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I'm a loyal Pontiac owner that has only strayed from the fold once... to buy my current favorite drive... a used 97 Miata M-edition. I have been eagerly awaiting the option of a competent roadster from Pontiac. I've even accrued $3500 GM card dollars in anticipation.

I love the externals on the Solstice... great looking car. But there is one showstopper that kills the deal for me. TRUNK SPACE. I drive my Miata on long trips, e.g. a glorious top down drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway coming back from the Tail of the Dragon.

I need the space for a weeks worth of luggage for my wife and me. I can do it in my Miata. If you put the top down on the Solstice there's hardly enough romm for a change of underwear, let alone a weeks worth of clothing for a couple. I hate to say it, but this is a deal killer. If I cashed my GM dollars I'd get a base Solstice for $16,500. What a deal! However, I'll probably wait and buy the new NC MX-5 and pay thousands more... just to get a car I can take on trips.

Pontiac blew it with the gas tank placement. By the way, this is the same defect that made the GTO a no-go for me. What are they thinking? Is the smog that bad in Michigan that it destroiys brain cells? :willy: :willy:
 

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If GM would go to a molded fuel cell in the Soltice they could get rid of the intrusive tank and gain the needed trunk space. Just my idea.
 

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Trunk space is a common complaint here on the forum. Sorry to hear its not adequate enough for you. Your certainly not alone in desiring enough to pack for a road trip.

I still hold out some hope that the production car will have a slightly better tank solution, although they certainly are not going to be able to make the trunk cavernous.

There has been some talk about an attachable trunk that might snap onto the trunklid which will be available from GM too, for a little added space.
 

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Dont get me started on the gas tank again :brentil:
&[email protected]%$*^**#[email protected]$&#@ to the IDIOT that made that STUPID^$&[email protected]^%#.
Man If I Could Only Have A One On One With That Moron That Said "Hey guys I got a great idea! Lets put the gas tank in the trunk! And make it SOOOOO tall that nobody can even put anything in there,....THAT WOULD BE GREAT! What do ya guys think?" THEN SOME IDIOT SAID "OK"!
I am not a fan of the KAPPA trunk, can you tell?
 

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In also hope and pray that there will be a formed gas tank. I am completely surprised at gm for not putting one in there. How could you build such a beautiful car and then skimp on the trunk. A formed gastank could make that trunk useful and when you have runs of 20,000 minimum and then up to 60,000? when the sky and vauxhaul come into production how could you not spread that cost out. If it meant that the base price would be 20,500 instead of 19,995 i would gladly pay the extra. Come on GM, if you leave that trunk the way it is you are going to end up with a lame duck that cannot compete with a miata. While i still love this car styling wise if i cannot use it for a weekend trip or hell to pick up some groceries that will most likely be a deal breaker since I cannot afford to have numerous vehicles.
 

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One quick question to the more informed peoiple in the forum. I know that a formed gas tank costs more than a generic box type, but how much more? and does that price take into the fact that they will be making 40 -60 k of these a year?
 

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Windblown,

First, welcome to the forum! :thumbs:

Now,
While trunk space seems to be an issue, what does it hurt to wait until you can actually see what you can fit in it before completely dismissing it?

The MR2 advertises 2 cubic feet, but that's bull - I can barely fit a 6-pack in this theoretical 2 cubic feet box under the hood. Maybe they're counting all the nets and crap too, but if so, it's wrong.

I'd love to see the pics of those who say they can fit a set of golf clubs in a miata - my friend tried it once and said (he's a bit tall) someone's dreaming if they really think they can put golf clubs in the trunk of a Miata. Maybe a few choice clubs in a compact bag, or loose, but not a golf bag.

So, Rodeo, if you've done it, snap a pic and put this to bed.

Same goes for you, wing and rednine - if you guys can fit a standard golf bag in the trunk of an S2000, I'd love to see a picture.

I've heard it's no problem in a Z4, and seen the pictures.

The problem, windblown, is you're judging it on pics and speculation without even getting a real look inside. Besides, if you're really going cross country, or when you did it in a Miata, did you really drive really long distances with the top down all the way?

I've had the opportunity to do so in an S2000, and even though it was summer, I suprised myself with how it just wears you down less if you've got 200 miles to go and you put the top up. I found I had a tolerance level that could be breached for top-down driving. Now, this is me and my wife, PERSONALLY, so don't everyone jump on this thread and beat the crap out of me for not driving with the top down every darn second I potentially had the chance.

All that air moving around is fun for a while, but when your scalp gets numb, and you've run out of sunblock which doesn't work as well on your scalp, and your wife's long hair is whipping around the car.... well, sometimes it's just easier to tune in a great CD, enjoy the sound system, and drive with the top up. When you get to where you're going (like Amish country, or Mohican Lodge in OH, or Kentucky) unload in your hotel and THEN go for a top down jaunt.

OK, rant off. Just wanted to let you know that I feel it's premature to be judging based on pics if you've never driven the car, nor physically looked or tried to put a soft-sided case in, or figured out what you can fit in it with the top UP.

