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Discussion Starter #1
I had the pleasure of checking out a Solstice in great detail this past weekend. I even drove it to Hell, MI then back to Detroit. There are not many twisty roads in Detroit so we headed west to Hell. Plenty of great country roads to test out the dynamics of the car. The Solstice blasted through these roads in style.

As many of you already stated the Solstice is really great looking car. I think the exterior is spot on. The interior is basically cool. Some of the plastics are a bit cheap but the design is pretty good. Ergonomics are good. You sit quite deep in this car. The sills are high giving a solid feeling. Entry & exit is easy enough. Side view mirrors look cool but are a bit too small.

Acceleration is brisk but not really too fast. The car handles fairly well. It feels very solid and comfortable. I would have no problems driving this car from MI to CA. The tires are a good compromise for most. I'd like them to be a bit stickier and would be willing to give up some longevity for additional stick. The stick shift feels good. Heel 'n toe downshifts can be done without much effort. Steering is light - maybe too light - but still fairly direct. Steering corrections during mid turn can be a bit vague (over boosted). The brakes need a bit more initial bite for aggressive driving. For the most part they feel pretty solid. The exhaust note is too quiet. The seats are very comfortable but need some more bolstering for really spirited driving.

Overall I think the Solstice hits the mark for the intended audience. Not as nimble as a Miata but much more comfortable and solid in feel. Pontiac has a hit on their hands!! :lurk:
 

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Supposedly they are using better stuff for the production cars then the pre-production mules from Bob Lutz a quote a couple weeks back from the GM Fastlane.

"Compared to earlier pre-production examples, these cars had the latest air induction system for vastly reduced induction noise, and a freer (but still legal) exhaust system, which produces a very pleasant sporting exhaust note and adds greatly to the character of the car."

So maybe that gripe can be taken of from the get go.
 

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Grand Slam

:agree: That Pontiac has a hit on their hands.

When I tell people I am buying a Pontiac, then show them the Solstice pictures the universal response is

"That's a Pontiac!!!!"

The appeal of this car is amazing. We have Chemist who cycles to work; Satch a motorbiker sidelined by an accident and a whole host of other folks with sports cars in their past looking for new fun ride. :cool:

Sure there are compromises, but that is what the aftermarket folks make a living from. I'm going to be having too much fun driving this car to worry about anything but finding an interesting route.

Goodbye freeways, hello to the longest distance between two points. ;)
 

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Fortyninenorth said:
:agree:
Sure there are compromises, ;)
For the masses that have grown up never knowing a car that did not have A/C standard and luxo this and luxo that, sure the Sol is a step back. But it is not a step back technologically or performance-wise considering what it reinvents, the great North American Roadster. We that have suffered while smiling the foibles of Lucas electrics and non-synchro first gear with only 4 total and a top that only loses its wrinkles at speed hail the Sol as a modern miracle. And it will outrun, in standard trim, a ton of sports cars from the past as well as give some 60's muscle cars something to think about as they cautiously look in their rearview mirrors, wondering..."Is that a Stock Sol, a GXP or a Mallet Sledgehammer?"
 

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A lot of what you are commenting on are "tunable" items that were balanced with all aspects of the car. Where you think the steering is light, others think it is heavy. Where you call the brakes needing more initial bite, I call it good modulation effort (generally higher efforts allow better brake modulation). You want stickier tires, I need some winter capability.

Not that your or my evaluations are wrong, just showing there is always two sides of every coin.

Some things (like overall vehicle size) cannot be overcome, no matter what the tunings are set to. Almost by definition, a Corvette cannot be as nimble as a Solstice, which cannot be as nimble as a miata, nor can a miata be as nimble as a Lotus Elise.
 

