T) | 65-70 mph (based on S2000/Miata capability)
600 ft slalom speed (MT) | 65-70 mph (based on S2000 capability)
7 cone 490 ft slalom (AW) | 47.0 mph (based on S2000 capability)
Figure 8 test (MT) time @ avg. g | 26 sec @ 0.70 g (estimate from S2000)
Lateral Seat Support | estimated as "good" from seat photos

Fuel Economy:
EPA City | 22 mpg (C&D Estimate)
EPA Highway | 28 mpg (C&D Estimate)
Observed | Est 250 miles (85% of fuel capacity at average econ.)
Cruise Range | Est 315 miles (85% of fuel capacity at highway econ.)
Fuel Capacity | 13.3 gal (Satch's Pont. Dealer)

Interior Noise/Sound
Idle | 47 dba (Estimate based on Miata)
Full-throttle Acceleration | 79 dba (Estimate based on Miata)
70-mph cruising | 75 dba (Estimate based on Miata)
Maximum 1st gear | TBD dba
Constant 50-mph | TBD dba


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Question: I noticed you have decibels listed for interior noise and sound. What are decibels, and how loud is 75 Db?

brentil said:
If you're into computers a 6000rpm to 7000rpm CPU heatsink is about 55db.
Problem is with db the value increases by factors of 10 as you go up. A race car with a very open exhaust without a catylitc converter is usually around 105db which is extremely loud.
dls6774 said:
Here's a site that gives sound levels for various things and also a list of various noise levels and how long you can listen before doing damage to your hearing.


An amplified rock band is listed at 120dB
a jackhammer at 130dB
and a 12ga shotgun with an 18" barrel at 161.5 dB

75dB is compared to kitchen appliances. Although they didn't say which ones...
padgett said:
Decibels (db) are an expression of sound *pressure* and is really meaningful when coulpled with a distance (xxx db at xxx feet). One of the old government "emissions" requirements was 50 db at 50 feet for a WOT drive-by.

db is measured on a log scale - it doubles for every 3 db so 87 db is half the sound pressure of 90 db.

For some reason people find very high pressure vibrations pleasurable hence the rise of automotive boom-boxes. I suspect my Beltone stock is going to continue to go up.
Question: I've heard the Solstice is using parts-bin or "reuse" strategy. What type of parts are being re-used?

Most of the re-utilized parts appear to be items that won't significantly affect or will benefit the characteristice of this car, such as performance, ride, handling, or braking. Critical systems, like the suspension and body structure, are new and appear to be optimized to deliver a good, solid car.

Some re-used parts that have been noted so far are:

Front fog lamps: Grand Prix
Rear Back-up Lamps: Envoy/Trailblazer
Seats: Shared with Opel (maybe just the frame?)
Outside Rear View Mirrors: Fiat Barchetta?
Interior AC vents: Lotus Elise or Alfa 156/Fiat
Brakes/Rotors: ION Redline or Malibu Maxx? (suspect, but specs look very close)
Engine: Chevy Cobalt (2.4l), Uplevel F/I unknown, Cobalt S/C possible
Transmission: Aisin 5 spd manual, suspect adapted from Chevy Colorado
Differential: Cadillac CTS (from cars.com overview)
Door Handles: Unknown but mentioned as shared
Gage Cluster: Chevy Cobalt

Additional thread info on parts re-use here:
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Options List, Anticipated Colors, Availability

Question:When will the Solstice be available, for sale, at dealerships? When can I order one? What options will be available? What Colors will be available?
Here is a detailed discussion of the options based on information that was in the GM order system and spotted by a dealer:

GM order information

Conejo148 also posted the early order program rules here: http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=23521&postcount=1 which contained the information of latest options and prices ($USD).

Power Pkg-625
Prem. Pkg-590
Cnv. Pkg-465
Lim Slip-195
Polished Alum Wheel-495
Floor Mats-60
Radio Codes (use order guide)

One of our members, Brentil, has formatted the information into a simulated options sheet with the latest information in options costs.


