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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What do you guess a $19,999 Solstice will have.

I've read that Lutz's declaration that the Solstice will list for less than $20,000 caught some people under him by surprise. With that in mind, the possibility exists for a very stripped version for $19,999.99 and lots of add on options or packages. Here's my list of things we've come to expect on cars that might not be standard if the bean counters have their way:

1. 170 hp motor (no other GM car comes with only one engine, and the Corvette's the only one with just two)
2. Air Conditioning (anything to cut that base price)
3. electric anything (the show car had wind up windows)
4. Cruise control
5. 18" rims (most GM cars have options on wheel material and size)
6. suspension upgrades (if they can get people to pay extra for that sway bar, and if it doesn't crash without it, they might package it)
7. fog (driving) lights (to leave them off just requires a different plastic front piece and it might save ten bucks)
8. powered glass rear window
9. any buttons on the steering wheel other than the horn
10. And a lot more (or less). I can see people sitting around a table asking, "Do you think they'd pay extra for that?"

I'm starting this thread as a plea to those GM accountants who might read this that to market a car as a better value than a Miata, it must be equipped as well as a Miata. Don't drive the "properly equipped" price too high or the cars will just sit on the lot!
 

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I second it. I do expect the base Solstice to have "reasonable" standard options for the 20k (A/C, power windows, CD).

Is it possible that to keep production costs down they'll make things like leather seats standard (is it cheaper to have just 1 way to make something? - I know I'm a dreamer!). I'm sure there will be a few option packs with upgraded audio & other convienence items but how many other items can they stuff into there? In the end I'd pay extra for leather package.

Maybe the first year they'll take a small hit just to get the PR from getting out a halo car out to market for a great price. Each year the base price will rise as the car gains a good rep but the first order of business is to make some noise at the low intro price. Remember the busines model is probably based on the entire Kappa line spread over several business units so they don't have to make a killing on 1 car (for example 20k units Pontiac, 15k units Saturn, 15k units X, etc).
 

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Interesting just looked at Miata to see their pricing levels, not much difference other than leather but almost 3k difference in price :mad

"LS" ($24,673) adds power windows, cruise control and leather over "Base" model ($21,868). Performace "MazdaSpeed" version is only a thousand more than LS ($25,500) for better engine and suspension. Seems very strange to get 3k for leather and only 1k for better performace?

Honda S2000 is pay one price $32,800 which includes all. Only 5 color choices.
 

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DreamerDave said:
I've read that Lutz's declaration that the Solstice will list for less than $20,000 caught some people under him by surprise. With that in mind, the possibility exists for a very stripped version for $19,999.99 and lots of add on options or packages. Here's my list of things we've come to expect on <A TITLE="Click for more information about car" STYLE="text-decoration: none; border-bottom: medium solid green;" HREF="http://search.targetwords.com/u.search?x=5977|1||||cars|AA1VDw">car</A>s that might not be standard if the bean counters have their way:

1. 170 hp motor (no other GM car comes with only one engine, and the Corvette's the only one with just two)
2. Air Conditioning (anything to cut that base price)
3. electric anything (the show car had wind up windows)
4. Cruise control
5. 18" rims (most GM cars have options on wheel material and size)
6. suspension upgrades (if they can get people to pay extra for that sway bar, and if it doesn't crash without it, they might package it)
7. fog (driving) lights (to leave them off just requires a different plastic front piece and it might save ten bucks)
8. powered glass rear window
9. any buttons on the steering wheel other than the horn
10. And a lot more (or less). I can see people sitting around a table asking, "Do you think they'd pay extra for that?"

I'm starting this thread as a plea to those GM accountants who might read this that to market a car as a better value than a Miata, it must be equipped as well as a Miata. Don't drive the "properly equipped" price too high or the cars will just sit on the lot!
Ok look at the pic of the interior. This car does not have wind up windows. Other then that i have no idea. lol
 

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No doubt that the base version is not going to be high in content, but I bet it does have AC. Air conditioning is now standard on nearly all cars, and it allows them to standardize the HVAC controls and ductwork on the car, as well as production conformity across all vehicles.

Power options, (windows, locks, keyless entry, cruise, etc) I would imagine are on the chopping block and may not make it into the base model. Plus, there are probably a number of potential buyers out there who do not want those weight adding options on a roadster, so it is good to wrap them into an option package instead of making them standard. I suppose the same could be said for the AC.

I think there might be other decontenting around the car too. Some companies won't paint the mirrors, door handles, etc of their base cars to save a little money. As we are talking about in another thread, possibly smaller and cheaper wheels and tires.
 