Pontiac/GM may have blown it with the gas tank placement, but if they did it to make sure there was a Solstice available for $19,995, or to meet a structural target that might not have been met, maybe it was an acceptable trade off (it probably is for me...).

Just some more food for thought.
 

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Realize, also, that it's not just the gas tank that's the issue - it's the whole design of the back end. The reverse-hinge decklid takes up at least another half if not more cubic feet vs. a more conventional tonneau/trunk (like the 'vette).

The style of roof, way it has to be folded, the AFBTS's, point is: it's not all the fault of the gas tank placement.

And yes, complicated shapes cost more, sometimes a LOT more (even as much as twice the cost), even for plastic blow-molded thinks like a non-metallic tank. Additionally, if the design forced a sump or a dual pump configuration - dunno if anyone has had to replace a fuel pump/sender but they are not cheap (part alone for a cavalier aftermarket fuel pump was over $300).

Point is all these things have to be balanced. And one person's balance may not be another's, but there's many ways to arrive at a solution. Designing a vehicle is not easy, I'm sure especially under the constraints that I imagine the Solstice team was under. It's very hard, if not darn near impossible, to start with a form (essentially fantasy), then translate it 95% into a working, operating, delivering production vehicle. Frankly, I'm amazed we are actually seeing it as close as we've seen it now.
 

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windblown said:
I've even accrued $3500 GM card dollars in anticipation.
The GM card could be your other deal breaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't golf. But I do carry a weeks worth of groceries. Or two softside suitcases, a tent, two sleeping bags, and a softside cooler. And that is in a 97 Miata. I can't justify two roadsters so if I'm looking to replace my Miata, I want something that is not a step backward.

The new Miata has more trunk space than my 97. It has a top that stows easily on the rear shelf and goes up and down from the driver's seat. It is 400 pounds lighter.

I agree that I don't drive a whole trip with the top down. But on the other hand. I can put the top up or down as desired, and not repack my luggage. Lets say that I squeeze my clothes into a Solstice in stuff sacks wrapped around the HUMP. Then I decide to put the top down. Well lets see.... what do I throw in the dumpster... Oh. I have an idea. I stop at the nearest airport and send my wife home on a plane and then I can carry all my stuff in the passenger seat.

It just seems to me that in the case of the GTO and now the Solstice, Pontiac has decided that cars needn't be practical as well as fun. Well in my case, that was a poor decision because it has cost them two potential sales. No GTO for me, and now probably no Solstice either. They do have competitors and for my money, Mazda has done a way better job creating a car that fills the bill for someone like me. The new MX-5 looks like a worthy successor to my current Miata. The Solstice looks great but loses bigtime on practicality. For Pontiac's sake, I hope there are a whole lot of starry-eyed "cool car" freaks that just take Sunday drives or go to the beach.

:( :leaving:
 

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Nice summary SM. I just don’t see where in the allotted space available a suitable gas tank could otherwise be located. The best bet would be between the passenger compartment and the rear axle area. That could probably be done if you did away with any behind the seat storage or audio components (the speakers back there) and you would infringe less on trunk space. There may be a problem with exactly how big it could be even there too, because of structural elements of the car like the rear bulkhead, frame rails, and central tunnel. (its hard to say for certain without being able to physically look at the car and not just at pictures).

There is no room under the passenger compartment for the trunk, and due to the differential and frame rails of the car, there is no room to sink it lower in the trunk from its current location. It cannot go behind the rear axle.

It may just be that the gas tank is where it is right now, because it was the most practical solution.

PS, the temple may be more than the gas tank too. Some have suggested there is a storage compartment under that temple for the flat tire inflator kit.
 

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Sorry Windblowm just caught your latest post with regards to the GTO. I just thought I would add GM's reasoning for the GTP's trunk mounted tank.

The Aussie Manaro's gas tank would not pass US crash regulations, so they had to relocate it. In order to do that without major engineering costs for a platform that is on its way out anyway, GM simply stuck it in the only suitable open space they had. The trunk. They know its not an ideal place for it, but it was necessary to bring the car to market. Otherwise, there would have been no GTO at all until 2007/2008 when the Zeta based car debuts. Hopefully they have a bigger trunk on those GTO's!
 

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Fformula88 said:
It may just be that the gas tank is where it is right now, because it was the most practical solution.

PS, the temple may be more than the gas tank too. Some have suggested there is a storage compartment under that temple for the flat tire inflator kit.
Yes I guess you guys are correct, but i really really wish the solstice had a useable trunk. Also, if that myan temple is where they will store the fixaflat isnt that a little big, correct me if i am wrong but couldnt i just leave the can in the glovecompartment or under a seat and give a few more inches of room?
 

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Brian said:
Yes I guess you guys are correct, but i really really wish the solstice had a useable trunk. Also, if that myan temple is where they will store the fixaflat isnt that a little big, correct me if i am wrong but couldnt i just leave the can in the glovecompartment or under a seat and give a few more inches of room?
I don’t think you will find one person here who doesn’t wish the trunk had more usable space. However, there is disagreement on just how much people would compromise the styling and/or size of the vehicle to accomplish it.