You can now build up your car using kbb.com

Canadian options costs and information was posted by Bsnowman here: http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1553

Based on cardealer's info, production is anticipated to begin around week 19 of the year 2005 - or around mid-May. This means Solstices should be trickling to dealerships sometime in June, 2005 - assuming the information is still correct.

[Info Update] From Small Dealer's and several other people who have heard from their dealers, the production date might have slipped to May 31.

Some people have gotten mixed messages on this, however, so you must be aware. Cardealer's info is just the latest, and has a ring of accuracy to it, having gotten it directly from the GM ordering site which dealerships use to build customer orders. The official Pontiac site still lists "Fall 05", but Lutz has also been quoted in Esquire as "May 05" for starting production. Many of the autoshows have been saying "summer 05" or "this summer".

There has been some unconfirmed dealership-based rumors of ordering sometime in April or May, but it is unknown how accurate this information is. We all now know about the Early Order Program (EOP). Last known is approx 20,000 people registered for the program after the program was announced on "The Apprentice" on April 14. The first 1000 were sold over a 42 minute period starting at 2:00 ET on April 15, due to server overload problems (otherwise would have sold out immediately). A total of 5000 Solstices were sold through this program. [info compiled through a variety of news sources, including USA Today].

If you're still to lazy to look at the links for options, here is the text of the options:

option text said:
Interior Trim:

192-Ebony Sport Seats w Leather Inserts
19B-Ebony Cloth
312-Light Cashmere Sport Seats w Leather
IP2-Leather Package

Engine and Trans: (no surprises here)

LE5-2.4 L DOHC, 16 valv, 4 cyl, MFI, al
MA5-Transmission, 5-speed manual


C41-HVAC system-heater, outside with fan
C60-Air Conditioning, front manual
D44-Mirrors, outside rearview, clr, man
G80-Limited Slip Differential
J65-Brakes, front disc/rear disc
JL9- Brakes, Anti-Lock
N34-Steering whl, 3 spoke, lthr w cruise c
N45-Steering whl, 3-spoke, urethane
N87-Wheels: 18" Aluminum
QF8-Wheels: 18" Aluminum, Polished
QFX-Tires All: P245/45R18
U1C-Radio, AM/FM, Stereo w seek/scan, CD
U2J-Radio, XM Not Desired
U2K-XM Satellite Digital Sound System
UE0-OnStar Delete (Fleet Only)
UQ3-Monsoon Spkr Sys-Perfmnc Enhncd Audio
US8-Radio, AM/FM Stereo, sk/scn, CD, clk, ETR
US9-Radio, AM/FM Stereo, sk/scn, ETR, MP3, RD
UW5-Six Speaker System
ZQ2-Power Package
ZQ3-Convenience Package

There appear to be too many radio options listed. I'm betting there will be 2 radios available. A CD player, and a CD/MP3 player. This is preliminary data too. Some of the stuff was misspelled and I had to correct it. In the options codes it also listed production weeks. The first week listed was "Production Week 19" which puts it in the May timeframe.

ZQ2 is probably power windows and locks
ZQ3 has always been the option code for tilt and cruise

Colors in GM Dealerworld (links to photoshop examples of color on Solstice):

25U-Dark Blue (Same code used on full size trucks and SUV's)
34U-Yellow (Same code as yellow on Sunfires and Cavaliers)
38U-Emerald Green Metallic (Same code as Envoy's Green color)
41U-Black (Generic)
42U-Dark Tarnished Silver Metallic (New color-don't know what it looks like, but appears to be the Cadillac CTS "silver smoke")
67U-Liquid Silver Metallic (Corporate Silver they have on everything, e.g. Silver on SSR)
74U-Victory Red (Bright red seen on trucks, Cavalier)

And a color chip of the expected colors is here:
Color Chip of all 7 Colors
Latest information indicates that Yellow may have been eliminated and been replaced by White. This is based on early dealership information, which has not been confirmed.

