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How will GM/Pontiac achieve a higher HP model?

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Here's the second half.

You've gone and checked off the V8 on the last poll, knowing full well that GM would never consider that really production feasible, but ya did it anyways 'cause you know there's no replacement for displacement.

Now, try your hand at prognostication: How do you really think the General will handle it? Assume (even though hi-perf versions of the Solstice have never been indicated to date by GM) that there will be a high performance version of the Solstice - be it two weeks after production starts, or 2 years after production starts.
 

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I went with the supercharger in the poll, just based on the fact that that's what Pontiac has used in the past to boost performance. However it would be really nice to see the new in-line six used in a sports car platform. Kind of a throw back to all those open aired sixties roadsters with straight sixes in them (Jag, Ferrari, Maserati).

My wife's Envoy has the in-line six and it puts out 275hp and 275lb/ft of torque. I'm sure GM could get that up to 300 on both fronts without any trouble. And if they reduced the displacement a little bit from the current 4.2 L by shortening the stroke from the current 3.66 in, they could probably get the engine to rev quite high.
 

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Personally I'd rather see a V-6. GM knows how to build them and one of the things I look for in a car destined for max handling is an engine behind the front axle.

Unfortunately I suspect that Pontiac has been told what engine it will use, at least for the first year.

"And if they reduced the displacement a little bit from the current 4.2 L by shortening the stroke from the current 3.66 in, they could probably get the engine to rev quite high."

Considering that the 2.4 EcoTec has a 3.9" (98 mm) stroke, it is to laugh :rolleyes
 

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Does it mean nothing that the original concept/show car had a supercharged ecotec?
 

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looking at the automobile magazine thread they quoted that there will be a 250hp turbo version coming out

"The base car should give Mazda a lot to think about, with a 250-horsepower-plus turbo version coming later should be a humdinger. Just fix the sterring please."

do they know something that pontiac has not told us yet. i for one hope so.
 

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So fa I have seen 205 hp (2.0l Cobalt), 230 hp, 240 hp, and 250 hp mentioned by Journalists. Of those only the 205 2.0 is actually in production in this country (been through the EPA testing). There is a 2.3l 230 hp turbocharged SAAB but that is not an EcoTec (but similar). The Opel/Vauxhall VX 220 has a 200 hp 2.0 l turbo engine that is said to be an EcoTec derivative.

The Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX 220 has a quoted weight of 2215 lbs and 0-60 in under five seconds with the 2.0 s/c engine and under six seconds with the n/a 2.2.

All production GM Ecotec derivatives I have found have a HP peak in the 5400-5500 rpm range. N/A 70 hp/liter, s/c 100 hp/liter. What makes the Speedster/220 so fast is the light weight, over 600 lbs lighter than what has been quoted for the Solstice.

Both are GM versions of the Lotus Elise and rear/mid engined with a Getrag trans, in other words what a 2004 Fiero would have been like. Both are also over $30k which is probably why Pontiac backed off from importing it.

Figure normal development (and marketting) will have engines rated at 75 hp N/A and 105 hp s/c per liter by the 2006 model year.

Gut feeling and figures I am seeing say that the 6400 rpm peak hp quoted in England was an aberration unless they know something we do not, is incredibly high for that long a stroke. More likely a redline and even that sounds high.

Has anyone seen a 2.2 l Ecotec block ? Is there room for an increase in bore ? Pontiac increased the stroke past 4 inches to reach 455 cid in 1970 because there was no room for an increased bore in the block design. Maybe they are doing the same thing here to reach 2.4 l. Has it reached a design limit and is 2.0 l really the optimum size for boost ?

Without hardware I can only make guesses.
 

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padgett said:
So fa I have seen 205 hp (2.0l Cobalt), 230 hp, 240 hp, and 250 hp mentioned by Journalists. Of those only the 205 2.0 is actually in production in this country (been through the EPA testing). There is a 2.3l 230 hp turbocharged SAAB but that is not an EcoTec (but similar). The Opel/Vauxhall VX 220 has a 200 hp 2.0 l turbo engine that is said to be an EcoTec derivative.

The Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX 220 has a quoted weight of 2215 lbs and 0-60 in under five seconds with the 2.0 s/c engine and under six seconds with the n/a 2.2.

All production GM Ecotec derivatives I have found have a HP peak in the 5400-5500 rpm range. N/A 70 hp/liter, s/c 100 hp/liter. What makes the Speedster/220 so fast is the light weight, over 600 lbs lighter than what has been quoted for the Solstice.

