View Full Version : American version of the great british sportcar is coming. U hate it? or like it?

01-04-2004, 05:51 PM
If you ever saw a picture of the Audi Avus concept car back in the early nineties......that one car is a replica of it.

01-04-2004, 09:23 PM
The interior looks really plastic.. GM always has trouble with their dashes and interiors looking " cold and antiseptic..

Don Lattimer
01-05-2004, 12:03 AM
Of course I'm sure you're all aware that "The Great British Sportscar" is Marcos. Still making 'em too.

Don Lattimer
1971 Marcos V6

tony barnhill
01-05-2004, 12:42 AM
Marcos - an interesting sidebar in the British automotive cottage industry...though I must admit that I'd not turn down a reasonably priced Marcos!

01-05-2004, 04:56 AM

DETROIT - Bringing the popular concept car to life, GM announced production of the Pontiac Solstice roadster as a 2006 model. The vehicle is expected in dealer showrooms in fall 2005.

First shown as a concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the Solstice immediately gained a huge following, both inside and outside of General Motors. Designed from the ground up in less than four months, the 2002 Solstice concept car promised thrilling, open-air driving freedom in the spirit of the great roadsters of the past.

Built on GM’s new Kappa architecture, the production model remains true to the original Solstice concept, including rear-wheel drive, two-passenger seating and a reverse hinged clamshell hood that opens to reveal a sophisticated double overhead cam variable-valve four-cylinder engine.

“True to the thinking behind the original concept, the production Solstice is all about being a ‘back-to-basics’ roadster with gorgeous lines and fun-to-drive characteristics,” said Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman of product development and chairman of GM North America. “The key enabler of Solstice is the new Kappa rear-wheel-drive architecture and component set, which allows us to rapidly and efficiently develop an appealing family of compact and affordable sports cars.”

Emotional design, rigid backbone
Strong response to the 2002 Solstice concept vehicle helped put the sports car on the fast track to production. But while the concept was designed with production-style elements, there was no compact rear-wheel-drive platform at GM on which to build it. Creating a production version of the concept vehicle required marrying the Solstice’s curvaceous design to an entirely new performance body-chassis architecture.

The robust Kappa architecture features state-of-the-art, full-length hydroformed frame rails and a stamped steel structural tunnel to provide a solid structure to enhance vehicle handling.

To ensure an affordable, world-class driving experience, Solstice was created with a clever blend of all-new technology and proven GM components.
Solstice’s power is created by a new 2.4-liter variable-valve version of the Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder engine, producing about 170 horsepower. Its twin-cam, multi-valve design provides stirring, high-revving performance, while the engine’s lightweight, all-aluminum construction helps optimize the vehicle’s front-to-rear balance. At the start of production, Solstice will be offered with a close-ratio Aisin five-speed manual transmission.

“With the concept vehicle, people immediately felt the emotional appeal of Solstice’s design and back-to-basics philosophy - it’s about performance, but in a fun, agile, affordable roadster,” said Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC general manager. “All the stops were pulled out to make sure the production model delivers an exhilarating driving experience to capitalize on the ‘promise’ of the Solstice’s design.”

Faithfulness to the concept can be seen in Solstice’s proportions, which are comparable in terms of overhangs, wheelbase and track width. Independent front and rear suspensions that feature independent SLA designs with forged aluminum upper and lower control arms contribute to responsive handling. Monotube shock absorbers and coil springs contribute to uncompromised handling response and sporty driving characteristics while the wheels-at-the-corners wide stance enhances handling. Eighteen-inch wheels and tires are standard, as are four-wheel disc brakes.

The interior is oriented around the driver, with a clean design and intuitive controls. “The interior of the Solstice is surprisingly spacious, especially for a smaller car,” said Lori Queen, vehicle line executive for GM’s small cars. “We wanted to create a comfortable environment suitable for longer drives without sacrificing the ‘personal’ feeling of a driver’s car.”

Clean lines, clever details
Designers worked carefully to transfer the clean lines and taut proportions of the concept vehicle to the production model.

“Put them side by side and it’s very difficult to tell the production model from the concept,” said Franz Von Holzhausen, design manager. “The front and rear fascias are slightly longer on the production model, but overall the car remains faithful to the concept - it’s a minimalist approach that emphasizes proportion.”

The Solstice’s proportions are accented with five-spoke wheels and a low, wide stance. A dual-port grille and expressive lighting at all corners instantly identifies the car as a Pontiac. Unexpected details include a body-color extension into the passenger compartment that gives the 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.

“There is no visible stack from the folded top to disturb the shape,” said Von Holzhausen. “In fact, there are no extraneous lines whatsoever; it has a tight, purposeful look, as if it were shrink-wrapped around the driver.”

