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For the newbies....

When you hear us referrring to the England test mule articles it's from last May/June when all the major car magazines published articles of a test drive they got in an engineering test Solstice ("mule"). These tests where done over in England last Feb 2004. They contain a lot of first-hand information by the reporters on hand during this test.

I've added this to the general FAQ as well.

Remember these were not production cars but works in progress that date back 6 months now so many of the issues reported hopefully have been fixed. I have all the articles at home and will try to scan them in.

Test mule articles from May/June 2004:
MotorTrend
AutoWeek
CarDriver

Automobile does not seem to have their article on the web (June issue).
Corrected by Mod: Automobile Magazine Article
 

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Good idea to post those links! I know we keep referring back to them and confusing people who didn't catch them! Thanks!! :thumbs
 

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mceb said:
For the newbies....

When you hear us referrring to the England test mule articles it's from last May/June when all the major car magazines published articles of a test drive they got in an engineering test Solstice ("mule"). These tests where done over in England last Feb 2004. They contain a lot of first-hand information by the reporters on hand during this test.

I've added this to the general FAQ as well.

Remember these were not production cars but works in progress that date back 6 months now so many of the issues reported hopefully have been fixed. I have all the articles at home and will try to scan them in.

Test mule articles from May/June 2004:
MotorTrend
AutoWeek
CarDriver

Automobile does not seem to have their article on the web (June issue).

Try this site http://autoshow.edmunds.com/future/2006/pontiac/solstice/100380124/preview.html

Test drive at 20 mph but I wish I had driven the test car if only 5 mph.
Tombugg :nopity
 

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Fformula88 said:
:yesnod yeah, news sure has been slow lately. :sleep
Wouldn't it be great if Pontiac would at least release some new pictures for us to look at? They appearently have these other prototypes running around in the streets, so how 'bout some pictures, drawings, or just a little tiny new info for the faithful? Pontiac, you're killin' us over here! :banghead
 

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AeroDave said:
Wouldn't it be great if Pontiac would at least release some new pictures for us to look at? They appearently have these other prototypes running around in the streets, so how 'bout some pictures, drawings, or just a little tiny new info for the faithful? Pontiac, you're killin' us over here! :banghead
What they should really do is invite all the rags back to England or wherever they have those test mules right now and give them another ride. They must be close to having the final suspension tuning in place, and it would be nice to see a comparison between how they drove 6 months ago, and how their changes have affected the car since then!

Put just some more pictures would be nice too! :cheers
 

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AeroDave said:
Wouldn't it be great if Pontiac would at least release some new pictures for us to look at? They appearently have these other prototypes running around in the streets, so how 'bout some pictures, drawings, or just a little tiny new info for the faithful? Pontiac, you're killin' us over here! :banghead
I haven't seen anything new for weeks. I guess entertain yourself by photoshoping pictures.
 

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Weeks? It's more like months actually. The edmunds.com article was really the last bit of news we've gotten at all back in July. There was the dream cruise images, but those weren't really news.
 

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I don’t expect to see much news now until sometime around January and the auto show season. Then I would expect tons of news about the Saturn version as well as more details regarding the launch of the Solstice.
 

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Complimentary quotes

I found myself with the urge to test drive some of the current roadsters this winter since I sold my 350Z last month. In order to stop myself from an impulse purchase before the Solstice comes out, I reviewed 5 test mule articles and put all the complimentary quotes into one organized file. When you view them together, you realize that the transmission, the handling and ride, the engine, and the accommodations (barring the trunk space) all get great compliments from at least 4 of the 5 sources! I highly recommend this exercise for anyone having second thoughts about the car. If the production version is as good or better, it should be worth the wait.
 

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tcl; I for one would be interested in a "owner" review (warts and all) of your 350 Z. If you are so inclined maybe a off topic thread entitled "Rides" (or something) that will give you and others a place to review current cars that they have owned or have driven. This might be a good way to put everyone on the same page when "we" get our first shot at driving the Solstice or Sky.
 

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Chip said:
tcl; I for one would be interested in a "owner" review (warts and all) of your 350 Z. If you are so inclined maybe a off topic thread entitled "Rides" (or something) that will give you and others a place to review current cars that they have owned or have driven. This might be a good way to put everyone on the same page when "we" get our first shot at driving the Solstice or Sky.
Chip, I started the thread as you suggested. Here it is:

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=771
 

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Discussion Starter #15
tcl said:
I reviewed 5 test mule articles and put all the complimentary quotes into one organized file.
Any chance you can post the content of your file?
 

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mceb said:
Any chance you can post the content of your file?
Yes, here are the quotes organized by topic area:

Handling and Ride

The chassis is a peach. It rides well over bumpy British secondary roads and feels composed and faithful. At Goodwood, it was really impressive, turning into corners with minimal understeer and roll, staying flat and neutral all the way through. (Automobile Magazine)

Solstice's rack-and-pinion steering is quick and responsive (Autoweek)

we found the suspension firm but not harsh, easily smoothing out much of the roughness of the road. The mostly aluminum chassis seemed superb, with no indication of any flex over the rough roads. (Autoweek)

the mules we drove were quick and light on their feet. … ride was good, with plenty of compliance, yet there's a taut, feel-the-pavement-texture sensation as well. (Motor Trend)

Transmission

The gearbox is from Aisin, the company that supplies the superb six-speed employed in the Honda S2000. Its crisp action, augmented by an excellent heel-and-toe pedal layout, promises to make the Solstice a treat to operate on sports-car roads. (Car & Driver)

The five-speed gearbox is slick, with short throws and a narrow gate. The ratios are nicely spaced (Automobile Magazine)

The five-speed manual gearbox shifts nicely, with good feel and moderately short throws. (Motor Trend)

The shifter felt good moving through the gears, with short throws to distinct engagements (Edmunds)


Engine

The engine felt strong, easily propelling the 2860-pound car, with an aggressive exhaust note. …. At no time did the car feel underpowered (Autoweek)

lots of midrange pull, decent top-end power, and a sporty rasp under hard throttle (Automobile Magazine)

delivers decent thrust, crisp response, and a suitably raspy voice above 4000 rpm. …. flexibility and smoothness across the rev range are great. (Motor Trend)

engineers worked more than a year to achieve the proper exhaust tone, which is said to reflect both the Solstice's sporty nature and its alluring sheet metal. (Edmunds)

Accommodations

At a bit more than six feet tall, we had no problem finding a comfortable driving position with decent legroom and great shoulder room. At no time did we feel cramped or uncomfortable. (Autoweek)

Compared with a Mazda Miata, which is cramped for bigger people and which you tend to sit on rather than in, the Solstice envelops the driver and has lots of room. Wind flow around the cabin, even with the windows down, is brilliantly managed, with hardly any backdraft making it into the cabin. (Automobile Magazine)

The seating position is just about ideal. It's high enough to provide a good sense of all four corners, and decent-sized side mirrors create good sightlines. It's also low enough, and the door sills tall enough, to make us feel close to the asphalt and in a sporting frame of mind. (Edmunds)

Top-down wind management also benefits from this low positioning; a six-foot driver feels minor buffeting atop the head, but can easily carry on a conversation. (Motor Trend)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks TCL, great job. I haven't read those articles in a while so it does provide a nice memory boost.
 

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mceb said:
Thanks TCL, great job. I haven't read those articles in a while so it does provide a nice memory boost.
No problem. Doing it kept me from prematurely shopping for something this winter and most likely regretting it later.
 
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