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2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice

Pros :
- Sleek original styling.
- Excellent handling.
- Bargain price.
- Supercar braking performance.
- Enough headroom for tall people.

Cons :
- Sparsely equipped base interior.
- Not exactly quick.
- Limited luggage room.
- No spare tire.
- Fun for only two people.

Interior :

Press Coverage :
Inspired by the pure driving experience offered by classic roadsters, the Pontiac Solstice delivers invigorating driving thrills with balanced performance from a sophisticated, Ecotec-based powertrain and delivers them in a curvaceous form that can be best described as seductive. True sports car features include rear-wheel drive, four-wheel independent SLA suspension, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and a powerful 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine rated at 177 horsepower. A close-ratio Aisin five-speed close-ratio manual transmission is standard, while a five-speed automatic will become available later in the model year.
Solstice was first shown as a concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit , where it had gone from idea to driveable concept vehicle in four months. A groundswell of support inside General Motors and legions of admiring enthusiasts helped give the project a green light for production in 2004. Less than two years later, the production model is hitting the street – a remarkable achievement given the fact that the vehicle’s architecture was created from scratch.
Although Solstice conveys a minimalist image, it is nonetheless well-equipped with the type of comfort and convenience items appreciated by enthusiastic drivers. The interior is surprisingly roomy, allowing for a comfortable driving position for tall drivers – a trait that some competitors’ roadsters cannot boast. Standard equipment includes racing-inspired sport bucket seats with convenient seat cushion and seatback storage, leather-wrapped manual shift knob, AM/FM and CD stereo with six speakers, rear window defogger, rake-adjustable steering wheel, three cupholders, easy-to-operate cloth convertible top with glass backlight and dual frontal air bags. Additionally, several option packages are available. Power package includes power locks, mirrors and windows, along with remote keyless entry. Convenience package includes cruise control, driver information center and fog lamps. Premium package includes leather seating surfaces (Ebony or Steel/Sand two-tone), leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel radio controls.
Other available equipment includes air conditioning, carpeted floor mats, MP3-capable CD player radio, MP3-capable radio with six-disc in-dash CD player, Monsoon Premium seven-speaker system, OnStar and XM Satellite Radio.
OnStar-equipped Solstice models feature OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
In keeping with the spirit of a pure sports car, Solstice is designed to feel like an extension of the driver’s body. It is built on GM’s new rear-wheel drive Kappa architecture, which uses independent short/long arm-type suspensions in the front and rear to give the Solstice a responsive, road-gripping driving feel. Other driver-focused features include Bilstein coil-over monotube shocks at all corners, rack-and-pinion steering (power assisted), eighteen-inch aluminum alloy wheels, P245/45R18 all-season tires, four-wheel disc brakes with 11.7-inch (297 mm) front rotors and 10.9-inch (277 mm) rear rotors, available limited-slip rear differential, cockpit-style instrument panel with motorcycle-inspired gauges and a short-throw shifter.
To provide a solid foundation for the Solstice’s responsive suspension, engineers developed a lower-dominant tube structure for the chassis. Hydroformed frame rails, which run the full length of the vehicle, are the basis of the chassis, while additional stampings form a rigid structure onto which the bodywork is attached. The hydroforming process uses pressurized fluid to form each frame rail from a single piece of steel, rather than several pieces of steel welded together. This creates a stronger frame rail and requires less time to form it. Additional components and stampings are added to the frame rail during vehicle assembly.
A tunnel at the center of the chassis, which houses the transmission and driveshaft, is internally reinforced and enclosed at the bottom to enhance stiffness. This built-in strength reduces chassis flex and cowl shake in a vehicle designed from the outset as a convertible. The Kappa architecture’s rigid structure also permits more precision when it comes to tuning the suspension. The short-long arm suspension design features forged aluminum upper and lower control arms that are strong and low in mass. The rear suspension also features a toe control link and the rear differential housing has an optimized three-point mounting design.
The Solstice’s four-wheel disc brakes consist of 11.7-inch ventilated front rotors and 10.9-inch rear rotors, which combine to provide assured braking capability. ABS (with dynamic rear proportioning) is available.
Solstice is powered by a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower (132 kw) at 6600 rpm and 166 lb.-ft. of torque (225 Nm) at 4800 rpm.* With a curb weight of just 2,860 pounds (1,297 kg), the 2.4L Ecotec engine helps give the Solstice an enviable horsepower-to-weight ratio of nearly 16.2 to 1.
The 2.4L Ecotec is a sophisticated, dual-overhead cam engine with an aluminum block and cylinder head, which contributes to the Solstice’s lightweight character and enhances front-to-rear weight balance.
Matching the 2.4L Ecotec’s power is a standard close-ratio Aisin five-speed manual transmission. Later in the ’06 model year, the advanced Hydra-Matic 5L40-E five-speed automatic transmission will be offered as an option.
A 3.91:1 axle ratio is standard with the five-speed manual powertrain. The gears are housed in a rear axle derived from the Cadillac CTS, which was chosen for its excellent performance characteristics and high torque capability. A limited-slip rear differential is available.
Designers worked carefully to transfer the clean lines, taut proportions and interesting details of the concept vehicle to the production model, including the forward-opening clamshell hood. The Solstice’s tightly wrapped proportions are accented with five-spoke aluminum wheels and a low, wide stance. A dual-port grille and expressive lighting at all corners instantly identify the car as a Pontiac . A body-color extension into the passenger compartment gives Solstice an integrated appearance when the top is down. In fact, the top folds flat into the rear clamshell opening, providing a smooth, seamless appearance.
Creative leveraging of GM resources, as well as clever solutions to other needs, helped complete the Solstice’s design efficiently and economically. For example, the back-up lamps are from the GMC Envoy, while door handles, fog lamps, seats, engine and transmission are shared with other GM vehicles.
However, some parts are pure Solstice. The taillamps, for instance, were designed with special reflectors to eliminate the need for a separate side marker light. This not only contributes to the car’s sleek, progressive design, but also eliminates the cost of a separate marker lens and bulb.
The interior design is equally purposeful and intuitive, with details like pedals placed for easy heel-and-toe driving and a cockpit-style instrument panel that sweeps around the driver. Designers also worked with chassis engineers to optimize the placement of the shifter. Manual shifter throws between gear changes were studied and revised until the “just right” length was determined.
GM Media