Both are GM versions of the Lotus Elise and rear/mid engined with a Getrag trans, in other words what a 2004 Fiero would have been like. Both are also over $30k which is probably why Pontiac backed off from importing it.

Figure normal development (and marketting) will have engines rated at 75 hp N/A and 105 hp s/c per liter by the 2006 model year.

Gut feeling and figures I am seeing say that the 6400 rpm peak hp quoted in England was an aberration unless they know something we do not, is incredibly high for that long a stroke. More likely a redline and even that sounds high.

Has anyone seen a 2.2 l Ecotec block ? Is there room for an increase in bore ? Pontiac increased the stroke past 4 inches to reach 455 cid in 1970 because there was no room for an increased bore in the block design. Maybe they are doing the same thing here to reach 2.4 l. Has it reached a design limit and is 2.0 l really the optimum size for boost ?

Without hardware I can only make guesses.
you are going to be good to have around here, especially once we're driving this beast!
 

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Marketing, It's all about marketing. Remember they are selling these cars. Think of those options from a marketing perspsective.

Inline 6? that is so 1930's, my '53 Willys Areo had one of those. There's a reason that cars nowadays that have inline 6's don't prowdly display a "I6" badge on their fenders. :lol

Turbo Charging? Maybe, but it's alot more cost and trouble than Super Charging and has the problem of turbo lag. I think it's perception is that it's older technology, sort of an '80s thing. :sleep

V6? Could be, but I think it might have an adverse effect on handling and it's sales appeal. It screams out.. cheap way to more power. This is the typical approach that GM has taken in the past and I get the feeling they want to make a break from the cheasy bean counter image they have had. :skep

V8? Never going to happen. No room at the Inn.:(

Bigger 4? It's already got a pretty big four. Going any bigger won't gain significant power gains and no marketing cache. 2.4 liter or 2.8 liter? Who cares? :yawn

Honda Vtec? That would be Pontiac saying, "We'd like to make our flagship sportscar, the one we're using to promote brand image, a world class car, but we suck. Can you help Honda?" Which one would you rather have, the Honda brand lawnmower, or the cheasy "Honda powered" lawn mower at Home Depot. That move would do everything to improve Honda's image and degrade Pontiac's to bargin brand. If they do that it's time for GM to hang it up. Again the performance gains would only be modest. :banghead

Supercharge? You bet! Very trendy, hip and cool right now. Marketing department can prowdly display that on the fender! The concept car had one for God's sake! The nice part is, Supercharging is cool and does work! Aside from crappy gas mileage and alot of added complexity and engineering associated with any boosted engine, it rocks! That will sell cars. :thumbs About the only thing more sexy would be a turbine powered Solstice... Hummmm. :jester
 

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AeroDave said:
Inline 6? that is so 1930's, my '53 Willys Areo had one of those. There's a reason that cars nowadays that have inline 6's don't prowdly display a "I6" badge on their fenders. :lol
Doesn't the BMW M3 use an in-line 6 engine? I don't think anyone would acuse them of being 1930's. If I'm not mistaken, BMW and Lexus have done extremely well in competition with in-line 6 engines. Also I think Jag was winning LeMans with its XK (in-line 6) engine well into the 60's. I don't know if GM's new all aluminum DOHC In-line 6 would fit in the solstice, but I think the configuration makes a pretty good sports car engine.
 

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AeroDave said:
Supercharge? You bet! Very trendy, hip and cool right now. Marketing department can prowdly display that on the fender! The concept car had one for God's sake! The nice part is, Supercharging is cool and does work! Aside from crappy gas mileage and alot of added complexity and engineering associated with any boosted engine, it rocks! That will sell cars. :thumbs About the only thing more sexy would be a turbine powered Solstice... Hummmm. :jester

Bah, the crappy gas mileage only comes with a heavy right foot. I actually got better gas mileage in my modded GTP than I do in my 4-cylinder VUE. Especially on the highway! Only thing is, the VUE won't run a 13.6 @ 103. I doubt it would even break into the 16's.


Edit: Oh yeah. I-6's ROCK! For some reason, that I'm sure Padgett can explain, they tend to produce heaps of torque when compared to V-6's. They also run alot smoother (from a vibration standpoint) than ANY other common configuration as far as I know... again, Padgett can give the long explaination. It's sufficient to say, though, that they are inherantly (sp?) balanced by their very nature.
 

