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Why not stretch this nice design out a bit, and have it become something legendary and truly potent, like a Corvette or Mustang?

Just a question that entered my mind while I was drooling over its pictures. Why's it gotta be so itty bitty?
 

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It just might since in order to do a proper Mustang killer GM needs a RWD platform a little larger than Kappa and smaller than anything else they've got except for GTO and other than North America Zeta. Stretch a little in all directions, it's what GM and the others used to do all the time. Stretch or shorten, 10 cars from 3 platforms. Bring it on.
 

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achieftain said:
It just might since in order to do a proper Mustang killer GM needs a RWD platform a little larger than Kappa and smaller than anything else they've got except for GTO and other than North America Zeta. Stretch a little in all directions, it's what GM and the others used to do all the time. Stretch or shorten, 10 cars from 3 platforms. Bring it on.

GM already, and always has had a Mustang killer in the Corvette. What I don't understand is why Ford fans pay mega bucks for a Saleen Mustang (which in my mind still isn't as good as a Corvette) when they could buy a 'Vette or some import for the same price or less.

But back to the question, the Sol was not concieved as a pony car (if your too young to remember this is the classification orginally assigned to four set sport coupes like the Mustang, Camaro, Barracuda, etc.). Rather it was developed as a low priced, but not not necessarilly low end, roadster which isn't expected to have great horsepower but good handling an in open air fun to drive car. A agree with achieftain. Pontiac already has a Mustang killer-competitor, pony car if you will, in the GTO.

Why build another? Give the GTO some exciting styling, its all it needs.
 

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One reason is GM already has the Corvette. America has not produced a true roadster in long time and they wanted to grab some share from the imports who have dominated that area.

Extending the platform has been rumored from early on and someday may happen. Most likely for a 2+2 vert but who knows what they'd dream up (many want the wagon concept from 2004). One recent rumor had Pontiac using an extended kappa for an American MBW 3-series type car.

I think right now they have their hands full with the 3 roadsters off this platform.
 

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I must confess that our daily drivers are both Fords - and have been for the last 15 years. But! in my shop there are two GM greats (soon three with the Solstice). First, is a 64 GTO conv. I got back in 1983, red with blk interior. Second, is a 1971 Buick GS conv. I got back in 1995, Cortez gold with blk inside. Third, (pending mode) will be a 2006 Solstice roadster, Cool with two tone interior. Back to the question " Why a Roadster", Because it will soon be a true GM classic like the other two it will share space with. When I first saw the Solstice I felt like I was seeing a GTO, GS, SS for the first time. I may drive Fords daily but I collect and show GM's for a life time!!!!!
 

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Original Tempest GTO changed styling EVERY year

PAS22 said:
GM already, and always has had a Mustang killer in the Corvette. What I don't understand is why Ford fans pay mega bucks for a Saleen Mustang (which in my mind still isn't as good as a Corvette) when they could buy a 'Vette or some import for the same price or less.

But back to the question, the Sol was not conceived as a pony car (if your too young to remember this is the classification originally assigned to four set sport coupes like the Mustang, Camaro, Barracuda, etc.). Rather it was developed as a low priced, but not not necessarily low end, roadster which isn't expected to have great horsepower but good handling an in open air fun to drive car. A agree with achieftain. Pontiac already has a Mustang killer-competitor, pony car if you will, in the GTO.

Why build another? Give the GTO some exciting styling, its all it needs.
The Corvette's price point is well above the Mustang, so while its performance will eat a Mustang for lunch, you pay a lot for the meal. The Saleen tuner Mustang is appealing to some because it's not as big as the Vette. It's about in the same ball park price wise, being on the high side of 50,000. A neighbor of mine recently had a 2004 Z06, had problems with it, and returned it under the lemon law, replacing it with a Saleen. Shrug. I thought the Vette was WAY cooler, it was substantially faster, cornered harder, lower roof line, smoother lines. Eye of the beholder.....

The modern GTO was designed and priced to go up against the BMW M3. It wasn't really designed to go after the Mustang. Could it? Sure, drop the sticker about 5-7 grand and introduce a convertible just like the current Mustang--just like both the original Tempest GTO and Mustangs of 40 years ago had convertible options.

Styling wise, the current GTO is VERY plain. Prior to the Solstice, there wasn't anything in the pontiac lineup that looked to my eyes at all interesting. The G6 and GTO look very much alike, and a lot like earlier Grand AM's of late 80's and early 90's.