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achieftain said:
We that have suffered while smiling the foibles of Lucas electrics and non-synchro first gear with only 4 total and a top that only loses its wrinkles at speed hail the Sol as a modern miracle.
Don't forget about having to double clutch from 3rd into 2nd because the synchro mesh was worn out. Or the 1/2 inch of water in the floor boards any time it rainied.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
solsticeman said:
Some things (like overall vehicle size) cannot be overcome, no matter what the tunings are set to.
This is not entirely true. The EVO feels more nimble than the Solstice and it is bigger/heavier. BUT the EVO delivers a much harsher ride. So if Pontiac was willing to compromise ride comfort they could have 'overcome' the vehicle size issue. The huge wheels on the Solstice look awesome but probably hurt nimbleness as they are heavy. I suspect the designers won this debate over the vehicle dynamics engineers.

Regardless, I believe Pontiac hit the mark. The Solstice is quite sweet. I'm looking forward to getting our PURE. :thumbs:
 

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Thanks for the review! Aside from the bathtub effect, I am just in total love with this car. Word of the nimbeness is great. Assuming I can overcome the sit-in feel of the car, this is the car for me!

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fortyninenorth said:
When I tell people I am buying a Pontiac, then show them the Solstice pictures the universal response is

"That's a Pontiac!!!!"

The appeal of this car is amazing.
I agree. I used to work at the Pontiac Fiero plant and would get the same reaction from people who saw a Fiero for the first time! The Solstice brings back some of this amazement in onlookers. :cool:

Wait till these little beauties hit the road in mass. The general public has yet to see this car. When they do the sales are going to go through the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Adrenaline said:
"Compared to earlier pre-production examples, these cars had the latest air induction system for vastly reduced induction noise, and a freer (but still legal) exhaust system, which produces a very pleasant sporting exhaust note and adds greatly to the character of the car."
The intake on the car is really amazing. There are two resonance chambers designed to quiet down intake noise. One before the filter and one after the MAF. It really is an amazing bit of engineering. I suspect there are a few normally aspirated ponies hiding in there - at least for those folk who don't want their Solstice to be Lexus quiet. ;)
 

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One note from going through the car. The pre-production models have a huge intake muffler up behind the front bumper. I mean this was really large considering the size of the engine. If this is the one that is actually used on productions models then I need to remove it. I know the noise will increase 5 folds when I do, but that thing has to be restrictive!
 

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This thing is loaded with intake resonators as well? God forbid a sporty car has a little growl to it! I'm going to need an extra garage for storing all the stock silencers I have to take off all my vehicles. :lol:
 

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I think they hit the mark too, especially with car enthusiasts. But I'm not sure how many in the mainstream public will want a two-seater convertible.

I would think for many who buy Sols, it will be an additional car, not one that is used as an everyday commuter car. So how many regular Joes are going to shell out $25K for an additional car?
 

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Soul Stiz said:
I think they hit the mark too, especially with car enthusiasts.
So how many regular Joes are going to shell out $25K for an additional car?
I am!!! With this price point I think it becomes an affordable 2nd car. I have wanted to replace my Fiat for quite sometime now, but wasn't willing to pay the price for some of the 2 seater roadsters like the BMW or Audi and I don't like the looks of the Miata. I pretty much gave up hope until I saw this car, even though I wasn't sure it would ever go into production, but now it is reality and I will own a play car.
 

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Soul Stiz said:
I think they hit the mark too, especially with car enthusiasts. But I'm not sure how many in the mainstream public will want a two-seater convertible.

I would think for many who buy Sols, it will be an additional car, not one that is used as an everyday commuter car. So how many regular Joes are going to shell out $25K for an additional car?
this one is....for the second car.....my hottie will be the prime driver....since we are replacing her 96 Bronco with this one.....25K today isnt that much for a automobile compared to the market these days.....I believe I saw somewhere where the average price of a car these days is almost 22K....of course that is an average......

Wasnt there a poll some time ago about the ages of the solstice owners...I would bet that the 30 and younger crowd will use it as a primary vehicle...and lets say...late 30s and older will use it as a second cruiser.....

thoughts?
 

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PAO said:
I would bet that the 30 and younger crowd will use it as a primary vehicle...and lets say...late 30s and older will use it as a second cruiser.....

thoughts?
Sounds logical. I fit the over 30 (40) 2nd car category.
 
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