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Branden Farthing-Editor
10/26/2003

Solstice to possibly be named Firebird? I know it sounds a bit outlandish at first, but GMI has reason to believe this just may be the case. According to numerous reports, it is almost a given that the car we currently know as Solstice will see production as a two seat roaster in 2005 or 2006. However a little tidbit many are missing is that it is very unlikely that the car will debut with a name other than Solstice. Pontiac holds the Firebird name with very high regard, however with the GTO and Camaro becoming siblings around 2007, Pontiac has very few options on what to use the name on. This is where the Solstice comes into play, because Pontiac for some reason seems set to give the car a different name in production (trademark related maybe?). Now for the kicker, there are several indicators, the Solstice may indeed debut with the Firebird name! Though a two seat, four-cylinder roadster is hardly what most Firebird owners would want the name to be associated with there is a bit of history behind it. Back in the mid 1960?s John Delorean (father of the GTO) had a pet project to make a two seat 4-cylinder roadster that was very close to making production. However, once the Mustang was released and achieved it?s success, the almost roaster was axed by GM higher ups, and Pontiac was made to do a badge job on the Camaro to make the 1967 Firebird. Though the Firebird had great success, the Solstice roadster is a car Pontiac has always wanted.

Still think I am talking out my?.unmentionable areas? Well I present Evidence Article #2 for submission to the jury. Pontiac recently updated it?s Firebird heritage page?

http://www.pontiac.com/firebird/index.jsp?...e&pagename=home

A few quotes from that page?.

The fire inside Pontiac present and future.
Bold, beautiful, passionate, rebellious. Few cars have defined our lives and times like the great Pontiac Firebird. From the first models, to the awesome Trans Am, to the magnificent madness of the Super Duty 455. There's a story in each and every one; a piece of our past and even a glimmer of the future. Check it out...
Hardly wording a company would use for a nameplate headed to the corporate boneyard. With the GTO can Camaro near certainties, a Sigma-Lite based Firebird simply will not happen. That fact alone leaves the Solstice as the only car in GM?s immediate future portfolio that could have a remote case for being called Firebird. Also of note, I have talked many times with Pontiac media reps, and every time I mention the Firebird, they are very enthusiastic about the nameplate, and how it could comeback ?if they found the right product?. Well with a Sigma-Mass Firebird simply not going to happen, Solstice is pretty much the only other choice.

I know this will upset some Firebird enthusiasts, but I am just the reporter, not the decision maker?so be niceJ

Above Is a Rumor i.e. not proven to be one 100% fact. As a dislaimer, please be aware that rumors do not always come true, especially in corprate America. The only reason I am posting this article is to keep GMI's readers in the loop to what I am hearing.
 

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I have always thought it would be called Firebird, and I hope it is called that, cause I know that is the only way we will get that name back! B)
 

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I've been saying it, I've been saying it.

I'm probably the most pro-firebird person on the site and I think it would be awesome to bring back the firebird ala solstice..... as long as there is a 346+ cubic inch pushrod v8 option in there somewhere. I mean, a 3400 lbs Trans Am with 350 horsepower is awesome. But a 2750 lbs Trans Am with 350 horsepower would just be unbelieveable.

If you read the pontiac site, you'll see:


Five Generations
There were only 4 generations of firebird.

1st: 67 1/2 - 69
2nd: 1970 1/2 - 81
3rd: 82-92
4th: 93-2002

Even though they do have the 99 and 2002 Special Editions, I think this could be a hint at things to come. I hope anyway. :)

Although, if there's no V8 option, I really hope they don't do it. But I think there would be a pretty big uproar if the new Firebird turned out really weak.

Bob Lutz said they intend on pricing the base Solstice at under 20k. So bring the T/A option in at around 25-26. That would be cheaper than the previous, putting it in Mustang GT range while still providing way more perfomance.

At the same time, it would be a cheaper, albeit less luxurious, performance alternative to the GTO. The GTO could handle the "All around performance, luxury, etc" and let the Firebird become an economical muscle car.

I don't think the new GTO really fits the muscle car persona, in part due to price. With prices starting at ~$35,000 and up, it's a pretty pricey car. This way, the Firebird could fill in the "lower end" performance market and the GTO handle the higher end.

And don't forget that the Solstice can be developed with both 2 and 4 seats...
 

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other than the heritage page, what are the "sources" that have led GMI to believe that the solstice will be the same platform for the firebird?
 

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Never gunna happen, Just because there is oddly chosen wording hinting at future cars, just gives pontiac the ability to say that they never didn't intend to bring it back in the future. Future is not specific to 3-5 years from now. Look at how fast the solstice has come about. They could easily redesign a bird off of something else holden makes maybe. But if they do which I dont think they will, you will never, EVER see it with a V8. A, it isn't physially possible, the engine bay is barely big enough for the 4. Look at its sibling the Vauxhaull/opel speedster, its insanely small. And B, it would be to close to the Vette's performance.

synopsis....NEVER GUNNA HAPPEN.
 

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I've already read in multiple places that GM is mulling this idea.