As I said in the title of this post, the original Tempest GTO and later the split off GTO and Judge had different styling each year of their production. So too did the Mustang in its early years 64 1/2 through 72, then during the 80's and 90's, the styling settled into what I would describe as a slow incremental evolution. Do they look good, sure, did they look dated? Yeah.

These last several years have seen a dramatic surge in "retro" styling from all of the auto makers. The list is long, and includes such names as Prowler, PT Cruiser, VW Beetle, Mini Cooper, Mustang, Ford GT, and the Cobra. They are great cars, and have really helped us get away from all those plain square sedans that we've had over the last 30 years.

The Viper and Solstice represent two new designs in concept cars that made it into production with very little changed from the original designs. That's what we've always needed. Autoline Detroit had an interview wherein one of the guests observed that the best cars produced by detroit were concepts. That's absolutely right. The problem is that almost NONE of them become production models. And if they do, they're so watered down that they are completely unrecognizable.

So, how do you fix the GTO? Let the designers do their work, and stop the brass at the top from vetoing cool designs. And one thing for sure, loose the late 80's Grand Am styling!
 

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A few things here.

1. if pontiac did that they could call it the Firebird!! j/k but that's basically what you are talking about. Stretch it out and add in a beefier engine.

2. Mustang = seats at least 4. Corvette = seats at most 2. Plus the Saleen is more rare then a corvette and some people just like to drive cars that aren't all over the place. Myself included. Which is why I have been driving a Firehawk and soon a Solstice.

3. Why a roadster? Well, they can be made pretty cheap and GM has nothing else like it in their inventory.
 

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solli4me said:
See the link for Mazda's rebuttal:
They forgot styled like a bar of soap :glol: Sorry couldn't resist.

And since when is a 6 speed a better feature than 5...I don't get that.
 

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The trend in the American car industry towards retro styling and concepts although popular to a point (Solstice excluded because basically it is neither) , has some dangerous implications. It suggests the American car industry is incapable of producing modern, progressive designs and in stead, chooses to harken back to a nostalgic glimer of past success. Off course there are exceptions to this trend, thankfully most of which are from GM, the new Cadillacs, Corvette, Hummer, etc. The new Mustangs appeal will probably be shortlived once there are a 100,000 running around and its retro non-originallity wares off. Pontiac has a wolf in sheeps clothing with the GTO, all it needs is a new design (not retro!) and an less costly entry level version that maintains the level of performance but dumps most of the costly gadgets.
 

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:agree: The GTO is hot but its appeal is limited to a select market.

I think GM is basing their hopes on the 2 seater and that's why they chose "Solstice" for the name of this knockout car. Somewhere else in this forum is a great post about the earth's position to the sun at different intervals of the year. The point at which the earth's position is closer, further or equal to the sun is called the solstice. GM is following a generalized concept in that the solstice represents that point between two positions: last and next, past & future. A "cusp" in astrological terms refers to the same idea.

GM is attempting to forge a new identity for it's corporate future and this car is the one to bring them out of their sorry past.
 

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solli4me said:
GM is trying to revamp their lousy image and this is the market they're going after. See the link for Mazda's rebuttal:

http://www.2006mx5miata.com/?source=GOOG&keyword=[solstice]
Mazda is claiming more shoulder and leg room...but the numbers coming from GM say otherwise...but we'll see when they come to market.

The Solstice has a rigid Hydroformed Frame, the MX-5 has subframes...not as rigid.
The Solstice has independent rear suspension, the MX-5 does not
The Solstice has 18" wheels, the max the MX-5 has is 17
My buddy had a 6 speed Vette and when cruising around, you rarely need the 4,5 or 6th gear...as long as the top gear in the Solstice (5th) and the top gear in the MX-5 are similar ratios (overdrive for gas mileage) why do you really need another cog?

And I agree that the Solstice looks much better than the MX-5...but I ordered a poster anyway! :)
 

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tjac003 said:
Why's it gotta be so itty bitty?
Itty Bitty???? It only a touch norrower than a Corvette, which is no small car.

Corvette

Length: 174.6 in. Width: 72.6 in.
Height: 49.1 in. Wheel Base: 105.7 in.
Curb Weight: 3199 lbs.

Solstice
Length: 157.2 in. Width: 71.3 in.
Height: 50.1 in. Wheel Base: 95.1 in.
Curb Weight: 2860 lbs.


