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Pontiac Solstice



  • You have identified all the main players.

    Do keep in mind that the used market will bring some other potential cars into your market.

    Audi TT
    Saab 9-3
    BMW Z3

    And soon, add in the Mini Cooper Convert.

    I assume you grandpa'd the Toyota Solara and Chrysler Sebring converts?
  • the maligned Toyota MR-2 Spyder.

    Are they done making those again?
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Good find, that's definitely the first review I've seen. The most exciting part of that test was the 2860 pound curb weight. It's no Miata, but I'm very happy to see that.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    2860 pounds!!!

    And no storage space... well, we'll see if that's what killed the MR2 or not. I suspect not.

    Ok I checked and the Miata weights 2440lbs, more than I thought. Where'd all this weight come from? My Tercel weighs 1950lbs and I didn't expect the Miata to outweigh that by so much. But 2860lbs, that's as much as a regular compact sedan. Well, if it works it works...
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    I noticed that this topic isn't linked to the "Pontiac" > "Solstice" drop down on the left. If you select those and press go it says there are no topics. Think you guys can get that setup?
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    more than similarly sized and priced hard tops. The engineers have to add steel, aluminum or carbon fibre to the frame in order to keep torsonial rigidity reasonable.

    The lack of cargo storage has never bothered me with my Miata. I think of roadsters more as practical (and relatively safer) motorcycles rather than impractical cars.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Thanks! If you ever notice something like that, don't hesitate to tell me. At the time this discussion was created, the option to categorize as "Solstice" didn't exist. I often forget to update :(


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  • sad but true, another thing a little added heft adds is some measure of protection (added tensile strength?) to the little guy in case of a collision. You don't even want to think about the kinetic mismatch between even a mid-size SUV and a sub-2000lb will likely end up heading in whatever direction they were as all your energy gets converted and then their energy starts pushing you in a whole new vector.

    Smart weight equals better safety, from all I am reading and hearing. Just another sign that we are all being forced to Biggie-size our vehicles to stay compatible with the "other" guy on the road.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    But then again, if you run into something stationary (light-post, tree, etc... which are more common then car to car collisions) in a heavy vehicle you have all that heft working against you.

    It's all a compromise, so drive what best suits you. No really drive what BEST suits you. If you have only two kids, no boat and don't go on a lot of outdoors trips where you need a ton of gear.... you don't need an Excursion!
  • I said "smart" weight...not 4000 lbs of truck frame and sheet metal. :)

    I am not a fan of big SUVs and need for them in my life at this point...hence the interest in a vehicle like the Solstace as a possible daily driver. :)

    C'mon Pontiac, do me proud and give me a reason to actually believe that you build excitement!

    Audley, you reading this!?
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Autoweek has a nice drving article on the car.

    The interior, from pics - always a hard reference to use, at least looks superb. The cockpit is similar to my favorite cockpit of all time: the 2G Eclipse
    except that on the 2G E, the center stack was angled slightly toward the driver (always loved that).

    Looks good, IMO. Looks very good.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Always bumping into each other aren't we. I'm actually pretty interested in the Solstice as I might actually be able to fit in it (as opposed to the Miata). I've put my car shopping on hold for a bit anyway, so maybe I'll just wait around and see how this Solstice turns out.

    Like that interior shot. Looks good.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    It sure looks good. A quote from the article made reference to the Fiero. Something to the effect that Fiero's looks promised performance it couldn't deliver until late in the program (very true) and that they simply couldn't afford to make that mistake this time out.

    If that's really the mindset, then this may end up something well worth waiting for.

    BTW, see those HVAC vents in the interior shot? If I had my way, the industry would be standardized with that vent design on everything! I had those in the Sebring LXi coupe, and the operation and design is perfect.

    How's that for nitpicking?!
  • breetai52breetai52 Posts: 91
    One of my favorite interiors. Really has a great cockpit feel. I actually think I like this better than the concept car.
  • spyrosspyros Posts: 1
  • breetai52breetai52 Posts: 91
    I don't think we know yet, but Opel or Vauxhall will probably get a Kappa car. Check out the VX Lightning.



    I think I like the exterior even more than the Solstice, although its pretty similar. They might have to do something to make it legal with those new "bumper" restrictions.
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    Saturn is getting an offshoot of the Lightning.