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CarConfused said:
Ok look at the pic of the interior. This car does not have wind up windows. Other then that i have no idea. lol
Welcome to the forum!

Take the pics of the production car at the autoshows with a grain of salt. We have no idea if they equipped it as they would the base $20K car, or the absolutely loaded car. There is also a good chance GM will make a lot of detail changes to it.
 

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I know I have a magazine article at home (Autoweek, maybe) that has a picture of the interior styling buck.

One side showed power window switches, the other door panel (passenger side, if I remember correctly) had a mock-up fo a manual window crank.

I would imagine that the 20k price will most certainly _not_ have power windows. They may do without power mirrors, power locks (it's a small interior, just reach over... ;-) ).

Other things that will probably be missing:

Lighted vanity mirrors, map lights, leather (Cadillac just started using a synthetic leather on the base CTS - so there may be a similar faux-leather in the Solstice), power steering, if the rear window is glass - possibly no defogger), intermit wipers.

Lots of places to cut frills.

I would expect it to have at a minimum:

170hp engine
A/C
AM/FM/CD (or cassette)
cloth or faux-leather seats
fog lights (thinking that the running light function would be more expensive to move than the money they would save)

The wheel issue is a crap shoot. They might go with a smaller alloy for base cars (16's?)...just to get the tire cost down from the 18's.

I figure if the car they showed in Detroit as the 'production' car comes in under 23k...I'll be a very happy man.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I guess one of the things I wanted to mention was that on another thread, we've been talking about how 170hp wasn't enough. But a strong possibility that has me worried is that an even smaller, cheaper motor will be standard and the 170hp is "optional".
GM made that mistake on the Fiero when they tried to market it as both an "economy car" and as a "sports car." That underpowered economy car was one of the many reasons it got it's (undeserved) bad rep. If the base car is noticeably slower than a Miata, it would undermine the entire line.
GM....Remember the F word!
 

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I would expect the base to have:

170 motor
5 speed
A/C
Simple AM/FM/ CD
Manual mirrors, windows, locks
Down graded suspension
Cloth seats
Smaller and narrower wheels
Limited color choice, probably only non mettalic colors
If glass rear window, defog

I would expect options to be:

Automatic
Stereo upgrade with multi disc, more speakers, power antenna, iPod jack
Performance suspension, better shocks, better sway bars and bushings
Leather seats with color and texture options
Bigger, wider wheels Probably the 18s
Mettalic colors
Power package for mirrors, windows, locks
Cruise control with radio functions on the wheel
Dress up parts like chrome gas cover, door handles, exhaust tip
Fog lamps and maybe improved headlamps
Floor mats

Options I hope they do:

Supercharged motor
6 speed
Dual climate zones (I'm married)
Heated seats (very useful for winter top down driving)
LSD
Dual exhaust (I just think it looks cool)
Stripes
Top color options
Power top??
Night vision like on the Caddilac (I think, I'd have to try it)
OnStar Nav (I don't need it, I already have a great GPS, but some might)

The main thing I wish for is the ability to pick and choose your options instead of "packages" or "groups". I know that is doubtful, but one can wish.
 

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Talked about this on the 18" tire thread: doesn't make sense to develop a new wheel and tire just for the stripped version.

Just my guess, but I'd expect the $20,000 car to be equipped like this, different from the upgraded car:

-No A/C
-No rear window defogger
-Possibly no radio, or de-contented speaker radio (if shelf-available radio AM/FM/CD cheapie can be found that fits, probably put that in to fill the hole).
-Manual windows
-Manual mirrors
-Manual door locks and no key fob remote
-Cloth Seats
-Possible "invisible but tangible" de-contenting (hood blanket, engine covers, dashmat, maybe carpet even or low-cost carpet)
-If the normal car has trunk trim, that would be deleted.
-Open differential (assuming Ltd. Slip is optional)
-Non-ABS (assuming ABS is optional)
-Maybe some badging differences

But I'm going out on a limb and guessing that some things will not be decontented, such as these items, which I'm guessing will be same as or common with the loaded version:

-Wheels 18"X8" (not surface treatment, like painting, but the forging itself)
-Tires P245/45R18
-Exterior appearance and colors
-Steering
-Suspension (shocks, bars, bushings)
-Brakes
-Engine and transmission (limited slip notwithstanding, per above)

This would accomplish a few things,

1) It would prevent too much of a "bait and switch" feel to the $20,000 car
2) Limits big changes in the car, which creates an easier time for the development engineers
3) Starts to get customers to shy away from the $20,000 model and make them pay for content, which is better IMHO than promising a level of performance and taking that away if you want it cheap.
4) "Appearance" and "Function" of the car is not affected, just creature comforts.
5) Safety and performance are not affected in the $20,000 model.
6) Even with all the de-contenting, you'll still get a heck of a value!

