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Road Test: 2006 Pontiac Solstice
We drive the engineering work going into GM's $20,000 rear-drive roadster
Kevin Smith
Motor Trend, June 2004

We asked for it and we got it: a good-handling Solstice. Well, actually we got a drive in some engineering test mules. But by all indications, the production versions of this new-for-2006 Pontiac roadster will feel appropriately lithe and entertaining to drive. Just what we were after.

In these pages ("Editorial," April), we asserted that GM and its chief car guy, Bob Lutz, were taking on a major challenge of packaging, chassis development, and ergonomics in presenting the Solstice to the world. A small, open-air, two-seat roadster absolutely must be lively and responsive in the driver's hand. It has to have balance and polish, feel compliant as well as stable, perform in a spirited fashion regardless of its actual test numbers, and generally possess a loveable character.

The powertrain feels fine, if not dazzling. A new 2.4-liter version of GM's Ecotec four (DOHC, four valves per cylinder, and variable valve timing) delivers decent thrust, crisp response, and a suitably raspy voice above 4000 rpm.

The five-speed manual gearbox shifts nicely, with good feel and moderately short throws. Occasionally, the two-three upshift felt like a bigger ratio gap than the car really wanted, and if it were up to us, we'd move the brake and throttle pedals a bit closer together.

But we think we can trust such details to the Solstice development team. These guys appear to be on top of the sporting-roadster game.

Full, Uncut Article Here

 

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Hopefully they'll be impressed enough with it when the final version comes out. Do you honestly think Motor Trend could actually rate a domestic RWD car as high as they rate imports (expecially BMW)?? Time will tell.
 

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Originally posted by ibechip@Jun 9 2004, 03:04 AM
Hopefully they'll be impressed enough with it when the final version comes out. Do you honestly think Motor Trend could actually rate a domestic RWD car as high as they rate imports (expecially BMW)?? Time will tell.
C&D, I can see having a problem with a domestic. But MT is a little less biased and on some occations they are pretty positive about domestics.
 

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Originally posted by bigals87z28+Jun 9 2004, 03:58 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bigals87z28 @ Jun 9 2004, 03:58 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-ibechip@Jun 9 2004, 03:04 AM
Hopefully they'll be impressed enough with it when the final version comes out.  Do you honestly think Motor Trend could actually rate a domestic RWD car as high as they rate imports (expecially BMW)??  Time will tell.
C&D, I can see having a problem with a domestic. But MT is a little less biased and on some occations they are pretty positive about domestics. [/b][/quote]
Yeah my bad, I get them confused. I get both of em and they always seem to come on the same day. Car and Driver is much worse.
 

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Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@Jun 9 2004, 03:22 AM
I knew I saw those rims before!
um, yeah, other than the fact the wheels on the solstice have half the number of spokes (5 as opposed to 10) and they curve outward from the hub, I can see you point, they have a similar finish.
 

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It will be refreshing when the engineering and design talent evidenced in GM's specialty cars trickles down consistently to the more important yet more mundane cars for the masses.
 

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170-hp, 2900-lb, 52/48 ratio, and 18-in rims for $20K.
That is going to be an awesome package. I only hope
that "about $20K" does not mean $25K before options.

That is about the same power/weight as the little Miata.
So if they really can keep the price around $20K, which
is less than the Miata, that is going to be a great deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What excites me the most about the Solstice?

Respect for GM as a builder of small roadsters, and people driving them in Amateur racing leagues.

Time to kill the image of GM as a truck and rental car mass producer that makes a really great sports car or two with insane insurance premiums.
 

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Originally posted by thehemi@Jun 14 2004, 11:04 AM
170-hp, 2900-lb, 52/48 ratio, and 18-in rims for $20K.
That is going to be an awesome package. I only hope
that "about $20K" does not mean $25K before options.

That is about the same power/weight as the little Miata.
So if they really can keep the price around $20K, which
is less than the Miata, that is going to be a great deal.
I think I heard that the base price will be round $18K...
 

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Think that's been revised to "under $20,000". $18K is an old pie-in-the-sky number and undercuts the Miata by $6,000!!! Why give away $2,000 per car?

Lutz was quoted at the NAIAS in detroit - showing the "production" car: "Here's what you'll be able to buy for $20,000!!!".
 

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I was hoping Pontiac would throw in one of those leather bomber jackets with a Solstice! Every article I've seen about the test mules, all the writers have those jackets.
 

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Originally posted by ibechip+Jun 9 2004, 04:37 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (ibechip @ Jun 9 2004, 04:37 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 9 2004, 03:58 AM
<!--QuoteBegin-ibechip
@Jun 9 2004, 03:04 AM
Hopefully they'll be impressed enough with it when the final version comes out.  Do you honestly think Motor Trend could actually rate a domestic RWD car as high as they rate imports (expecially BMW)??  Time will tell.

C&D, I can see having a problem with a domestic. But MT is a little less biased and on some occations they are pretty positive about domestics.
Yeah my bad, I get them confused. I get both of em and they always seem to come on the same day. Car and Driver is much worse. [/b][/quote]
In the articles I've read, BOTH seem biased in favor of imports. I don't read too much C&D but I frequent the pages of MT. They are good at spotlighting upcoming developments and are a good source for concept info., but their reviews of mid-low entry cars are kind of subject <_< .... Vipers and Corvettes seem to get the "A" list treatment.

I mean the scored the Malibu highest in value but it still finished 4th of 4 in the 4 door battle article they did awhile back... I mean big surprise the Toyota that cost $8,000 more had more power and "feel" to it.... :plasma:
 

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Originally posted by MalibuZ31+Jun 23 2004, 05:07 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (MalibuZ31 @ Jun 23 2004, 05:07 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 9 2004, 04:37 AM
Originally posted by [email protected] 9 2004, 03:58 AM
<!--QuoteBegin-ibechip
@Jun 9 2004, 03:04 AM
Hopefully they'll be impressed enough with it when the final version comes out.  Do you honestly think Motor Trend could actually rate a domestic RWD car as high as they rate imports (expecially BMW)??  Time will tell.

C&D, I can see having a problem with a domestic. But MT is a little less biased and on some occations they are pretty positive about domestics.

Yeah my bad, I get them confused. I get both of em and they always seem to come on the same day. Car and Driver is much worse.
In the articles I've read, BOTH seem biased in favor of imports. I don't read too much C&D but I frequent the pages of MT. They are good at spotlighting upcoming developments and are a good source for concept info., but their reviews of mid-low entry cars are kind of subject <_< .... Vipers and Corvettes seem to get the "A" list treatment.

I mean the scored the Malibu highest in value but it still finished 4th of 4 in the 4 door battle article they did awhile back... I mean big surprise the Toyota that cost $8,000 more had more power and "feel" to it.... :plasma: [/b][/quote]
Actualy, the Malibu beat out the Camry, the top selling car in America in that MT test. The Malibu took 3rd behind the Gallant(what!!) and the Accord. I think based on the Malibu's size it lost a lot of props, on top of some engine and refinement. But some how Mitsu's quality was better then Chevy's.... When I saw the Camry at 4th, I expected to see the Gallant to 3rd with Malibu going #2.
MT did really praise the car a lot. I think that for the money, I dont think that the Camry is worth the extra 8k. The Malibu offers pretty much everything the Camry, Accord and Gallant does, for a much cheaper price.
 
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