Question: What about heated seats? Height adjustable seats?
Answer: At this time, it doesn't look like they are available.
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Weight, Vehicle Weight

Question: I've heard the Solstice is heavy. Is this true?

Answer: While a curb weight of 2860 lbs seems heavy for a two seater car, it is actually an appropriate weight for a car of this size.

General dimensions are 1" narrower than a Corvette C6, wheelbase just a bit shorter than a Honda S2000. For its size, 2860 lbs is pretty good - the Honda S2000 weighs about the same as this ('02 about 2840 lbs., '04 about 2870 lbs), and the BMW Z4 and Z3 tip the scales at over 3000 lbs.

For more in-depth discussion on appropriate weight check out these threads:

Weight Issues
Is 2860 the weight? and what do you think .....
Weight on Autoline Detroit

A Chart of several vehicle size and their weights

and another Chart of vehicle dimensions, weight and power

were the byproduct of these discussions.
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Automatic Transmission

Question: Will and automatic transmission be available? If so, when?

Answer: Some articles have mentioned at some time an automatic transmission will be available, but not at the beginning. General estimate is either available half-way through the Solstice first year of production, or sometime during the second year of production. There has been no official mention of the timing for an automatic transmission.

February 20, 2005 update - according to a Canadian broadcast in relation to the Canadian Auto Show, an automatic trans has been rumored to be available about 6 months after Solstice availability.

March 20, 2005 update - from some dealership constraint information posted by conejo148, a 5 speed automatic transmission looks like it may be available in February, 2006.
Top Questions

Question: Will there be a retractable hardtop, or a coupe version? What about a vehicle like the Curve or Nomad shown at the 04 North American International Auto Show?

Answer: Based on information from recent (2005) news articles, there are no plans for anything at this time past the three variations of the "Kappa" platform (Solstice, Saturn Sky, and an European Exported Version).

Question: Will a powered soft top or a power top or power roof be available?
Answer: Based on all available information, only a soft top manually-operated (manual operation) convertible top will be available.

Question: Will the soft top be made of vinyl?
Answer: Based on available information, No. It appears to be a cloth manual top.

Question: What about the rear window? Vinyl or Glass?
Answer: Glass. An article in AutoWeek mentions a glass rear window in the cloth manual top. We also know rear window defogger/defroster is available (from interior pictures and suspected options) - which cannot be used on a vinyl window. Recently, from the Lutz blog, it states clealy the rear is Glass.

Question: Will the top come in optional colors?
Answer: At this time, the only known color is black. This is not completely certain.

Pictures are attached of the top up - various sources, none of which are "true production" models.

Most recent pics have been posted here:
March 17, 2005, from grandamgt.com


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Question: How does the Solstice stack up against other competitors?


There is a GM Training Tri-fold PDF available that compares the Solstice to the new NC MX-5 Miata.


A comparison of roadsters and convertibles was compiled by brentil here:


An excel version is available to download, courtesy of brentil,in the following attachment.


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Buttress, AFBTS, Top Operation

What is an AFBTS? Is it an acronym? If so what does it stand for?

It stands for Artsy-Fartsy Buttress Top Support. It's an inside joke reference for the non-functional wedge-shaped extensions that are part of the top. They extend from the flat plane of the back glass to points on the decklid. Reference a picture of the top up.

You may see them called "wings", "winglets", "thingies", or "buttresses".

At this time, it appears they release with some sort of actuation, either through a trunk release or a key fob, to allow access to the trunk. Reference top actuation for suspicions on how the top operates.

At this time, their only "function" appears to be styling-related only, hence the "artsy-fartsy" nomenclature, and may hinder smooth operation of the top. "Artsy-fartsy" is a reference to features that affect form only with no or detrimental effect on function.

