Jump to content

The 2006 Pontiac Solstice Roadster


Dick Splash

Recommended Posts

I've been closely following this American car from concept to its production and they should hit the streets in three months.

354e6963.jpg

Even if you're not interested in Pontiac or cars, do read the following and check out the images and the official websites, because you may appreciate the design, style and work that's gone into the car and its marketing.

On Thursday April the 14th, at 8pm EST here in the US, the Pontiac Solstice made its first television appearance during 'The Apprentice' show with Donald Trump. The whole show was dedicated to the designing of a brochure for the car. Two teams of three people designed one each, and one of the two brochures was so good, that Pontiac used it. These brochures were delivered to dealerships on the same day as the show by FedEx.

After the show, three websites went live;

For ordering one of the first 1000 cars,

www.pontiac.com/apprentice

For the dealerships to order the cars,

www.solstice1000.com

And for merchandise

www.solsticestuff.com

Ordering one of the first 1000 cars is on a first come, first served basis and finishes on the 25th of April.

Being one of the first 1000, you'll benefit from the following;

• Special VIN sequence

• Exclusive IP Trim Badge

• Certificate of Authenticity

• Other Solstice Premiums including a commemorative edition Solstice die-cast model (scale 1:18) with a First 1000 trim plate.

Here's an album I put together of displays and dealership information, and it also includes a detailed look at 'The Apprentice' brochure.

Official Website

It should do well.

DS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That actually looks like quite a nice car... Apparently 177 hp (doesn't say whether that's brake or not though) and 166 lbf ft (but no details of where in the rev range that falls) isn't too bad out of a 2.4 litre engine, and should make for a lively ride coupled with it's independent suspension configuration (finally a modern suspension layout!!). Browsing through the photos I noticed something even more shocking: manual transmission!! The car is almost worthy of being European!! :lol:

Okay, okay, seriously. Looks pretty good. I'm not sure I like the styling of the front end, but the rest of it is nice enough. I'd like to know the kerb weight to put the power/torque figures into perspective, and also what engine speeds those quoted power & torque figures come at, but overall it should be a good car... :thumbsup:

Edited by Gav80
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Browsing through the photos I noticed something even more shocking: manual transmission!! The car is almost worthy of being European!! :lol:

Funny you should say that Gav, coz the bird in the magazine image, is Vicki Vlachakis, the Design Manager. A native Californian, she studied at the Pasadena Art CentRE, later branching out to their campus in Switzerland. She became intrigued with European design in design, which then changed her perspective entirely. She's worked on five concept vehicles since she started at the GM's Advanced Studio in L.A., and has also had experience at Mercedes and Audi in Europe.

GM's on a role at the moment, and has used minimal 'aggressive European styling' on a number of its recent car models. Just check out The Pontiac Grand Prix and the Pontiac G6 and you'll see what I mean.

I wouldn't be surprised if a few make their way to the UK, or it gets rebadged by Vauxhall.

Oh!....and as for the 5 Speed Manual only.....that's the sort of thing that loses customers over here, predominately female ones too!

No doubt automatic, V6 and hardtop will be on the horizon.

DS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dick - How many of the brochures you've got shots of are available to the public, and how many are dealer-only materials?

'The Apprentice' brochure isn't really 'available' to the public, as they're super limited, and to be honest because of this, dealers are looking to only hand them over to people that are putting money down. Which is a fair one, as they are expensive.

In the meantime XO, enjoy my images.........besides a real brochure ultimately gathers dust and gets thrown away. :yes:

Any news comes my way and I'll sort you out.

DS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh!....and as for the 5 Speed Manual only.....that's the sort of thing that loses customers over here, predominately female ones too!

I know! That's why I was so surprised to see it... Knowing that the Design Manager was someone who's spent a lot of time on European models explains some of the styling cues - I didn't think it looked very "American", if you get what I mean.

I'm not sure whether Vauxhall will rebadge it here though - they already have a few good roadsters on the UK market. Maybe one of GM's other brands that are in the UK will do it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the MSRP on the Solstice? I would have to see that before making any real comment, but at 177hp, they've already made a fatal mistake. If it's anywhere near the $32,000 you could get a GTO with 400hp and haul the kids, if it's near $40k you could just get a Corvette with 400hp and a great suspension. Under $30k? You can get a 300hp Mustang and haul the kids with you as well. Roadsters with 2 seats is a very small niche market, and unless it's cheap it better be packing more than 177hp. GM should have a slapped the L32 in there with a smaller pully and 32 valves and called it a day. This is why GM is losing money and Ford is making profits. The car design itself is nice, but they should have made a new Camaro/Firebird for that chasis in the $18-20k range instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmmm mixed feeling on the new Pontiac, they finally stray away from the "Prix design" found in almost all of their cars from late 90's to recently (even the GTO and G6 are just body modifyed around the origonal design) but it looks like a Porshe (good or bad depending on how you feel) its cool to see Pontiac going back to cool sports cars thought, i just wish theyd bring back the Trans Am!!! :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI, the GTO isn't even a GM product. It's a Holden Monaro imported from Austrailia with Pontiac body panels and GM engine slipped on it. It's a nice car, but I think that's due to the fact that GM didn't have a hand in designing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI, the GTO isn't even a GM product.  It's a Holden Monaro imported from Austrailia with Pontiac body panels and GM engine slipped on it.  It's a nice car, but I think that's due to the fact that GM didn't have a hand in designing it.