They aren't planning on introducing two models, they are discussing releasing it as the 5th generation Firebird.

I know they also looked at, and scrapped, a C6 based Firebird on the grounds even a cheap version would be too costly.
 

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it isn't physially possible, the engine bay is barely big
Have you ever actually been around perfomance cars?

Ever seen/heard of a Nova SS? Shelby Cobra (well, most likely clone)? 426 Hemi Dart???


synopsis....NEVER GUNNA HAPPEN.
Thanks for the expert advice. Shouldn't you be manning the fryalator or something?

:rolleyes:
 

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Interesting, but I'm still speculative. Give me some more sources and evidence. Except for the info from the Pontiac page this isn't nothing I haven't read about or thought about before.
 

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Nevah? Nevah say nevah, as Sean Connery learned. Howevah, er... 'ever, I can understand the pessimism. Think CAFE. Now think insurance. Yeah, that last one did more to kill the muscle car era than emmissions or OPEC. But I do have some good news... there is a guy out there stuffing LS-1's into FIEROS!!! They fit without torches!

The history of hot rodding is all about yanking out 4 bangers and inserting V-8's. And today the tuner scene has shown just what astonishing performance can be wrung out of a high spinning 4cyl. So there is reason for hope. But the "Solstice" name has got to go. BORING! I mean who's gonna brag about owning a "solstice? Yuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by sceltor@Oct 26 2003, 11:43 PM
Interesting, but I'm still speculative. Give me some more sources and evidence. Except for the info from the Pontiac page this isn't nothing I haven't read about or thought about before.
Hey, said it's a rumor and speculation. It's just me putting togethor things I have been hearing. I posted it as a possiblity not fact:)
 

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DeLorean's Banshee wasn't a four cylinder. They made two prototypes, one with a V-8 and the other with their overhead cam straight six. I don't think he would ever have gone for a four banger.

As for the Solstice being called a Firebird, why the hell not? If they can call a Holden Monaro a GTO then they can call just about anything anything. Just 'cause the Solstice doesn't have the right number of seats, cylinders, or the look of a Firebird doesn't mean Pontiac's fine badge-engineers can't whip up some plastic nameplates to screw onto the sides of it to MAKE it a Firebird.
 

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GTO and Camaro siblings? I highly doubt it....

Do you really expect to see a Camaro in NASCAR? No way.
GTO will be siblinged with a Monte Carlo, Chevelle, hell, even another Lumina, long before a Camaro.

My money is on Monte Carlo.The Impala and Monte Carlo duo....it just works. Then throw in the malibu.... B)
 

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EEEwwww...the Solstice needs 2 stay the Solstice, leave the Firebird name 4 something else or just leave it B... How would U Camaro fans like it if the Camaro were in this dilema???
 

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Originally posted by Erunion@Oct 27 2003, 03:46 AM
GTO and Camaro siblings? I highly doubt it....

Do you really expect to see a Camaro in NASCAR? No way.
GTO will be siblinged with a Monte Carlo, Chevelle, hell, even another Lumina, long before a Camaro.

My money is on Monte Carlo.The Impala and Monte Carlo duo....it just works. Then throw in the malibu.... B)
Why?? ;) It is very possible that the "new" Camaro will be based off the next GTO, which is base off the "Sigma-Lite" platform as id the Camaro, if we get one.......
 

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Originally posted by Arrowhead222@Oct 27 2003, 08:41 AM
If they can call a Holden Monaro a GTO then they can call just about anything anything.
That's exactly my problem. I don't like the GTO being a rebrand, just like I would think it wouldn't be appropriate to call the Solstice a Firebird... It doesn't pull from the lineage--

BTW, I'm still pissed off at simply rebadging and tweaking the Monaro as the almighty GTO... but Solstice as a Firebird...that's not even in the same class (no offense to the Solstice, I do like it).
 

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Give it enough snot under the hood and it could pass for a Firebird.

That's the entire issue in my mind. It has to have the gonads to lay down the law, regardless of what you call it.

In my mind, the benchmark is somewhere around 275hp for the full-on performance version. Anything less sacrifices too much to compete with the S2000.
 

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From the numbers I heard, about 30% of the GTOs have already been purchased and the first one hasn't even been delivered. These cars appeal to folks other than us, let's face it. The GTO will do extremely well even if some die-hard GTO fans hate the car.

And don't dismiss the possibility that the GTO and new Camaro will be platform mates. It just might happen.........

-Node
 

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When they say "and even a glimpse of the future", I personally don't immediately think a new Firebird. I think they mean that the styling cues will be shared with future pontiac models and that the future of Pontiac will have Firebird heritage. I hope I'm wrong and we get a new V8 Bird, but well have to wait and find out. I hate waiting... <_<
 

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I know I'd be upset if the new Camaro was a 4-banger, but if the Solstice did end up getting named Firebird, it would be a little different. If I remember correctly, in the 60s the Firebird was supposed to be the more "European" of the duo. This concept might make a Solstice-based Firebird a little more palatable than a 4-banger Camaro. As for the Sigma-Lite Camaro, I have no problem with that at all. Just give me my Camaro. :D
 
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