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Pontiac Solstice

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    Not bad, nice rear roofline, nose might take some getting used to (I'd like to see it full front). Smooth design, not too risky, shouldn't offend anyone.

    Wheels are way too big, though, screws up the car. Looks like a set of wheels with a body glued on later. You're supposed to look at the car, not the wheels.

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  • One thing to keep in mind, is that lately it seams production versions always get smaller wheel/tire combos then their concept car versions.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Hasn't that always been the case? I remember seeing the same thing at least ten years ago.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    yes, I think the show cars use those big dumbo wheels to attract attention but really they are too expensive and impractical for a road car.

    Seems like 17" is about enough.

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  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    are getting bigger and bigger -- even the production versions. But they're a lot more expensive, and it takes a lot more torque to turn those puppies.

    I think it's always a problem when the show car has massive wheels and the production car, while styled to accommodate them, is supplied with wheels that have about 3" of air between the top of the tire and the wheelwell. That just looks silly, and Toyota is one of the worst offenders.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I kinda like the name. At least it has a name, and not some dumb alpha-numeric designation. I will agree, 19 and 20 inch wheels are WAY too big, especially with the 4-banger. If GM builds this thing, from the description, it sounds like they want a very big piece of the Miata's pie, and this may be the car to do it with! 240 HP is a lot of power for a 4-banger though, so maybe they intend to price it higher, and go after more expensive competition.

    At any rate, it beats the crap out of the Sunfire!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,105
    One thing I've noticed about them is that, even though the diameter of the rim may be increasing, the aspect ratio of the tire is actually decreasing, so it seems that the overall diameter of the tire ends up being the same. In that case, would it still take a lot more torque to turn the wheels? I guess it would if they got too heavy, but aren't those huge rims usually made out of some kind of alloy?

    Also, once you get down to something with really low aspect ratios for the tires, how do they control the quality of the ride? I'm probably just used to big, cushy land yachts, but something like that Solstice looks like it would feel like riding on 4 tire-less rims!
  • The Solstice is intended for the youth market which LOVES big rims. Tires don't seem to matter that much. When my friends and I talk about passing cars its more... Dude, did you see those 20's on that thing?... Large rims may not be practical, but a popular thing in the intended demographic!
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    I like the long hood look, even if the nose is a bit overwrought. Let's hope that we're starting to see a trend away from samey-looking "cab-forward" designs.
  • Price it in the 20K range, and they will a big winner that totally re-invents the brand image.

    Now, add a RWD or AWD Grand Prix with a 5 speed sequential gear box, and LS1 V8 or boosted Supercharged V6, and we are talking driving excitement !!!
  • Here's my two cents...the car's design is clean, elegant, aggressive...even beautiful. I don't think the nose is a problem, at least from the front 3/4 view (I think that's the right term). On the other hand, I've never thought the Boxster nose was attractive...the overhang and sharp nose are out of proportion to the rest of the cars' lines IMO, although they are fixing that in '03, according to a spy photo I saw in the latest Automobile. Hand one to Pontiac's design team, which previously seemed to be drawing cars while on LSD. I like this Pontiac a lot and since my two previous attempts to buy a Boxster ended in frustration because I moved from North America to Europe and back, I'll give the Pontiac consideration if it has adequate cargo-handling capacities (I live in NY and it would be my be-all sun and ski toy). The horsepower/torque projections for the 2.2 litre supercharged 4-cyl engine indicate that it will be a little rocket.
  • I saw Bob Lutz being interviewed on TV and talking about the Solstice concept car. I think he is VERY serious about this puppy going into production. That concept vehicle (a running prototype by the way)was hatched and brought to reality in just 18 months since Mr.Lutz arrived on the scene. He said the car will be very simple, no frills such as hi-tech electronics, power windows,manual top etc. and wants to sell it @ LESS than $20,000. Kind of a new age Austin Healey/MG Midget thing. Bring it on !! I've got a nice spot in my garage where it can snuggle up next to the Boxster LOL !