Not that this sports car is a tire-smoking monster in acceleration, but it's quick enough and its overall performance in ride, handling and getting up to speed is excellent. This is a sports car that loves to tackle that favorite twisty road or local racetrack, and it does so with utter confidence.
The only transmission available at the time of this writing is the Aisin 5-speed manual, which hooks up to a 3.91:1 rear differential. One of the features that makes a sports car a delight to drive is a really good gearbox with short throws and precise shifts. The Pontiac team nailed this with the Solstice, as its gear changes are a delight to the touch, and I never came close to missing a shift. Fifth gear is a 0.73 overdrive ratio, making highway cruising effortless and reasonably quiet.
The steering is by rack and pinion with power assist, and the effort and feedback are ideal. The standard tires are P245/45R-18 Goodyear Eagle RS-As, which offer ample footprint and grip. The fully independent suspension uses A-arms, coil springs, tube shocks and anti-roll bars front and rear. When all of these components are put together, the result is a fun roadster with good response to driver input, comfortable ride over all surfaces, and decent traction around even the tightest of corners.
Road and Track

The ride is smooth for a car with only a short 95.1-inch wheelbase, although rippled roads cause the Solstice to get a little jittery. The brake pedal has a progressive action, and stopping distances are short with the all-disc brakes.
The minimalist interior looks plenty sporty and has good room for two tall occupants, although some budget-grade materials are used. The "motorcycle-inspired" gauges, though are sometimes hard to read quickly because they're too deeply recessed.
The comfortable bucket seats are supportive, but their controls need to provide a larger range of comfort settings. The controls are mostly large and easily reached. There are three cupholders, but little interior room for small items. The glove compartment is tiny, but a small covered storage compartment with a flimsy cover is between the seatbacks.
Trunk space is poor with the top down, partly because a high fuel tank occupies a large center area of it. Solstice owners should plan on traveling light with a few pieces of soft luggage—even with the top raised.
There's no room for a spare tire, so one ends up with a "fix-a-flat" can of spray sealant that won't be appreciated if one of the large tires goes flat.
MSN Autos

1984-1988 Pontiac Fiero 2M4
2,500 cc / 98 hp / 135 lb-ft / 2602 lbs / 0-60 mph 10.0 sec.

Competitors :
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Nissan 350Z
Honda S2000


Pontiac Solstice - Back to Stats Specs and pictures



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