“We insisted on a lower ride height to ensure the car’s sporty appearance,” said Von Holzhausen. “That makes it the lowest, most ground-hugging car at GM. We were adamant that the Solstice look absolutely right from all angles.”

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 rear corner 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 all 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 design, but also eliminates the cost of a separate marker lens and bulb.

Interior design is equally purposeful and clever, 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 shortened.

“When you sit down in the car, your hand naturally falls onto the shifter,” said Vicki Vlachakis, interior designer. “It’s a very intuitive, comfortable environment, and the feel of the shifter between gears is very short and precise. Designers and chassis engineers worked together to tune the best placement.”

A turning point
The production Solstice announcement further enhances a re-energized Pontiac lineup that already includes the all-new GTO and G6, Grand Prix, Vibe and a V-8-powered Bonneville GXP.

“Solstice is a vehicle that captures the passion and pleasure of open-air driving,” said Myers. “Everyone at GM recognized that adding it to Pontiac’s portfolio would make another strong statement about Pontiac’s renaissance.”

Its fast-track approval and development process come on the heels of a similar rapid decision process that helped launch the 2004 GTO in 18 months.

“The GTO and Solstice complement each other by offering ‘book-end’ approaches to Pontiac’s performance offerings,” said Myers. “Like its V-8 powered stable mate, Solstice adds another dimension to a growing lineup of clean, uncompromising performance vehicles.”

01-05-2004, 04:57 AM



interior https://www.fototime.com/8D08F9FA538697D/standard.jpg


The beginning of GM's hydroformed frame rail conversion from unitbody chassis


Front view


opened and full view:


01-05-2004, 04:58 AM
Here's a car GM thinks can compete with the new mini S..

Are they on drugs or is this cool?

Whats your opinion?

That nomad looks like a '53 Vette from the nose.


01-05-2004, 04:59 AM
Here's the details from insidegm news


Super 7
01-05-2004, 12:52 PM
What does "SLA" mean. Is that Single Lower Arm?

That would be Chapman struts in back, Mcpherson struts in front?

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by JBsZ06:
Here's the details from insidegm news


01-05-2004, 12:57 PM
I think its success will depend on pricing. I like the Pontiac. The Saturn is a bit ugly and rip off of Audi and Chrysler show cars. But it looks to be built as a proper sports car - nice rwd drivetrain and not a Mac strut in sight.

01-05-2004, 01:48 PM
America's version of the "great British sportscar"?

Please, spare me. images/icons/rolleyes.gif About the only thing GM has done in the tradition of the "great British sportscar" is spell "MG" backwards.

[ 01-05-2004: Message edited by: aerog ]</p>

tony barnhill
01-05-2004, 01:55 PM
graemlins/iagree.gif AMEN, BROTHER!

Mickey Richaud
01-05-2004, 02:12 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by aerog:
About the only thing GM has done in the tradition of the "great British sportscar" is spell "MG" backwards.


Remember the "hidden" voice of satan in records when you played them backwards?

So, is GM satan?

tony barnhill
01-05-2004, 02:16 PM
Mickey, in your profession, you're better able to answer that question than the rest of us...never thought of GM as the big Satan though....to me it was always BL!

01-05-2004, 07:45 PM
GM has (IMHO) been a stinky, stagnent, sloth for 40+ years. As much as I hate to admit it, Harley Earle may have been the last innovator to work at GM. I hate to give anyone that is reputed to be such an abuser that credit, but it was certainly that long ago.

170hp out of 2.4l and they call it a sports car? The thing had better weigh 1700lbs. Otherwise stick with the phrase "petty two seater"

As a styling efort; I like the exterior very much and at the same time, agree that the interior looks like typical GM boredom. They have to start somewhere, maybe this will improve and GM will, once again, lead the industry after 40+ years of total stupidity. I somehow doubt that last statement, because they have never produced a car, in my lifetime, that I had any respect for either because it was a huge bulbus buldgemobile or because someone else offerd a better value for a similar car (ala the Japaneese invasion of the 70s).

I genuinely like small cars, I don't see a need for everyone to be driving an SUV. I have felt this way since I was 16 so I have always been skewed toward "world" cars. I have also said "If any of the American 4 (that's how long I've been saynig it) would offer a car like an LBC I would try it." Maybe 2005 is the year.

I don't think "Roger" would have spoken with me either ;&gt;}

01-06-2004, 12:06 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ThomP:
170hp out of 2.4l and they call it a sports car? The thing had better weigh 1700lbs. Otherwise stick with the phrase "petty two seater"

No offense but I don't think horsepower is a definition of sportscar...If 170hp is a litmus test then we're likely to have a whole lot of "LBC" owners exiting the sportscar world and entering the "petty two seater" world.