    hud :) :)
  • Here's my two cents...the car's design is clean, elegant, aggressive...even beautiful. I don't think the nose is a problem, at least from the front 3/4 view (I think that's the right term). On the other hand, I've never thought the Boxster nose was attractive...the overhang and sharp nose are out of proportion to the rest of the cars' lines IMO, although they are fixing that in '03, according to a spy photo I saw in the latest Automobile. Hand one to Pontiac's design team, which previously seemed to be drawing cars while on LSD. I like this Pontiac a lot and since my two previous attempts to buy a Boxster ended in frustration because I moved from North America to Europe and back, I'll give the Pontiac consideration if it has adequate cargo-handling capacities (I live in NY and it would be my be-all sun and ski toy). The horsepower/torque projections for the 2.2 litre supercharged 4-cyl engine indicate that it will be a little rocket.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    Re "though the diameter of the rim may be increasing, the aspect ratio of the tire is actually decreasing, so it seems that the overall diameter of the tire ends up being the same. In that case, would it still take a lot more torque to turn the wheels?"....yes, weight and rolling resistance play a significant part in acceleration. Performance tires tend to be a lot stickier, and the additional footprint, while aiding traction, also produces additional friction by its very definition (friction=traction).

    Re "once you get down to something with really low aspect ratios for the tires, how do they control the quality of the ride?"....they usually degrade the ride signifantly, due to the shorter, stiffer sidewalls. But some tires are better than others, and the 45-series Sumitomos on my turbo Corolla are quiet, smooth and Z-rated. Kumhos are another good choice for daily wear, and are often used in racing as well.
  • Way back in June of last year I posted the following message on the "Time for a new Fiero" board.

    "After GM is done killing the F-bodies, what will it have? The Vette? Great car, but well beyond the price range of the typical consumer. After that its....ah.....ummmm.....well, there's always the Sunfire!?!?!

    Ford just came out with the Thunderbird - a spectacular design. Chrysler had the Prowler, but that was too expensive and impractical, but had the PT Cruiser waiting in the wings. GM needs a hook - something to get people interested in the Pontiac name.

    Ok, how about this - a small/medium sized two seat mid engine sports car with room, but no seats, behind the front seats. Keep the suspension cheap and simple - struts on all four corners. Keep the weight down - below 2800 pounds. Give it two engine choices - a 170 hp 2.4 Quad4 and a 225hp supercharged and intercooled 2.4 Quad4 - both running through a 5 speed manual or 5 speed automatic. Styling-wise - make it distinctive with an eye toward being mean and nasty looking - like its ready to bit your leg off if you don't get out of the left lane. Price it starting at $20,000 for the base model and topping out at under $30,000 for a loaded supercharged edition."

    Well, I pegged the pricing, almost nailed the engine specs, was correct about utilizing a cheap, parts-bin suspension and was right about the styling. OK, so it isn't a mid-engine design - so I was wrong on one point - I'm not the Pope! :-)
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    Just read the April? issue of C&D about the Solstice. They mentioned the Chevy Cheetah influence. What a beautiful car- just what Pontiac needs. Better design than the Dodge Razor IMHO, although more expensive. Bring it on!
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    observations:

    1. pricing mentioned at car shows is often bunk, with high equipment trims being considerably more.

    2. pontiac grill has got to go. why ruin a car with that? the pontiac BADGE tells people what it is, ditch the ugly grill. do you really want a tie to the grand prix and grand am?

    -Colin
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    I agree completely with point #2.

    Try this experiment. Open up the April C&D to page 50. Put your left thumb over the silver Solstice's grill. Wow, that's a nice looking car!

    Now, take away your thumb. Ugh, it's a Pontiac again...
  • shopshopshopshop Posts: 9
    I am basing my comments on the 4/4/02 article in Edmunds. I disagree with almost all critical comments on the car. The large rims work very well with the cars' overall appearance. If the production version sells with smaller tires, I will be buying the bigger size immediately. Of course, the smart way around this one is to offer a "sport-package" with the bigger tires, with the base package having smaller tires.

    The grill in front is beautiful and aggressive. The styling is 100% perfect. The only downside, I hate to say, is the Pontiac badge, which after too many miscues has negative brand equity, for me anyway. The thing is, for this car, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it anyway, it could be a Yugo for all I care. I am not a praying type of person, but for this one, I pray that GM will build it as-is.