My guess is that it’s a dual level temple, with the gas tank down below, and the storage just on top. If in fact that storage rumor is true. It might not be. (However, if its not, what is up there? Since there is no gas filler neck up on top of that temple, there is no way to get gas in it so it wouldn’t be a part of the tank).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So if the trunk is the only place to put the tank because there is no space anywhere else, the engineering TEAM screwed up.

The Miata TEAM puts the tank behind the seats and under the rear shelf. Very logical, great packaging efficiency, Nice symetrical shape. still room for storage cubbies and such, great for weight distribution.

So what did the Solstice team use that space for? Did they NEED to use it for someting other than the tank? The laws of physics are the same in Hiroshima as they are in Detroit.

If Japanese engineers could come up with a space efficient design, why can't the Americans. I retired from Xerox where I worked closely with Japanese engineers. Any Japanese engineer would be ASHAMED to put forth a design to his superiors that was so seriously flawed.

Design is an art as much as a science. design always involves tradeoffs. But tradeoffs must always be in balance. Give and take amongst engineers that are wresting with their individual sets of constraints almost always results in a superior OVERALL design because the tradeoffs are balanced so that nobody LOSES.... especially the customer.
 

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GM's engineers were tied down by a set exterior design and a fairly set figure for the car's dimensions. They had to package everything within those set restrictions.

Among those restrictions was the rear end of the car, and using a tonneau-less rear deck that would allow the top to be completely hidden from view without any kind of extra tonneau, or cover system. Between that, and the available size and external (visual) design of the car being fixed, they didn't have much extra room.

That isn't to mention the cost restraints of the car either.

I am not saying what they did is necessarily justified either. I'm just throwing out possible reasons.
 

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Ff88, I think Solsticeman and I both agree the two tier is because the bottom tier is the tank itself with the 2nd tier being the support arm that can be seen in the cutaway images that goes across the top of the tank. Here's the image I'm refering to; [IMAGE]. The bar across the two triangular supports is what I'm refering to.

Some of the comments made recently in this thread got me thinking about the fuel tank again. I find their claims of the Solstice beign near 50/50 weight distribution to be pointless and flawed if the tank is the mayan temple in the trunk. If the fuel tank is really that far back, and goes that high into the trunk region, it's going to create a discernable shift in weight distribution as it goes from full to empty. You're talking about say 15 gallons x 6.25 lbs/galon = 93.75 lbs. With the Solstice too with the small trunk space, it's going to be pretty tough to fit ~100 lbs of anything in there for transport in general. So the change in weight due to fuel would be far more noticable then putting average items in the trunk for transport.

You're average day to day driver more then likely will never notice it, or if they do they probably wont understand why it's happening. It still irks me though.
 

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First, FF88, the inflator kit (I'm sure I saw this on someone's post) can be seen on GA73's pics of the mayan pyramid. Maybe it's 2kwk4u's great autoshow espionage thread... It is clearly NOT under the mayan pyramid.

Shall we start calling it the FUGTMPL? Stands for "Fu..screwed Up Gas Tank Mayan Pyramid Layout" Pronounced "fug-temple"?

The MX-5 is a totally unibody structure. So is the Z4 and the S2000. The Solstice uses two longitudinal rails, and ties it to a structural tunnel. Probably moderately mass efficient. Probably not as space efficient. It's essentially a steel version of the Corvette structure - I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that they were going to originally try and make the structure totally out of tubes for a low volume hi-labor-intensive niche vehicle like the Solstice.

The Corvette/XLR fuel tank is really complicated - it's in two distinct triangular containers with cross sumps and dual fuel pump setup (look on corvetteforum for a nice C6 cutaway, or look at pics if you took 'em of the corvette structure). The corvette is over $50,000. I'm not saying that the Solstice would have also been $50,000, but even an extra $500 in parts is not chump change for a low volume price-sensitive vehicle like this, in a finickey market where you may have to give away a few thousand bucks to keep the plant open...

So if Mazda were trying to use hydroformed rails, they wouldn't likely have done any better, or they would have had to use a complicated fuel tank like the 'Vette. Or they would have had a different top, or they did what they and S2000 and Z4 (mostly) all do - give up the clean top-down look and use a simple, non-distinctive roof.

In the end - look at the 2002 Solstice Concept. Then look at the 2006 Solstice we should be able to buy this year. That's what I call damn close. And for those who were grabbed by the original, seeing the production model in this form is actually quite exciting. Not exciting enough to pay a dealer more than MSRP, but definitely exciting enough to pay fair price. And I'm personally impressed that they did stick (at least the first year) to the "under $20K). This is not so much a super refined historically supported sports car as it is a rolling, purchasable, highly-styled concept car with surprising performance.

So as much as we all would like to have everything, we must keep in mind that even though it seems like an eternity, we've only been tapping keys for a bit more than a year on this forum, that it's only been 18 months since it was first sighted on the road [http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=213]. This is amazingly fast for a new platform. Some things are subject to a bit of leeway (for me, maybe not windblown) - maybe designing the fuel tank and top differently might have pushed off the availability another year!?!? I doubt I could have stood that.
 
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