    I don't think the Solstice will be exported, they're only making 20,000 a year and those will be hard to keep on dealer lots here.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Wow that's beautiful. The Solstice is curvy like the Miata, so maybe bringing something "different' like the Lightning would make sense too.

    How much bigger (in dimensions, not weight) is the Solstice than the Miata? The biggest reason I hear for not buying a Miata is its size, which makes it a little scary to use on roads shared by increasingly large cars and trucks.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Tell me more about the saturn version of the lightining!

    Both of these cars are pretty dang cool.

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Jeez, I would have thought a pretty, RWD roadster that starts at around $20K would generate a lot more traffic on this board. Pretty dead in here. I guess it is far enough away that very little buzz is being generated.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Just wait until it comes out. This will be like the crazy miata board...maybe.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I don't get excited anymore without a decent configurator site!

    Lordy, that didn't sound good, now did it? Well, all y'all know what I mean...
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    but I'm actually excited at the thought of having roll down windows again. (well no one ever accused me of being quite right in the head...)

    Never been that hot-to-trot about roadsters before because...well simply that I can't fit in them comfortably at all, they're too expensive, or both. This sounds like a nice compromise. I don't need a ton of power, enough to scoot around and still get decent gas mileage would be fine. Actually very interested in this car.......did I just say that about a Pontiac?
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    My Dad's always been a GM man, ever since he bought a '63 biscayne station wagon for our family. We had two '65 pontiac lemans (wish I had kept the good one) a 70 wagon and now he has two late model bonnevilles SSE's and a Caddy STS.

    Anyway, for a mass produced fairly affordable car, they handle pretty well and are sort of sporty. Even that wagon handled pretty decent, especially compared to the competition of the era.

    The Fiero, rest in peice, was rough as its budget was limited. Typical GM they got it right just as they killed it. Too bad they did product testing and design as they were selling them.

    I know the design processes have improved a great deal, and I am ready for this new Pontiac. I just won't be in the for the first year's. We learned that the hard way with the 80 citation.

  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    What's the latest info. on when this car will be available in the Pontiac showrooms???
  • fformula88fformula88 Posts: 30
    "The Fiero, rest in peice, was rough as its budget was limited. Typical GM they got it right just as they killed it. Too bad they did product testing and design as they were selling them."

    The Sosltice is not going down the same road as the Fiero, to illustrate a quick history... (PS, I love my Fiero, I have an 88 Formula, the year they got it "right" and the year they killed it)

    The Fiero was a Pontiac concept that grew out of the gas crisis of the late 70's. GM ordered each division to come up with a high mileage car to offer the public. POntiac penned a lightweight mid engine two seater "commuter" car. They really wanted a two seat sports car, and had wanted one for a long time (since the 60's) but could not get it approved. So they went the commuter car route.

    GM was skeptical, but did give them a shoestring budget to pursue the project. Due to lack of corporate support, and numerous attempts by bean counters to kill it, they managed to get it into production by doing much of the design and engineering out of house.

    What emerged from this low budget out of house project was a major compromise of a car. They had the knockout styling, the innovative plastic body which was put on the car in a way that eliminated fit and finish discrepencies between panels, and a very sturdy spaceframe that could easily handle the stresses of being a sports car. Unfortunately, that left little money for anything else, so they attached an X-car suspension to it, and dropped in the low revving 2.5L Iron Duke motor which maxed out at less than 100 HP. Also, no power steering was offered.

    The engine and suspension just were not sporty in nature... by a long shot. The car was a knockout to look at, and left people wanting after they drove it.

    Then some of the 84's received bad engine rods which were breaking, shooting through the engine blocks, and starting engine fires. Thats where the fire reputation came from.

    In 85, they added a V6 engine which gave the car acceptable performance (8 sec to 60, 16 quarter with a couple in the high 15's if they didn't have many options, all decent times in 1985). Unfortunately, that engine was mated to a 4 speed manual which I have had the displeasure to drive myself. It was not a sporty transmission to use, and a gear short of what was accepted as necessary. So again it left everyone wanting.

    Mid year 86 saw the addition of a better 5 speed getrag transmission and a fastback body style. Still, that X-car derrived suspension was hurting handling.