Small Roadster

2005 Miata
Length: 155.3 in. Width: 66.1 in.
Height: 48.3 in. Wheel Base: 89.2 in.
Ground Clearance: 4 in.
Curb Weight: 2447 lbs.

2006 Miata
Length: 157.3 in. Width: 67.7 in.
Height: 49 in. Wheel Base: 91.7 in.
Ground Clearance: 4 in.
Curb Weight: 2474 lbs.
 

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RADRIV said:
The Solstice has independent rear suspension, the MX-5 does not:)
Sure do. A multi-link independent rear borrowed from the RX-8.
 

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RADRIV said:
The Solstice has independent rear suspension, the MX-5 does not
The Solstice has 18" wheels, the max the MX-5 has is 17
The MX-5 most certainly has independent rear suspension. Actualy some would say it is more advanced than the Solstice's. 18" wheels are only a styling benifit, not a performance one. Most performance folks seem to agree, the Solstice would be far better off with smaller wheels for performance, but for curb appeal and bling factor, 18" is much better. The 6 speed transmission is better for racing because it gives you more options to keep the engine in the optimum power band at all times. For street driving a 5 speed is probably better. The Solstice will no doubt get a 6 speed in the future.

The only real advantages the Solstice has over MX-5 are:

Exterior Looks
Interior Looks
Price
Slightly bigger cabin
Looks
and great looks
Made in America

These are sugnificant advantages, and are sure to win many over from Mazda. Myself included.
 

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tjac003 said:
Why not stretch this nice design out a bit, and have it become something legendary and truly potent, like a Corvette or Mustang?

Just a question that entered my mind while I was drooling over its pictures. Why's it gotta be so itty bitty?
There are different types of driving and driving experiences. The light roadster offers something that a Corvette or Mustang cannot. If you have never driven a Miata and tossed it around, then I really can't explain it to you all that well. It's kind of like when you drove your first go-cart as a kid. It's just all grins. It's not about seeing how high the speedometer will go, it's not about stop light drag racing, it's not about snapping your neck back, it's not about bragging rights and it's not really about trying to impress people. It's realy just about the driver having fun in the moment, zipping around town or rural roads having a blast like a kid in a go-cart.

For "potency" GM has the Corvette, GTO and even the SSR is reasonably potent these days. As to legendary status, there are millions world wide that would consider the Miata quite legendary. It takes time to build a ledgend. Success at the race track is one way to do that. I'm going to go way out on a limb here, so anyone feel free to chop it off, but I would venture to say the there have been more victories in class in a Miata than in either a Mustang or Corvette. You SCCA fans could say if my hunch is right or not.

Anyways, GM will build a F body replacement eventually. It just seems that the financial woes of the company has forced them to put off developement for now to focus on a new generation of trucks and SUVs.
 

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I own a 2000 Miata. Even if the two cars were the same price, I'd still go for the Solstice. I think Mazda turned their back on the smooth styling they used to have and have "junked" the car up with disjointed body segments. The proportions are all wrong (INHO). I think Mazda's style change will be more of a help to Pontiac than an hinderance.
 

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4 words nailed the styling: "a bar of soap"

mceb said:
They forgot styled like a bar of soap :glol: Sorry couldn't resist.
I had always thought the styling for the Miata looked a bit strange, but I could never quite place it--Yup, just like a bar of soap. The biggest part of that is the long overhangs which come to blunt pointy edges at the center line, just like a bar of soap. The overhangs are not unlike the Jaguars of the late 60's. In point of fact, the old Miata looks like you took an old Jag, stitched up the mouth, sawed off the top at the door line and glued a wind screen back on. Don't get me wrong, the Miata has a certain appeal, and I did think about getting one, but the bar of soap is dead on. :glol:
 

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Link to astronomical Solstice explanation

solli4me said:
Somewhere else in this forum is a great post about the earth's position to the sun at different intervals of the year.
I'm not sure, but I think you might be referring to this thread: FAQ: What is the astronomical meaning of Solstice?

Let me know what you think. Were there any confusing parts? If so, I can revise it. :leaving:
 

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Crimson Avenger said:
Don't get me wrong, the Miata has a certain appeal, and I did think about getting one, but the bar of soap is dead on. :glol:
Not to mention a toilet seat hood! :lol: Guess they have sort of a bathroom theme going on.
 
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