    Lutz, build this one, and keep these kinds of designs coming, and you will become a very rich man from your stock!
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    You're entitled to your opinion; certainly style is subjective and that's exactly what you're commenting on. From a performance standpoint, the wheels need only to be large enough to clear the brakes, provided you have sufficient tire availability.

    I'm not one to tolerate grill styling. I hate Chrysler & Dodge's current "look" and Pontiac should stay away from that sort of idea with the Solstice... if it sees production in any form near enough to the show car to be interesting.

    -Colin
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    The current Dodge look would work wonders for Pontiac, but is seems Lutz has different things in mind. Hopefully, they are better... and here before 2005.
  • kahuna1kahuna1 Posts: 6
    I hope that Lutz reads this section, or that Edmunds sends it too him. BL, you have a winner in the Solstice. Don't sweat the nitpickers, there are some in any crowd. If you (Pontiac) can keep as close to the price line as quoted in the press, do not change the exterior/interior as little as possible, GM will have a real keeper. As far as size of wheel is concerned, the best choice is a wheel size that will give the largest choice of tires for comfort, cornering and price. One person's tire is another's never never.
    Sure, there is always something that can be picked on on any car, but some just like to be the critics of a group. Relax and enjoy life to the fullest, and if that means a Fiat, so be it. Mr. Lutz, as a 60+ car fan, I'd be in line for a Solstice when it forms. Of course my dad always said that the only car worth buying was a Packard!
    Bob, be a part of automotive history and get the Solstice in production....Now!! Aloha
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    This topic has been re-activated upon request.

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  • I must say these new concepts are looking great and the thing that actually has me excited is the idea that they might really make it to production without being changed "too much".

    Now we all know that there will be some feature slashing to get this car down to 19.9k. What does you think will go?

    I'm positive that they'll strip the super charger, but will this car really be able to compete with the base ecotech that only puts out 140-145 HP? Pontiac has left a bad taste in people's mouths and I doubt people'll go for this over a Miata unless it has more features/$.

    That being said it does look like they will be low balling Mazda and filling a void in the auto market. Is there any roadster that currently comes in under the Miata?
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    I think the goal is low content, low tech, base engine for the lowest possible price. The more features, the higher the price, the higher the expectations. And then it keeps spirialing upward. GM should be offering an aftermarket supercharger in the future for the ecotech.
  • snakerbillsnakerbill Posts: 272
    Why call it a Pontiac? It needs to be a Chev to replace the Camaro. There are not enough Pontiac dealers to give this car the exposure that it deserves. Every small town has a Chevy dealer, but Pontiac?? Where are they? Part of the reason to buy an American car is that the dealers are everywhere, and with GM's sad reliability one needs to be close to home. And, even more important, with more dealers handeling the car there will be more competition and better deals can be made for the consumer...us.
  • I've switched to a GM card just to get ready for the release of this car, whenever it is. If only they can keep the weight down!!
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Replacement for the Camaro? Sure, Chevy needs something to replace the Camaro, but this ain't the Car. Camaros have traditionally been big, brawny V-8 musclecars made to compete with the likes of the Dodge Challenger and, of course, the Mustang. The Solstice, on the other hand, is a small, 2 seat sportscar with a 4-cylinder engine made in the grand tradition of cheap British sportscars such as the Triumph and MG, and more recently the Miata. Trying to cram a 350 V-8 under the hood of the Solstice will ruin the car, and trying to sell a Camaro that only comes with a 4-cylinder will alienate the Camaro faithful, and leave that nameplate with as much brand equity as the Cimmaron. The Camaro somehow missed the boat on the pony-car market. Ford's Mustang is proof positive that the market is there, and if Chevy can figure out why buyers bought the Mustang over the Camaro, they can still do very well in that arena. But trying to turn the Solstice into a Camaro would, IMO, ruin both cars. They have about as much in common as, say, a Focus and a Marauder. Both are supposed to be performance sedans, but go after opposite ends of the sports-sedan market. One is aimed at the light & tossable crowd, the other at the big, tire smoking V-8 crowd. How well they hit those target markets is a matter for another debate. Same with the Camaro and the Solstice. Simply covering the Arrowhead with a bowtie and slapping an old "Camaro SS" badge on the back won't cut it. CHevy still wouldn't have a replacement for the Camaro.
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