Before anyone asks, AFBTS can be referred to through the letters of the acronym, but it's also acceptable to prounounce it as "Aff - butts".
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Higher HP, Removable/Retractable Hardtop, Coupe, Trunk Capacity

Question: Will there be a higher horsepower engine available? If so, what form will it be and how much will it cost?

Answer: Officially, only subtle hints have been given by GM/Pontiac about a more powerful Solstice coming. Consensus from some magazine articles is around 240 HP, but no committment on whether it is a turbo or supercharged. Highest probability is some sort of forced induction. There is no information on when it might be available, but most certainly will not be available anytime during the first model year. It will likely cost whatever the market will bear, a question that will have to be answered at a future date.

Question: I noticed that the Canadian GM/Pontiac website says a 2.2l supercharged 240hp ecotech will be available on the Solstice. It also lists... and has pictures of the Solstice that clearly shows a start button... that it's off the delta platform...

Answer: Unfortunately, the Canadian website is very inaccurate and approximately 2 years out of date. Many individuals have sent messages for the website to update to the current information, but for whatever reason, it remains incorrect. The pictures and information are of the 2002 Solstice CONCEPT, a pieced-together car that won first place as "best concept" at the 2002 NAIAS. The Solstice has it's own vehicle architecture, or platform, called Kappa.

Question: Will there be a removable hardtop, retractable hardtop, or any type of roof other than the soft-top shown? What about a Coupe?

Answer: It does not currently look like there will be any type of replacement top available for the first year of production. There has been no word or information from GM that supports availability of anything other than a rag-top.

GM/Pontiac showed a coupe at the 2002 NAIAS. It was a non-driveable styling exercise. GM has not given any indication of producing the coupe.

Question: How much can I fit in the trunk?

Answer: Estimates are 4 cubic feet with the top up and 2 cubic feet with the top down, based on a magazine article written by someone who actually drove a Solstice in England. The Mazda Miata and the Honda S2000 have approximately 5 cubic feet of trunk space.

Pictures taken by one of our members at an autoshow of the trunk in one of the show Solstices. There is no top present. Not everyone agrees, but the most likely function of the "hump" is the gas tank.

A picture of an early rendition of the top design (in clay) is also attached [from a no-longer-internet-available May 2002 Popular Science TOC May 2002 PopSci article on the rapid design of the Solstice entitled "Speed Record: How GM Supercharged the Solstice Launch" or "Speed Record: How GM Supercharged the Solstice Launch" alternate link

May 14, 2005 update: Pictures of trunk interior of a "plant-built" Solstice taken by Delaware Buddy, at a Wilmington Assembly Plant Car Show:
(shows that GA73's pictures were VERY accurate picture of the trunk)


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Driving Impressions

Question Has anyone ever driven a Solstice? What were their impressions?

Answer Yes, there were four or magazines that drove the Solstice in February 2004 and wrote articles in June 2004 about the trip. It apparently took place in England. Part of the ride took place at Brooklands(?) and another part took place at Goodwood Race Course.

Links to the online articles is available here:

Test Mule Article Links
How does the top work? Top Operation? Convertible Top FAQ

Question:How does the top work? How long does it take? Do I have to get out of the car?

Answer: FIRST: right now, we don't exactly know. The most likely scenario is based on part information from someone who participated in a "customer review" of some sort, with other bits and parts of articles, such as this one:

AutoWeek article on England "Test Mule" Drive said:
...Before letting us slip in behind the wheel, the GM engineers folded down the mechanical top. The process starts by twisting a latch on the inside that releases the top from the header, and then opening the trunk in reverse fashion. There are a couple of wings at the rear of the top that fold inward, and then you're ready to fold the top down into the trunk. After the top is stowed, the trunk lid can be closed and the finished look is clean with no need for a boot. There is very little cargo room in the car, even with the top up. There is no space behind the seats for any storage, so unless a cargo rack is added, judicious packing is required for even weekend trips. Don't even think of bringing your golf clubs.
Lots of discussion about top operation here: Convertible Top FAQ / Pictures