Yep, its our older monaro, with the New LS2 Gen IV V8, which is now in holdens new monaros and special vechiles range. It will be the standard V8 over the holden range next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the MSRP on the Solstice?  I would have to see that before making any real comment, but at 177hp, they've already made a fatal mistake. .........

The car design itself is nice, but they should have made a new Camaro/Firebird for that chasis in the $18-20k range instead.

Base price is $19,995. Don't give the car a hard time RooK, 177hp is very respectable for a 2.4ltr rear wheel drive. It's not intended to be an Amercian Muscle' Car', or compete with the market. It is what you said, a roadster and it is a niche market.

hmmm mixed feeling on the new Pontiac, they finally stray away from the "Prix design" found in almost all of their cars from late 90's to recently.........

.......its cool to see Pontiac going back to cool sports cars thought, i just wish theyd bring back the Trans Am!!!  :rolleyes:

I liked the Grand Prix when I started at Pontiac, but I was really sold on the '04 body style. The longer I worked there, the more I felt that some cars, not just Pontiac, were looking a bit dated eg. Trans Am, Camaro and Corvette. The new corvette with the fixed lights, is a great move I feel.

I've heard rumoUrs that the Camaro, at least, will be making a comeback.

FYI, the GTO isn't even a GM product.  It's a Holden Monaro imported from Austrailia with Pontiac body panels and GM engine slipped on it.  It's a nice car, but I think that's due to the fact that GM didn't have a hand in designing it.

FYI RooK, Holden IS a GM company, so too is Sweden's Saab and Britain's Vauxhall. IIRC, the Pontiac G6 is built on the Vauxhall Vectra platform. For the most part, the '04 and '05 GTO is an existing very popular Australian car that impressed GM's US exec's. They came up with the idea of sticking a Corvette engine in it and rebadging it GTO. It was a lot less expensive and quicker to turn around, than to design the car from scratch and re-tool a factory.

IMO that was a great move, and the GTO is a great car. One of the reasons I like it, is in its subtlety. Something you don't see in a traditional Amercian 'Muscle Car'. Fast, powerfull, yet understated.

I'm not sure i like the front end all that much either, too round and bulky.

The rest looks pretty smart, especially in Black.

I here you BTK. The grill looks a little cheap, but I'm sure there'll be and upgrade package for it next year, and certainly to distinguish it from a V6 or supercharged variant. After market companies will be knocking out accessories for it too no doubt.

DS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if it's near $40k you could just get a Corvette with 400hp and a great suspension.

Corvette? Great suspension? Did you really just use those three words in the same sentence??? :blink:

I got two words for you: leaf springs. Sorry, make that three and add "wrong" to that list...

Surely for the 2006 'Vette it's about time they put 21st century (or even 1980's) suspension into it? In most of the world, leaf springs were popular in the fifties and sixties, but automotive technology has moved on quite a bit since then...

Edited by Gav80
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't matter if a car has leaf springs, live axle, or rubber duckies for all I car. What does matter is the C6 can hold around 1g on the skid pad, which means it can hold it's own with the best European cars at a lower price. US cars may be less refined, but we can still hang with everyone else while preventing your wallet from being milked dry.

DS: Let me restate that then. It's a nice car, but I think that's due to the fact that GM's US Division didn't have a hand in designing it. Look at the new Lumina they're selling over seas, that thing is nice. Yet they won't get of their asses and sell it here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankyou for that correction, WK... Perhaps you could also write to Chevrolet and tell them to correct their literature then... Taken directly from the Chevrolet website, on the

technical specs page for the new 'Vette...

Suspension: transverse fiberglass leaf springs

Funnily enough, I don't happen to know the suspension geometry of cars that are of little interest to me, and from a country 2000 miles away - so I did actually look it up before I posted... :P

I remembered seeing something about leaf springs on a review I saw on a UK motoring TV programme (they hated it, if you're interested - as they do with all American cars to be fair). Very fast in a straight line, but put a corner in the road and it's stumped. Fine for cruising up and down a motorway, but not for real "fun" driving of the European definition (ie hard cornering and sudden direction changes around twisty roads, preferably with double-apex bends, off-camber, dropping downhill into the braking zone etc etc). We (ie Europeans) like a car to be agile rather than brutally fast on a wide straight peice of tarmac - which the 'Vette undoubtedly is... it just doesn't do anything for most of us on the eastern side of the Atlantic.

Edited by Gav80
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So.... back to the Solstice.  What's the curb weight on it?  It might make a good competitor to the MR2/Miata.

The specs I've got state 'Weight', so I don't know if this is the same thing. It shows

• Horsepower: 177 @ 6600 rpm

• Torque: 166 ib-ft @ 4800 rpm

• 0-60: 7.2 Seconds

• Lateral G's: 0.90

• Height: 50.1"

• Length: 157.2"

• Width: 71.3"

• Wheelbase: 95.1"

• Front Track: 60.7"

• Rear Track: 61.4"

• Head Room: 38.5"

• Shoulder Room: 52.4"

• Leg Room: 42.7"

• Weight: 2,860lbs

• Wheels: 18" x 8"

• Fuel tank Capacity: 13.8 Gallons (Approx)

DS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those specs and price range fit the MR-S and Miata almost perfectly. I think I've found who their target competition was. Now, As I said before, slip the Series III 3800SC V6 under the hood with a 3.4 pulley and it should be spitting out around 275hp. That would be sweet.

Edited by RooK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...