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2KWK4U said:
It's sufficient to say, though, that they are inherantly (sp?) balanced by their very nature.
True. An I6 engine is inherently balanced without the use of balance shafts. Other configurations that share this property include boxer engines and V12s.

Everything you wanted to know about engine balancing can be found here:

Engine configuration and vibration

I think the straight six fell out of favor mostly due to packaging concerns with front wheel drive layouts. Otherwise, the I6 has some advantages over a V6, such as one head instead of two, two cams instead of four, aforementioned vibration reduction, etc.

-Stephen M
 

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Problem with an I-6 is that it is a long engine, for best handling I want to see the engine entirely behind the front axle and that is easier to do with a short engine. The other problems you get into with an I-6 is crank whip (why the best have seven main bearings which adds weight), uneven intake distribution, and a lot of weight (which can be mitigated with aluminum and composites).

OTOH a V-6 is compact, lightweight, and can live with four main bearings. Further a 90 degree V-6 is balanced (the domestic rage for 60 degree blocks was so the tooling for V-8s could be reused). To get the same bearing load you do need a larger diameter bearing because it must be shorter but that is a minor issue.

Just to really get heretical, for a engine designed for under 7000 rpm there is nothing wrong with a traditional single cam in block design particularly for a V-type engine. Small bore just makes rockers easier to design. You can even have some interesting valve designs (might mention the Chrysler Hemis and "Porcupine head" Chevvys). Does make VVT a matter of advance or retard but no difference in overlap. Of course with a boosted engine you do not need VVT anyway. DOHC is pretty and can allow reduced valve angles particularly for a four valve head at slight additional cost.

(Since we don't have lead any more, you really do not need valve rotators. Have been waiting for someone to come up with dual stem valves shaped like a kidney bean for serious flow area but no, we still have lots of conventional round ones. Would need an NC vave lapper... :jester )

As far as I am concerned, from every aspect except turbocharging for a sports car, I like V engines better than In-lines (if going to turbocharge then do like Ford did with the Indy engine, bring the exhaust out the center but suspect that is a bit radical for the General.

As usual, this has become something of a rant but what the heck, its Saturday.

BTW the Columbo designed Jaguar XK engine was a monster, the most sporting versions had triple 2" SUs carbs to keep the mixure even and intake runners short but was of an era when the driver sat over the rear wheel and hoods were long. The over 4" stroke had a deep effect on everyone without unlimited funds - 40 psi on the oil pressure guage at 3,000 rpm on straight 30 weight non-detergent was a mystic number, when it went under, months of 15 cent hamburgers lay ahead. Problem was it was soooo sweetover 6000 rpm. Problem was that the top end could deliver more than the bottom (with post WWII problems with good metal and cotton fabric oil filters) could sustain.

However a 15 second 1/4 was something on 6.00x16 Dunlop RS-5s was hard to resist. :cheers
 

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padgett said:
...Further a 90 degree V-6 is balanced (the domestic rage for 60 degree blocks was so the tooling for V-8s could be reused). To get the same bearing load you do need a larger diameter bearing because it must be shorter but that is a minor issue.
I may not be as well-versed as you, but I think you may have inadvertantly stated this backward. I know for a fact that my L67 (a 90-degree V6) had a balance shaft, and that 90-degree V8s are balanced. I've heard that the general's 3800's were 90-degree motors because they were basically 350s minus two cylinders. Thus the domestic rage for 90-degree V6 blocks was so the tooling for V8s could be used.

Please tell me I'm not off my rocker :crazy
 

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errr, my cat made the entry, brane fade, just wanted to see if you were awake....

You are correct, V-8s and V-6s designed to go down the same assembly line are 90 degree, a 60 degree V-6 like the 2.8/3.1/3.4, and new VVT 3.6 is inherantly balanced with 120 degree separation (and easier to fit into a narrow engine bay). Was correct about the reason, just swapped the numbers.

Personally would rather have the new Global V-6 with n/a configuration in a Solstice than a boosted four.
 

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Inline 6? that is so 1930's, my '53 Willys Areo had one of those. There's a reason that cars nowadays that have inline 6's don't prowdly display a "I6" badge on their fenders.
a lot of cars dont display their engine config via a badge. but, i dont think any BMW driver would hang their head in shame if they did.

Turbo Charging? Maybe, but it's alot more cost and trouble than Super Charging and has the problem of turbo lag. I think it's perception is that it's older technology, sort of an '80s thing.
lightweight impellers have virtually eliminated any lag. and, turbos are very popular in the aftermarket.