It then becomes very clear: you get what Maximum Bob promised for $20,000. If you want the other things that take it away from being "back to basics", ya gotta pay for them. You get what ya pay for.

After all, he promised a "Back to Basics" roadster, and that's exactly what this would mean - "Back to Basics". Just pure, unadulterated, un-softened driving pleasure. Fun-to-drive. Looks great.

A/C, XM radio, Monsoon stereo systems, power windows, ABS, cushy sound deadeners, and the like are definitely not "back to basics".
 

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I don't see G.M. selling this car without A/C. The last car I know of that you could purchase without A/C was the '95 Z28 with the 1LE package. In '96 even the 1LE had to come with A/C.
 

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I went from driving a loaded sebring convertible, to a fairly stripped ford ranger. I don't miss the electric windows, I don't miss the automatic tranny, I don't miss the remote entry, but I'll never EVER own another car without electric mirrors. It is such a PAIN to have to get out and adjust that right one after every car wash, or someone bumping it in the parking lot.

My wifes Aztek has every option except 4wd, and the one I enjoy most is the heads up display. I would love to get that on my Solstice.
 

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I don't think we're talking about that type of manual mirror.

Rather, we mean the kind with the remote cable/joystick that is physically connected to and moves the mirror. The joystick portion is within reach of the driver - however, it does not have a motor doing the work like the power mirrors do.

They typically refer to them as manual remote mirrors. Your ranger sounds like it has manual non-remote mirrors (i.e. you have to go touch the mirror to move it). That would suck.
 

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Re: mirrors - my guess is probably the "get out and adjust yourself" or "ask your passenger to adjust" kind. If you go to the trouble of routing cable and etc., you might as well put in the $5 motor. The trick is not to have infinitely variable options, either you have power remote mirrors or you have the "back to basics" type.

Maybe that's what we should call the $20,000 version, the "Solstice B2B"?

And yes, GM hasn't offered a "heater car" since the early-mid 90's - BUT, they also haven't had a back-to-basics great looking small RWD roadster since the early 'vette. Things are being done differently this time (for real) it seems. They seem to be doing things smarter, and what they have been doing seems to make sense. I wouldn't be surprised to offer a non-AC at all on the B2B version.
 

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I guess I'm thinking of it this way:

GM seems to have committed to building a back to basics, great looking convertible roadster available for "under $20,000".

We all know that you won't get the loaded Solstice for that price - so something's gotta give. GM probably knows there's going to be a huge demand for this car (based on styling, or performance, or handling, 'vert, or whatever - it don't take a private rocket scientist to figure out this car will sell probably for $24,000+). I'd bet they'd like to charge closer to Miata levels for the car, but Maximum Bob said it and now they have to deliver...

Would you rather have a Solstice with primer colored mirrors, a slimy rag for a tire on ugly steel 16" wheels, primer-colored bumpers, no front or rear stabilizer bar and crappy shocks, BUT A/C standard?

OR would you rather have the "stripper" version have the right things stripped? Don't strip anything that compromises handling, performance, or that "fun-to-drive" experience. Keep the delivery on the "soul" of the car, and strip the stuff that has "convenience" value, and charge for it later, let a few people buy the $20,000 car (probably customizers and racing enthusiasts) and minimize the damage to the profit of the car.

The latter makes sense. We all know that this car would be (still is?) a smokin' deal at $22,500. GM knows it, and if $2,500 is going to break the bank, you really shouldn't be buying this car. If they "fiero" the car, people will get the wrong impression - if too many people buy an underperformer.

Just speculation, but I imagine they'll have the options laid out something like:

-B2B, or the "stripper" $19,995
-Modern Roadster (AC, Decent stereo, basic interior, rear wdo defogger, crank windows, optional limited slip diff), $21,500
-The Solstice that everyone would justify (ABS, power amenities, cloth seats, maybe even painted wheels) $23,750
-The "Loaded" (XM/AM/FM/CD Radio with Monsoon[or bose or blaupunkt or whatever] speaker system, Leather, polished or chrome wheels, maybe a premium metal flake exterior color, ltd slip diff etc.) $24,000-$25,750?

Each of these would still undercut comparable miata levels by a few thousand.

Just ruminating... and bracing for impact...
 

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solsticeman said:
Re: mirrors - my guess is probably the "get out and adjust yourself" or "ask your passenger to adjust" kind. If you go to the trouble of routing cable and etc., you might as well put in the $5 motor. The trick is not to have infinitely variable options, either you have power remote mirrors or you have the "back to basics" type.