01-06-2004, 12:42 AM
The Pontiac could be a lot worse in the looks department. The Nomad looks a lot like the original Corvette-based show car that (I think) was called a "Corvair" at the time.

Dave Russell
01-06-2004, 02:09 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by aerog:
No offense but I don't think horsepower is a definition of sportscar...If 170hp is a litmus test then we're likely to have a whole lot of "LBC" owners exiting the sportscar world and entering the "petty two seater" world.<hr></blockquote>

To put things in perspective the Pontiac at 2860 pounds has about the same power to weight ratio as a BJ8.

01-06-2004, 10:37 AM
The BJ8 is known as the Hairy Beast for a reason. It was heavy, difficult to handle and ,face it, only marginally competitive. We are also comparing a 1950s design to a 2005 design to put things into perspective. Surley, if a real Healey were designed today, one Donald Healey would put his name on, it would be better than its predicessor!

The Ginetta is more a modern "Sports Car" at 220hp per ton than the GM Solstice thingie at 119hp per ton. The Ginetta "only" has 146hp total. So, you see, Aerog, I agree with you; What makes a sports car, a Sports Car is Performance.

01-06-2004, 10:56 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ThomP:
The Ginetta is more a modern "Sports Car" at 220hp per ton than the GM Solstice thingie at 119hp per ton. The Ginetta "only" has 146hp total. So, you see, Aerog, I agree with you; What makes a sports car, a Sports Car is Performance.<hr></blockquote>

Wellll maybe, but give us those same numbers on a mid-70s MGB or Spitfire images/icons/wink.gif

01-06-2004, 01:30 PM
170hp in a 2800lb+ package is going to be positively slothful by modern standards. Any number of its competitors will easily hand that thing it's rear, they'll do it while carrying 4 passengers, and some of 'em will do it for less money, too.
For that matter, yeah, it's about the same power-to-weight as a BJ8 (or an MGC, for that matter), but shouldn't GM be a bit embarrassed about a new "sports car" that's competitive with a 50-year-old design (which wasn't particularly modern then).
If they gave an estimated street price I missed it, but to even begin to be competitive they're going to have to bring that thing in at well under 20k, and they can't do it.

Once again, GM misses the mark so completely you wonder exactly what they're problem is.

Jim Weatherford
01-06-2004, 02:47 PM
Basically, I like it, but a lot for me depends on pricing. I love the Ginetta too it is a very sexy car and powered right too. As always I concerned about personal fit and some reasonable degree of comfort. When your 6'2" and 240 those are important issues and why I like British cars.

Will I seriously look at the new Pontiac... YES!

As in all things... "time will tell."

01-06-2004, 07:41 PM
The Spitfire was about 95hp per ton, the B is 85hp per ton. Again, these LBC sports cars are "ancient" designs. He11, my 1998 Ford Escort has 106hp per ton, that's close to the GM @119 and the Escort isn't any "Sports Car". The Escort will outhandle those ancient designs too, because the tires are fatter, the brakes are bigger and the supension geometry has improved over those examples. Don't you think a "Sporst Car" from GM should outperform a 1998 Escort?????

01-06-2004, 11:31 PM
My Neon R/T will drop that thing like a bad habit in the straights or corners. My dull as a shovel Subaru wagon (160hp/ ~3000lb) won't be too far behind, even loaded up with the boy's whole soccer team.

01-07-2004, 12:03 AM
I like the Opel Speedster Turbo better. I believe it is probably the Solstice's Euro cousin. It has a 200 hp Inline 4 that propels the car to 60 mph in 4.9 sec. And its built in England by Lotus !!!

graemlins/driving.gif graemlins/thumbsup.gif

[ 01-06-2004: Message edited by: David Kiehna ]</p>

tony barnhill
01-07-2004, 12:05 AM
Just finished watching a new program on TLC - Rides - where they followed Ford's design/build of the new Shelby Cobra showcar....now, that's a SPORTSCAR!

01-07-2004, 11:42 AM
Well......my confidence level in Pontiarc isn't high. It took them 4 years to get the Fiero almost right, and when they did, they dropped it.

01-07-2004, 01:21 PM
Don't worry, by the time it hits the market, it will be covered in plastic cladding they bought in the siding department of Home Depot, will be filled with every option known to man and will weigh 4500 lbs. And there will be the 'off road' option.

Personally, I'd never buy a Pontiac until they agree to recall all the Aztecs on the road and agree to have them crushed! graemlins/hammer.gif

01-07-2004, 11:08 PM
Great responses guys! Thanks for the laughs! graemlins/lol.gif

01-07-2004, 11:50 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Eric:
Personally, I'd never buy a Pontiac until they agree to recall all the Aztecs on the road and agree to have them crushed! <hr></blockquote>


Aztec - yet another GM masterpiece.

01-08-2004, 12:28 AM

You crack me up!