    88 they gave the car a completely redesigned suspension which finally made the car drive fairly comfortably, handle as well as its looks promised, and it had better brakes. By this time, the engine fire problem had created a black cloud over the car, and too many people thought it was a poor handling and too slow car. Plus prices crept up due to lower and lower output. They needed to average 75K units a year, and over the lifespan came very close to that. But 88 saw only 26K units moved, even with the better suspension. So they killed it (with the much needed power steering ready to be offered too).

    The Solstice on the other hand, is getting the budget money, testing time, and engineering talent it needs to make sure it doesn't need any of the compromises the Fiero got stuck with. The cars suspension is being purpose built and highly tuned and developed. Its going to have acceptable power in base form, and likely a lot more not far after introduciton. They are putting all the money it needs into it from day one. Its certainly not going to be another compromised parts bin car like the Fiero was. In respect to being a 2 seater sports car, it is similar. I think that is where the similarities end. GM is going to have a terrific car when they get this thing to market next year! I cannot wait!
  • hydnhydn Posts: 8
    I like most on this board have high hopes for this car. I will hold my breath. Like any wise person, I will not buy a new year model. Unlike most I buy a new car for 6-8 years. Like others on this forum, I would like a posting of the cars dimensions. I am 6'2" 230lbs. I need some shoulder and leg room that most small cars don't afford. Nothing pissing me off than riding around with my shoulders touching the passenger, which is a Miata problema.

    Feiro + fire (hah). I witnessed this one with my own eyes. My uncle was driving and we saw a disabled Feiro. He stopped to render assistance. As he was talking to the owners, I pointed out that there was a icky looking smoke coming from the engine compartment. Sure, enough I saw a fire and melted plastic dripping. Not much we could do (long before cell phones) and there where a number of houses close.

     The next day I drove by the spot and stopped at what looked to be an odd patern on the ground where the Feiro was the day before. I could actually see where the melted plastic had run down the frame and on to the ground, giving a nice "shroud of turin" effect.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    LOL, love the "shroud" reference. Welcome to the forums, hydn! I assume you've been reading for awhile, but just decided to jump in. Let us know if you need help finding your way around Town Hall.


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  • I have a theory the Fiero was killed for the sole purpose of using its production facilities to make the 'dustbuster' vans. The Fiero had to be moved aside because its plant had the only facilities to drill the attachment points on the spaceframe for the plastic panels. Since minvans were hot at the time, and the Fiero was selling at best so-so despite new suspension, the plug was yanked on the Fiero.

    Turboshadow (calling Oliver Stone)
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Like all good conspiracy theories, it dosen't hold water.

    The Fiero was built from the 1984 to the 1988 model years. It used the mill & drill body attachment system in its Pontiac Michigan home.

    The "dustbuster" family of vans were built from the 1990 to the 1996 model years in Tarrytown, New York. The vans didn't use the mill & drill body mounting system.
  • Hey All,

    Just found this forum and wanted to say hello. Is there concern with availability since production is only 20,000 per year? Is there a set date when the auto will be in the showrooms?

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Welcome, william2! According to Our information, this vehicle won't be available til next summer, so it's unlikely that they'll have an exact date just yet.

    They're saying 20-30K produced the first year - if it's a hot vehicle, then YEAH, there will be a concern about availability with that small number.


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  • My cause for concern is not the plant capacity, but rather the dealer markups.
  • Hey William,
    I am a vendor at the GM Wilmington plant where the Solstice is being built. My contacts there tell me that they will be ramping up for full production in March 2005. Expect to see them in the showroom as early as June 2005. As with most changeovers they will work out the production kinks in a few weeks and will be up to full capacity by mid April/early May. I have seen one tooling around the plant grounds. I was hoping to get a ride in it today but it never happened.
    It does have a nice fit and finish appearance even for a preproduction model. Get juiced they will be nice.
  • Don't expect to see a supercharged version until MY 2006 at the quote from GM employees that will be building the Solstice. From the one I've seen at the Wilmington plant it looks light enough for a 2.2 4-banger to move it nicely through time and space just fine for openers in 2005. If it's the same 2.2L /5 speed combo GM uses in my wife's Saturn Vue, there should be plenty of HP to move the GVW of a Solstice. With a manual 5 speed you could push the higher RPMs to get the most out of it. Hopefully, GM will offer a 6 speed OD manual tranny. The Misses Saturn Vue could use one more gear on the NJ Turnpike at 65 MPH to tame the RPMs down to 2500 instead of 3000.
    Stay tuned!
  • Thanks for the post. It has been surprisingly quite from GM about production start up. They haven't said anything in public since the fall 2005 statments. But I always hoped that with the early dimise on the Saturn L they would get the plant changed over and running early. Your post seems to back that up. That would also explain the increase in projected built in recent press stories. Late 2005 start up for 20,000 cars. Now early 2005 start up for 20,000-30,000 cars. Increase capacity should ease demand and keep dealer mark ups to lower levels.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Isn't Solstice supposed to appear also as a Chevy, Saturn and a Subaru? I think, it was the plan. As the matter of fact, it would have been very hot as it was originally planned with WRX engine. Also, center of gravity would have been lower.
  • Is that rumor based on any fact? I'd love to see sexy Solstice sheetmetal wrapped around a 222 hp Fuji Heavy Industries turbo engine. More likely I think that GM will add a supercharger to the 2.2 L inline 4.