Maybe that's what we should call the $20,000 version, the "Solstice B2B"?

And yes, GM hasn't offered a "heater car" since the early-mid 90's - BUT, they also haven't had a back-to-basics great looking small RWD roadster since the early 'vette. Things are being done differently this time (for real) it seems. They seem to be doing things smarter, and what they have been doing seems to make sense. I wouldn't be surprised to offer a non-AC at all on the B2B version.
My guess is the manual mirrors will have mechanical joy sticks at the A pillar of each door. They're a little better than the get out and grab kind just because you don't have to roll down the window. This type also easily addapts to electric. I agree, a remote cable is doubtful.

As to the A/C, the only reason I think they might not offer it in the B2B is if they want to promote the use of the car for racing like Mazda does, Otherwise the cost of development for two different ventilation systems would be cost prohibitive. Much the same argument as the different size wheel argument except worse. I would hazard to guess that more than 80% of the people who buy this car will want A/C. I know I do. That's why it's pretty much standard these days.

I think people's definition of "back to basics" has changed over the years. Many people now see A/C, power windows and locks, power steering, power brakes and AM/FM/Disc as basic. Yet not too long ago these were popular options. I don't need power windows and locks but I know people who believe they're a must. Maybe Bob is reffering to the strippers of the past when he says "back to the basics", but I think he at least needs to keep competitive with the base Mazda and Toyota, or else it wont be that great of a value. You and I are allready in love with the Solstice, but many of the buyers out there in the future will have to be won.
 

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1st law of thermo, re-phrased, is "you can't get something for nothing".

AeroDave said:
...You and I are allready in love with the Solstice, but many of the buyers out there in the future will have to be won...
And those people will have to pay more than $20,000 for their solstice - but even if they test drive a capable stripper, they have more of a chance of being won than if they drive a POS and conclude the uplevel version is the same.

What makes a "heater only" HV system so complicated? I burned out the compressor in a race car, and stripped out all the AC components, including the heat exchanger. My cooling improved and I shed 75 lbs (and apparently added them to my waist... :lol )

Why isn't it just a nix on the condenser, heat exhanger, compressor and pulley, put in a new control head and voila: a heater car? If you are a HVAC development engineer, you don't even need to test the AC in the summer. :lol

Better air flow thru radiator, less mass, seem like something low risk, easy to nix, doesn't affect validation (like changing tires would)... maybe I'm simplifying it too much.
 

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If we look back at another recent sports car introduction, the head of Nissan promised that the new 350Z would come in under $30,000 and he surprised everyone with a base model listing at $27,000. The base model was well equipped (power windows, locks, AC, CD, etc). However you could bump that price up to around $37,000 by getting a loaded, top of the line model (same engine and transmission as the base model).

I'm guessing the Solstice will range from $20K to about $24K for a loaded model in the first year, and about 28K for a future forced induction version. I think the options will include leather, AC, side air bags, and some sort of power equipment grouping. Has anyone talked about a tonneau cover yet?
 

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Good point, TCL. Forgot about the 350Z.

On the flip side, a base price $27,000 car is a completely different beast from a base price $20,000 car.

Re: tonneau cover, what exactly do you mean? It looks like when the top is down, it stows completely under the decklid - no tonneau cover like the miata (which maybe 15% of the people I see with the top down in a Miata ever use).
 

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solsticeman said:
1st law of thermo, re-phrased, is "you can't get something for nothing".

Why isn't it just a nix on the condenser, heat exhanger, compressor and pulley, put in a new control head and voila: a heater car? If you are a HVAC development engineer, you don't even need to test the AC in the summer. :lol
If it costs more to have two HVAC systems, one AC and one without, I am guessing it is because of the remaining parts and how they interact with each other. Most cars now are designed to run the AC with the defroster setting on the car to help remove moisture from the air. Maybe, for whatever reason, a lot of components would need to be changed in order to have a non-AC equipped car.

From cars I have owned in the past, there have been a number of different parts behind the dash. Non-AC cars tend to have different heater cores, different air boxes where the heater core is located, the ducting is a little different meaning different molded ductwork, a different control panel obviously, and more specialized assembly process to install AC in some vehicles, and not in others. I have no idea why they just don't leave the AC equipment off, but I am sure there is a reason or they would.

Maybe at this point, its cheaper to throw AC on every car than to pay for engineering changes to have two different HVAC systems. Or maybe we'll get non-AC Solstices. I am not sure we will, but it would make sense in a roadster to offer a no-frills light weight version to attract people who aspire to race it.
 
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