We do know or suspect this:

-The end result is a clean look with the top stowed in the trunk.
-It seems most likely you'll have to get out of the car some time to deal with th AFBTS's (see previous FAQ or search).
-It looks like it will take longer than a Miata to drop the top if you don't count the addition of the tonneau cover for the Miata. It looks like it would take less time to open the top on the Solstice than it would take to drop the top and install the tonneau snap-on cover on either the Honda S2000 or the Miata.
-The top takes up storage space in the trunk when stowed(about half - see previous questions)
-It seems highly likely that you will be able to access the trunk with the top remaining up. It is unknown how the AFBTS's are dealt with, but suspect a logical operation would couple the motion with the opening of the decklid.
-It looks like there is two guidepins of some sort (or at least there appear to be sockets for them in the header), with one central latch, the reciever for which is visible in most pictures taken at many different auto shows across the country.

Based on information available, looking at many, many photos taken at shows, and assessing the myriad information sources (some of which seem very dubious), it appears the top should operate something like this:

top operation suspicion said:
From Driver's Seat
1) Pop Decklid (unlatches AFBTS also), possibly from inside button, lever-cable release, or FOB
2) Unlatch ONE center latch (all pictures support only one central latch, not two).
3) Get out of car and stow the roof.
4) Close the Decklid

Or at least that's what seems to make the most sense. Maybe a minute?

To put it up, the most logical method would be:
1) Pop Decklid (? using button, lever-cable release or FOB)
2) Get out and raise decklid
3) Unstow the roof

Then either:
4a) Get in and latch the roof
5a) Get back out and close the decklid
6a) Walk to passenger side and latch the passenger side AFBTS (mechanism unknown)
7a) Walk back to the driver's side and latch the driver's side AFBTS (ibid)
8a) Get in driver's seat

4b) Close Decklid
5b) Walk to passenger side and latch the passenger side AFBTS
6b) Walk back to the driver's side and latch the driver's side AFBTS
7b) Get in driver's seat
8b) Latch the central latch
Thread with video footage on top operation. Total video = 59 seconds. Approximately 35 seconds up, approximately 25 seconds down.

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Development Time, Milestones

Question: So how long has the development of the Solstice really taken? What are the significant milestones? How long did it take to "design" it?

Answer: It depends on how you count the 'start', and how you count the 'available to public' or 'production' date.

Since the official statements are "Fall 2005", we'll use that as available to public, "production" date.

-From first initial idea to production (Fall 2001 to Fall 2005), 4 years.
-From decision and initial design, but not approved program (guessed at late 2002, from articles talking about 'feasibility studies' to Fall 2005), Approx 3 years
-From first prototypes to production (Mid 2003-Fall 2005) 2 1/2 Years

Likely time to be cited is about 3 years to production for a brand new platform - probably the quickest new platform design and development to production in the last 35 years.

Here's a look at the main parts of the history of the Solstice so far:

August-Sept 2001: Lutz has internal "contest" to determine a new, clean, back-to-basics design for a youth-roadster. Solstice, designed by Franz VonHolzhausen, was chosen.

January 2002: Solstice roadster debuts at NAIAS - it's a hit! Hmmm, Lutz starts thinking... (4 months from concept sketches to "barely running" concept car)

Mid-Late 2002: rumors from lutz and wagoner that they will build the Solstice from the "parts bin", nothing official, looking for platform

January 2003: Smith announces intent to build the Solstice, GM says "studying feasibility"

May 2003: Lutz admits prototypes are being evaluated at Milford Proving Ground, not an approved program

July 2003: Delaware assembly plant looks like where they will build it

August 2003: Prototype caught on road - suggests announcement close

Jan 2004: "Productionized" Solstice shown along with the VX lightning and two other 2+2 Kappa-based concepts - VX shows well, some support for Nomad and Curve (but not runaway hit like solstice in 2002), Solstice still a hit, announced that program is a "GO"

Feb 2004: Some journalists allowed to drive prototypes (Mules) in England

Mar 2004: A Saturn Kappa announced, no details

April 2004: Nomad not well received in clinics (press likes, public luke-warm)

May-June 2004: Articles about the journalist drive start coming out

January 2005: Saturn Sky announced to follow as the next variant of the "Kappa" platform. Debuts at the '05 NAIAS, warmly received.

