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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publish/volkswagen_news/article_1154.shtml

The VW Concept R has been confirmed as going into production for the U.S. market. Although VW is being vague about how close the production car will be to the concept, they are sticking to their guns about the price point. Aimed at being a miata fighter, there is another contender entering the 2 seat roadster market.


At a press dinner held during the North American International Auto Show, Dr. Pischetsrieder confirmed that Volkswagen will build a similar vehicle that will follow the concept's mid-engine rear-wheel drive layout. He mentioned that the goal is to produce a vehicle that is actually slightly smaller than the Concept R (which was built on a Golf V platform), make it as light as possible and add a folding soft-top convertible roof. The goal is to get the weight as close to 2,500 lbs. as possible, yet still retain all the safety features and structural rigidity normally associated with VW products. Lastly and most importantly, it will be coming to North America.
He mentioned his love of roadsters and that he favors a rear-wheel-drive layout on certain cars as that is the "purest" form of a true sports car. Pressed on a price, he only offered that they are targeting a Mazda Miata price point. When we joked about a hardtop Coupe version he only smiled and said, "Anything is possible, let's see how we do with the roadster first".

The concept had a 265 horsepower V6...
Even with a smaller engine, weighing in at 2500 lbs puts it closer to a miata than our kappas. Definately a comparison vehicle.
 

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Price? I thought a read a while back it would be higher end but if they are targeting Miata I guess it would be 20's?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Only thing I've ever seen on price said 25k target.


Edit: but for that price I bet they won't do anything crazy like they did with the concept, like LED headlights, animated guages/dic, or "telescoping environment".
 

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Yep, if they size it right (meaning not too big) and put enough motor in it, then undercut the Miata, it will be something to worry about...

Being a mid-rear engine, they can shave off another 100# from the size-determined weight of the car, again, if they do their architecture correctly.

Be interesting to see how this develops - will it be welcomed with open arms, or will it be seen as "VW throws their hat into the ring" in an already crowded market?

VW does have a pretty good following. And everyone has already seen there is a "niche" that could be met with a low-cost V-6 powered RWD with great power-to-weight.

Then again, the Solstice concept had a 250 Hp supercharged ecotec, yet we'll only be able to buy a 177 hp ecotec. Will VW take Skycap'n's advice and come out with both the bargain AND the high-power version in the same year?

The Small RWD 2-seat roadster market should be an interesting battle in the next 2 years.

EDIT: re-reading this post sounds like the end of an old Batman TV show...

...Will the Solstice hang on? And what about the MX-5... Tune in next week...
Dunh Dunn DUNNNN!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Another article about the Volkswagen Concept R roadster going to production.

http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=100876

This one mentions three engines. 148hp NA I4, 197hp turbo I4, 280hp NA v6. Given the weight numbers, the first two should be right about the same performance levels as the base kappa and fi kappa. The last one will be a monster.

Edit: Also a 2007 arrival is mentioned. GM has a little bit of time to prepare.
 

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Pretty car! If they could sell a 2,500 lb, 265HP sports car for $25,000 it will be a blockbuster. Power-to-weight = 9.4 lb/HP, well under the "magic" 10lb/HP. That trounces the S2000 in performance and price. I would definitely hold off buying a Solstice to consider one.

I'll have to follow this development, but frankly I am... :skep: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A few articles I googled seem to put the weight at about 1300kg or 2860lb for the concept (Hmmm, where have we seen THAT number before?) Then considering the FI Solstice could have up to 240HP for around $25,000, I think I will stick with the Brand New American Sports Car. The R is very pretty, but I really like the Sol's curves.

Of course, you may want to go with the Volksy if only for that cavernous 3 CF trunk up front! :D

But sincerely, if they can pull off 250HP & 2,500lb for $25,000 then this will be the sports car bargain of the century and a car much better than the Solstice, Sky, S2000, Miata or Z4.
 

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jimbo said:
...but frankly I am... :skep: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is....
But sincerely, if they can pull off 250HP & 2,500lb for $25,000 then this will be the sports car bargain of the century and a car much better than the Solstice, Sky, S2000, Miata or Z4.
I was too good to be true...see SkyCap's post below...25k is probably for lower 148 HP motor ;)
 

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This car was on my list but I don't think I want to wait another year or two. I'm also a little concerned about VW's past history of electrical gremlins.
 

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I've found various websites that keep saying the car is in production, but I can't find a VW official statement anyhwere saying it's going to production. They've got concept information about it, but nothing official.

I've also read various articles about the price being from $25,000 to $40,000 for the various models with various engines. This is more then likely more of a Z4/Boxster class roadster then Miata/Solstice class.
 

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jimbo said:
...If they could sell a 2,500 lb, 265HP sports car for $25,000 it will be a blockbuster. ....
:agree:

That's why it will be interesting to see if they pull out the FM (F*$^&#in Magic) and actually achieve it. It's not out of the question for a mid-rear transverse powertrain configuration...