    I want a Solstice in June of 2005. I actually wrote an e-mail to Pontiac customer care and asked if they had a program to pick up your care at the DE manufacturing facility. No such luck, it would have been wonderful to visit a auto plant in my backyard (I live in the Metro DC area) and pick up my brand new Solstice there. I guess only the Corvette customers get such red-carpet treatment.

    I wish I could ride over the Delaware, and put down the MSRP and drive away with a car just off the assembly line. I'd rather do that myself than have it delivered on a auto truck to a seedy dealer and have them rip me off. I wonder if the auto manufacturers will ever do direct sales?
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    I believe that Subaru engine was the one which was in the very first Solstice. I firmly believe GM should build in DE for Subaru a Solstice for Japanese market (and may be for us?), with WRX's 2.5/3L turbo and other bells & whistles. Give them a dream car - the way they see it - otherwise we'll never have any success there. It's about time when not only we are buying stuff from the whole world, let's move our iron abroad. But, again, it could be that I am the only one who cares for American cars...
  • Im a 20 yr old with a 99 protege and i HATE it ive been saving for about 2 yrs for a new car and i was going to get a miata but since seeing the pics of this on edmunds im definatly going to look at this over the miata the body to me is just a lot sexier ..but anyways my question to you guys is this.. ive never bought a Brand new car first yr of production and i want an automatic..should i be in line when they first roll off the trucks or wait till the next model year i dont want any problems and i hear a lot of times first year cars have tons of bugs..anyways thanks for any input
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    The Solstice won't have an auto for a while.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Don't buy a a first-year car, but lease it in heart beat, if monthly it's affordable. I leased an Accord, which supposedly a great quality car - first year it went through 3 trannies; I still feel like driving it in the wall. But now lease is over, and soon it will be Honda's problem. Or, get a couple/3-years old Miata with a hardtop, slap on it a supercharger (widely available for $3,500, installs in 3-5 hours, very easy) and smoke every Boxter and Bimmer on stop-light race - all that for 10-15G's.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Anyone know when this car will hit the Pontiac stores?
  • The Solstice has piqued my interest. I wonder if it will be at the auto shows this winter?
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Sure has been quiet about the car on all fronts.
  • With production nearing, I would expect production version will be out in both LA and Detroit the beginning of January. Sometimes the press info even hits the GM Media site before they go home for Christmas. Autoextremist's recent rant was about Detroit showing new models to far in advance, so that people where already tired by the time the car showed up. The sooner it comes out, the sooner the posts about how GM messed up this and that, and that it will never be as good as (fill in foreign convertible), can start and really get this forum going. ;-)
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    yes, I read about the comments on the G6 promo. Well done and not usual GM marketing. But the car ads got everyone worked up and the dealers had no stock, so perhaps they are holding back as you say this time.

    It does look like neat car, a bit heavy compared to others but it should perform well enough. The ecotec can be hopped up to near infinity (race ones make 1000 hp) so that should be fun to watch people go nuts over this thing.

    My wife keeps looking at Mini's, but this would be american and just as fun to drive, perhaps cheaper as well. I keep looking for Edmonds to do some early tests on it.

  • All the promo pics I've seen are of the convertible, but with the top down. I've never seen a pic with the top up. I've also seen concept pics of the Solstice from around 2002 that show a hard top version.


    Which version(s)is being offered first, and is the convertible going to be priced at $20K base?
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