Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Spotted on GMInsidenews (http://www.gminsidenews.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6635), there's some talk about Pontiac possibly replacing the Sunfire with a Kappa based vehcile that is not the Solstice coupe. Take this with one or two grains of salt, as the talk isn't substantiated by any source except 'our sources'.

I have a hard time believing that an entry level car could be crafted from a RWD platform and stay profitable (if they're keeping the Sunfire their entry level car anyway). However, it does time correctly with the Sunfire's exit from the market and the Pursuit not being marked for US distribution. . .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,206 Posts
FightingChance said:
...I have a hard time believing that an entry level car could be crafted from a RWD platform and stay profitable (if they're keeping the Sunfire their entry level car anyway). However, it does time correctly with the Sunfire's exit from the market and the Pursuit not being marked for US distribution. . .

I agree. Even increasing to a 4-seater (5-seat is impossible because of the transmission/driveshaft tunnel - like the RX-8) means more weight which means more engine power which means less fuel economy... see where I'm going?

There is probably no way they (GM) can afford to ditch a FWD economy 4 1/2 (OK, five seat) coupe/sedan with a trunk - just to and add on a limited capacity, 4-seat niche vehicle that probably gets worse mileage. Just doesn't make business sense. Corporate Average Fuel Economy is everything to these guys - they make most of their money from trucks and hi-end luxury cars and rely on the shielding effect of cars like the sunfire, ion, and cobalt.

Now, creating a hard-top version of the solstice (not the IMHO ugly orange thing) as a coupe, or limited production coupe that looks drastically different form the solstice- that starts to make sense. BUT it's already coming as the saturn-translated lighting convertible (just design a hard top and they're off and running).

And they already have a semi-popular (depending on who you ask) 4-seat kappa wagon in the wings, the Nomad, which some people think needs to be built right away. (doesn't float my boat, but hey - it take all kinds of people to make the world go round).

This is just GMI speculation based on coincidence of the end of the sunfire - or "their source" is someone at some obscure level of GM (probably from marketing or communications) that is just flapping their lips with no real idea what is going on on the engineering inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
hey Everyone! Obviously, this is NSAP from GMInsidenews. I was the one that broke that story, and for all of you non-believers, go check out page 36 of the October Issue of Car And Driver...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hawkeye said:
are you talking a hard top version like the Z3 coupe? hehehehehe...looks like a boot...

noo, I am talking about the article that talks about the 2nd Pontiac Kappa
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
NSAP said:
hey Everyone! Obviously, this is NSAP from GMInsidenews. I was the one that broke that story, and for all of you non-believers, go check out page 36 of the October Issue of Car And Driver...
So GM inside news comes from Car and Driver??? Doesn't seem very inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
AeroDave said:
So GM inside news comes from Car and Driver??? Doesn't seem very inside.

No, actually Car And Driver came to us for the inside news... look, my article was posted in July, they have it (giving GMI credit) in their magazine in October..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,844 Posts
Hey NSAP, welcome to the forum. Was reading the Hot Rod issue that arrived Saturday and there's mention of GMInsidenews along with an old picture of a Solstice (but no other info).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
DreamerDave said:
Hey NSAP, welcome to the forum. Was reading the Hot Rod issue that arrived Saturday and there's mention of GMInsidenews along with an old picture of a Solstice (but no other info).

Its in Car And Driver (October Issue).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,206 Posts
NSAP,

Car and Driver is far from an inside source. Popular Science (popular gossip) has been saying there's a chevy version of the kappa and showing pictures of some obscure rendering for a few months now. There have also been bulls**t leaks of korean and italian versions that are pretty much still fantasy - somewhere at advanced engineering at GM is a pretty big information leak. That's the only place where this type of info is getting out.

I'm told (I have a few "program-proximate" insiders) a 4 seat pontiac kappa was looked at - but so were NINE different configurations up to and including a pickup truck/SUV off the kappa platform. It's all part of the "Kappa Krazy" movement. There are some severe limitations to the extended wheelbase kappa that, unfortunately, I have been sworn not to divulge until given permission.

No offsense, NSAP, and welcome to Solsticeforum... GMI has been a great place for other GM info (not all of it correct, but interesting nevertheless - aren't you the first ones to post camera photos of the camoflaged solstice back in August of 2003?) but your information in this case is flawed.

Currently, there are only 2 1/3 (yes, two and one-third) kappas approved at this time - supposedly all 2 seaters and only in 2 styles. The Solstice, the SatKap (unnamed at this time), and another version of one of these two that I couldn't get any more info about - presumably a hard top, or a race car, or something along those lines. [this last part is speculation on my part].