With roll cage and safety equipment, and most of the "improved touring" alterations allowed in the rules (removed carpeting, had to keep the dash mat), my race fiero ('88 Formula) weighed 2636 lbs - with the boat anchor 2.8L (iron block!!!) V-6 at a whopping 158 hp (stock was 135, I think). [135 dyno'd at the wheels]. Weight distribution was in the mid-low, 43ish % front, IIRC.

So with a bit of advanced technology, an aluminum block V6, some hi-strength steel, 2500 lbs is certainly within reach with judicial application of sound deadening... and at 265 HP, would be a real monster of a car.

The MR2 is actually quite low weight for the chassis size, also. Transverse powertrain in a mid-rear configuration is a very weight efficient way to package the drivetrain. It's also possible to have the front end light enough to enable the use of manual steering - giving you a few more horsepower and overall lighter steering system.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I bet the stripped down four cylinder will be right at the price of the base miata, and the 197hp turbo four will be right at the price of the MSM. The 6 cylinder will likely be significantly higher, starting about 33k and going up to 40k for a fully loaded model. Especially since they bumped the power from 265hp to 280hp(wow). But yeah, ~25k will probably be for the base 4 cylinder. The kappa should still have the price advantage, but in a three way competition it will still be the heavyweight. I think the higher priced Sky may be more in danger from this VW than the Solstice - since the sky will be coming out at a similar time with a similar price.

With the MR2 leaving the US I forsee a giant sucking sound as the kappa and VW try to soak up those sales that would previously have gone to toyota. People who would have purchased the yota would likely lean towards the VW with it's "german engineering" & mid-engine design. By the time this comes out, there may even be some discounts/incentives for the Solstice which could make a significant difference for Pontiac, but the Sky being so new probably won't have the same trump card.

I also don't think the 210hp supercharged 2.0 engine would stack up too well against the mid level turbo VW. GM better have the FI 2.4 out when that thing hits the streets...
 

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I'll bet the R doesn't have a top either! Be interesting to see what they come up with. If they build a hard top coupe, then poof! There goes all those rabid hard core Fiero fans dreaming of the day when the Fiero triumphantly returns over to VW. I won't buy this car anyway, don't like the way it looks at all, and don't like VW.
 

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SkyCaptain said:
...I also don't think the 210hp supercharged 2.0 engine would stack up too well against the mid level turbo VW. GM better have the FI 2.4 out when that thing hits the streets...
:agree:
Not that I see it happening, but the hi-power version really does need to come out very quickly. I also agree that 210 is not enough - they need to be looking at north of 225 HP minimum for the FI version (preferably 240, 260 or more, but they'll do okay at anything 230 or higher... the more the merrier!).
 

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tcl said:
This car was on my list but I don't think I want to wait another year or two. I'm also a little concerned about VW's past history of electrical gremlins.

VW has more than a history of electrical gremlins - their cars have major problems. There is a VW lemon web site/forum just for all the problems VW has on all their cars. :willy:
 

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I hear that newer VWs need the ecu reset by the dealer if the battery becomes disconnected. Being it common practice to reset the ecu when servicing a vehicle, that's enough to keep me away. But, I really don't even know if that might be a problem with the MSM (I don't think so as I've seen it recommended on the MF to solve problems).
 

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I've never really been drawn to VWs, but the V-6 version could be a real winner. Boxster class performance for $10k-15k less? Sign me up. I'd like to get another mid-engined car, and the specs (+250 HP, ~2500 lbs, convertible) are exactly what I was hoping for from the current MR2. Oh, and a trunk. :)
 

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AJC said:
VW has more than a history of electrical gremlins - their cars have major problems. There is a VW lemon web site/forum just for all the problems VW has on all their cars. :willy:
...and then they throw a 2 year warranty at you because it's so well made :brentil:
 

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mceb said:
...and then they throw a 2 year warranty at you because it's so well made :brentil:
Nice! Where do I sign up :crazy:
 

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RODEO said:
I hear that newer VWs need the ecu reset by the dealer if the battery becomes disconnected. Being it common practice to reset the ecu when servicing a vehicle, that's enough to keep me away. But, I really don't even know if that might be a problem with the MSM (I don't think so as I've seen it recommended on the MF to solve problems).
The traditional VW ignition switch is enough to keep me away. If it doesn't start you can't just turn the key again to start, you have to turn it all the way off and then on. I first encountered this on a Karman Ghia and then also experienced it on recent rabbits. Maybe its not just VW, maybe its all the German cars.
 

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achieftain said:
The traditional VW ignition switch is enough to keep me away. If it doesn't start you can't just turn the key again to start, you have to turn it all the way off and then on. I first encountered this on a Karman Ghia and then also experienced it on recent rabbits. Maybe its not just VW, maybe its all the German cars.
Wonder what the reasoning for that would be? I assume it's a design feature designed to do more than p*ss the driver off :brentil:
 
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