January 2005: An European variant of the "Kappa" announced to be produced after the Sky, built in same plant (Wilmington Assy, Delaware).

May 2005: (Based on latest rumors) Solstices start production for public Sale.

July 2005: Production actually starts (slowly)

August 2005: Keys to VIN 000001 handed over at party in Detroit. Few other people start taking first 1000 deliveries.

September/October 2005: Most first 1000 deliveries complete, regular allocation production begins!
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Front License Plate Location?

Question: I live in a state that requires a front plate. Where will it go on my Solstice?

Answer: Visual anecdotal evidence from a very few sightings of Solstices on-road implies centered between the grilles and slightly above center height relative to the grilles.
Interior, Gages, Cupholders

Question: Are there any cupholders?
Answer: It appears there are three - one that comes out of a side panel on the passenger side of the console, and two that come out of a tray in the center of the back of the console, under the storage bin. See attached pics.

Question: What about Gages (Gauges)?
Answer: Based on interior pictures, there appear to be only a Tachometer, speedometer, and fuel gage. There's also a "Driver Information Center" or DIC, that is expected to work like the DIC in a Trailblazer. There may be additional information (like temperature, mileage, etc.) but the actual DIC content is unknown at this time.


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Available Options Optional Equipment Options Packages Options Available

Updated information as of 3/11/05 -

From GM's Dealerworld, http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/NASApp/do...hicleID=2053&section=modelhome&page=&butID=1#,

Apparently accurate optional content, specs, etc. Available in PDF below:

Provided by Satch (thanks!):





*5-SPEED AUTO TRANS.early 2006
*18 POLISHED OR CHROME WHEELS september 2006




POWER 177 hp @6600rpm
TORQUE [email protected]
0-60 7.2 SEC






These came from a post with information apparently from a dealership.

There is some question on the actually available colors (white may not be available, yellow may still be available).


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I've seen a couple of new acronyms. What's an AFLRV? What about a UMCSC? What is the FUGTMPL or "Mayan Pyramid" or "Mayan Temple"?

The AFLRV referrs to the honeycombed panel on the rear fascia. It came about from a discussion on what it is and how difficult it will be to modify or clean it:
Rear Honeycomb Dirt Disaster
The acronym stands for Artsy-Fartsy Lower Rear Valence.

"Artsy-Fartsy" has become the term to describe features that have no real function, or may even counteract good function, in deference to appearance only. (see also AFBTS)

Generally accepted pronounciation is "AFF-lurv" with optional pronounciation "A-flarv" perfectly acceptable.

The UMCSC stands for Universal Mazda Convertible Sports Car, partly an inside joke that the third generation of the Miata MX-5 may be dropping the name "Miata" and going with only "MX-5". Since it was difficult to keep trying to call the Miata the MX-5, a member by the name of jimbo genererated the acronym as a reference to the apparent tendency of Mazda to name their vehicles using alphanumeric designations.

Acceptable pronunciation is just the letters spelled out by themselves. This is because the origin of the designator came from an extension of an alphanumeric car name. The pronounciation of UMCSC may change if the rest of the world begins to refer to the MX-5 as a "Mix-five".


FUGTMPL stands for Fouled Up Gas Tank Mayan Pyramid Layout. Also known as the "Mayan Pyramid" or "Mayan Temple", it refers to the peculiar blocky, pyramid-shaped hump seen inside the trunk of the Solstice. Presumably, as deduced from many sources, the FUGTMPL houses the fuel tank, and possibly support equipment for the fuel tank (top of sender, evaporation cannister, fill tube, etc.).