It screams out.. cheap way to more power. This is the typical approach that GM has taken in the past and I get the feeling they want to make a break from the cheasy bean counter image they have had.
i dont think putting a V6 in a car screams that. i think, a V6 screaming by a similar car equipped with a 4cyl says alot tho. :D

Honda Vtec? That would be Pontiac saying, "We'd like to make our flagship sportscar, the one we're using to promote brand image, a world class car, but we suck. Can you help Honda?" Which one would you rather have, the Honda brand lawnmower, or the cheasy "Honda powered" lawn mower at Home Depot. That move would do everything to improve Honda's image and degrade Pontiac's to bargin brand. If they do that it's time for GM to hang it up. Again the performance gains would only be modest.
i really dont think the poll poster was suggesting Honda's version of VVT. iirc, Honda wasnt the first to develop VVT tech anyway. theres nothing wrong with a car maker using a proven technology to make their cars better. GM had the first auto tranny, but no one bashes honda for having them. (well, except maybe all the honda owners with tranny problems, heh.) :jester

Supercharge? You bet! Very trendy, hip and cool right now. Marketing department can prowdly display that on the fender! The concept car had one for God's sake! The nice part is, Supercharging is cool and does work! Aside from crappy gas mileage and alot of added complexity and engineering associated with any boosted engine, it rocks!
thats what i voted for, too! :D i disagree about the crappy milage and added complexity, tho. the difference between the GM SC and NA 3.8L V6 engines is about 1mpg. fair trade for an extra 60 horsepower and torque. the SC version has more/different parts, but it isnt overly complex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In the latest Automobile, the one with the article about the solstice, there's also another article about several cars they ran through and tested as "track cars," ranging from $20,000 to $70,000 (even the new Elise was in there).

Interesting to note: Not a single one of these were supercharged. :smile
 

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"i disagree about the crappy milage and added complexity, tho. the difference between the GM SC and NA 3.8L V6 engines is about 1mpg"

Milage may not be much different in the EPA cycle but there is a significant cost you left out, the 10+ % cost differential between regular (what n/a cars run on) and premium (required for s/c cars). that makes the differential more like 3-4 mpg. And that assumes you keep eggshells under your feet.

Now, I agree, that is not much of a price to pay for 50 hp but personally have always preferred adding displacement to adding boost.
 

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cost of fuel was "left out" because it wasnt brought up! :thumbs

and, i fail to see how the price of a gallon of gas affects its rate of consumption. 02 GTP is rated at 28mpg highway. i easily got 34-36mpg driving from st. louis to nashville, TN in stock trim. all the GM cars ive owned have exceeded the EPA estimates.

EDIT: unsure about the fiero's mpg vis a vis my claim above. i didnt know its EPA rating nor did i check my milage. was too busy looking for gurls. :lol
 

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a lot of cars dont display their engine config via a badge. but, i dont think any BMW driver would hang their head in shame if they did.
I stand by my statement that inline 6's are 1930's (hell 1910's) technology and therefore less MARKETABLE than Supercharging. BMW is a very conservative company and has done well by refining the inline 6. Remember though that people will buy a BMW just because it is a BMW regardless of what it has under the hood. Yes an inline 6 can be made to go fast. Is it the best way to do that? I say no. If the Solstice was strictly to be a retro roadster like the Thunderbird or something, then I would say an I6 might be appropriate, but I think Pontiac has greater plans for this car than that.


i really dont think the poll poster was suggesting Honda's version of VVT. iirc, Honda wasnt the first to develop VVT tech anyway. theres nothing wrong with a car maker using a proven technology to make their cars better.
On this account you're right. I didn't read the poll correctly in my haste to post a reply. My bad. :( However I still believe that developing a Vtec type engine is a poor MARKETING strategy for Pontiac to increase the power of the Solstice. The supercharger lets the buyer know he is getting something extra for his money and at the same time does not discredit the base engine. If the base engine is the Ecotec, and the optional performance engine is a naturally aspirated Vtec type engine of similar size and configuration, it basically says to the consumer that the Ecotec is cheap and begs the question, why not make the Vtec engine base? By starting with the Ecotec and adding a forced induction or changing to bigger engine for more power, the sales people can argue that BOTH engines are great depending on driver needs. Again the question of how Pontiac will achieve more power for the Solstice, IMHO, will be driven completely by marketing and cost considerations.
 
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