Pontiac's portfolio shouldn't and doesn't have room for a Kappa-based 2+2 coupe (or at least current thinking at higher GM levels of management is heading toward this direction). They've got a G6, the GTO (a HI PERF RWD 2+2 COUPE just north of $30k), and could pull the Pursuit back into domestic market with little effort to fill the small car gap for which a K-B-2+2 is not a suitable replacement, either in sales volume nor profitability.

Let's just put this rumor to bed now, eh? The Korean Kappa has a better chance than "replacing" the Sunfire with a "K-2+2".

As far as rumors go, here's a decent one I got this last weekend - supposedly, whatever Saturn was shown at Pebble Beach a few weeks ago was well-received. That bodes well for us - there is no way the press would have received the old SKY styling with anything but rotten eggs and tomatoes.

AND, look for the possibility of another 'loosely' kappa-based showcar at NAIAS - as well as a good look at the SatKap.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,206 Posts
just read the C&D article.

That's on the gossip section of the mag. Great job, huh? Just comb the internet for speculation, cite it as a source, and BOOM - it becomes reality.

Kappa 2+2 replacing sunfire? notgonnahappen.com
 

·
Mod Emeritus
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
solsticeman said:
Kappa 2+2 replacing sunfire? notgonnahappen.com
Your right, for all the reasons above. The bigger would be volume. Pontiac would want a Sunfire replacement to have a high volume expectancy. The Kappa platform will only support up to about 20K units of each vehicle, which is not much for a small 4 seat econo-car these days. Even the Ion sells a LOT more units than that.

If I were betting, I'd say Pontiac will get a Delta car in the next year or two. Either the Pursuit will be brought over, or another version of a rebadged Cobalt, or possibly a rebadged version of the Saturn Ion successor.

Hmm, a third Kappa project has some approval? Interesting! Let the rumors fly!! :lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,153 Posts
Fformula88 said:
Your right, for all the reasons above. The bigger would be volume. Pontiac would want a Sunfire replacement to have a high volume expectancy. The Kappa platform will only support up to about 20K units of each vehicle, which is not much for a small 4 seat econo-car these days. Even the Ion sells a LOT more units than that.

If I were betting, I'd say Pontiac will get a Delta car in the next year or two. Either the Pursuit will be brought over, or another version of a rebadged Cobalt, or possibly a rebadged version of the Saturn Ion successor.

Hmm, a third Kappa project has some approval? Interesting! Let the rumors fly!! :lol

I thought the 20K units was based not on the Kappa platform, but on hydroformed body panels. This is Solstice-specific, no? Not that I believe there will be a second Kappa for Pontiac, though.
 

·
Mod Emeritus
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
2KWK4U said:
I thought the 20K units was based not on the Kappa platform, but on hydroformed body panels. This is Solstice-specific, no? Not that I believe there will be a second Kappa for Pontiac, though.
Its hard to say whether the hydroformed panels will be Solstice specific since it is the only vehicle that has been announced for production. However, there are some other bonding methods used through the chasis that are different and could cut down on volume too. Also, there may have to be some consistency in production methods between Kappa vehicles since they will share the same assembly line, which means all of the body panels have to be essentially the same.

Maybe not, but the more variation in each vehicles production process, the more complicated and costly each becomes to make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
2KWK4U said:
I thought the 20K units was based not on the Kappa platform, but on hydroformed body panels. This is Solstice-specific, no? Not that I believe there will be a second Kappa for Pontiac, though.
I don't think 20k is a limit, I think it is just a sales expectation. I'm sure they could make more if needed. I also doubt that the Hydroformed body panels will be specific to only Solstice. It's a great way to make complex shapes in a cost effective way. It's limited production speed suits low production vehicles like roadsters, so I'm sure that other divisions will also use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I seem to remember reading that the hydroformed body panels took longer to manufacture, and were one of the factors that limited production.

I personally think that they could sell more than 20k Solstices per year, but it's probably a decent idea to keep production lower, so the market isn't swamped with them initially.
 

·
Mod Emeritus
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
Solstice006 said:
I seem to remember reading that the hydroformed body panels took longer to manufacture, and were one of the factors that limited production.
This is what I remember too. I may have to go digging later on to see if I can come up with anything more concrete.

Its not just the inability to make more hydroformed panels, but also the cost effectiveness in it. I also seem to remember that one of the articles that was put out on the hyrdroformed panels said something to the affect that they no longer made economic sense at higher volumes. I assume because of the time involved in making them, they would need a lot more machinery to make multiple panels at once which increases their overhead.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top