Normal pronunciation of the acronym is "fug' - tem - pul". Use your imagination if "fouled-up" is not a strong enough term for the layout and placement of the tank.
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Pontiac Dealerships, Number of, allocation

Question: How many Pontiac dealerships are there in the U.S.? How many Solstices will each one get per year to sell? How are the cars allocated to each of the dealerships? Will I be forced to pay a markup on the car?

Answer: According to the following pdf, 2000 Dealership Census (PDF file), in the year 2000 there were 2,830 Pontiac Franchises, with an average of 192 Pontiac sales per franchise. The number of Canadian Pontiac franchises is unknown at this time.

As far as how each Solstice is allocated to which dealership, here's a quote from eatoninside:
eatoninside said:
...Regular allocation of Solstices (after the first 1,000) are based 50% on how many Pontiacs the dealer sells and 50% on whether it is a 'roadster' market. Let's say you're a huge Pontiac dealer in an area that GM considers not to be a market for roadsters. That means your allocations will be seriously affected because they don't see it as a place where 'roadsters' sell...
... On some previous new vehicle launches (I think G6 was one of them) they decided it would be best to send a majority of the hot new product to areas where they weren't selling because they said they were 'areas for potential growth.'... ...So, instead of sending them where they were selling well and where people were waiting for them, they were sending cars to places where people weren't buying them...
So, the allocation of your dealership depends on how many Pontiacs they sell, and whether it is considered a higher-sales-volume "roadster" market. It can be assumed there are no hard and fast rules, and dealerships can trade allocations or vehicles as they see fit. Some dealers may get 10-20 per year, some dealers possibly zero or one Solstice per year. Only time will tell.

Regarding dealership markup (also known as 'gouging'), the MSRP is exatly that: the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. It is generally understood that the dealership (other than special allocations or early-order/special-order programs with stipulations) are allowed to sell any of their cars at whatever the market price will bear.

Some dealers have gone to a "no more than MSRP" pricing policy, other dealers will charge whatever anyone is willing to pay. The 'gouging' policy can backfire, damping initial sales (such as what seems to have happened with the GTO, and possibly the Chevy SSR), but again GM has no direct control or ability to require to have a "maximum" price on any vehicle they sell.

Will YOU be gouged for a Solstice? Only if you pay the asked price, and if that asked price is above MSRP. There will be many dealerships across the United States that will be charging MSRP, so if you can wait you may try many different dealerships across the nation to buy one at MSRP, if you dealer has decided to add "additional dealer profit" (gouging).
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More Top Pictures:

WannaSolstice found these recent pics on www.grandamgt.com and they were put up there by one of the snowboarding members who happened to have his camera with him: First from Alex

3/7/05 Dateline Copper Mountain, CO

Alex, otherwise known as ViperGTSR 500HP reported on a GrandAm blog:

So me and my friend pat are here in Colorado skiing and snowboarding at Copper Mountain, and one morning we look out our window to see a new Solstice in all black toolin around the parking lot. I look a little more into it and it definitely has a michigan plate.

So anyway this morning we saw about 6 of them in the parking lot. My guess is they are testing the altitude ability of the car? We are currently at 9,000 feet so its possible.

I HATED the concept vehicle, thought it was the ugliest thing ive ever seen, but i really like how it looks right now, id be tempted to buy it...maybe.


breaking news. we saw the 6 of them sitting in the hotel parking lot onm out way back from boarding and decided to get a closer look.
We actualy talked to one of the guys and he said that:
that is the performance version of the Solstice
it has about 200hp
they have been testing for a week
and they are working out of farmington hills.

the cars are MANGLED to hell, looks like theyve been rolled . the front bumper on all but one are primered with no grill with wires hangin out


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