An all-new model for 2006, the Solstice is Pontiac’s first production two-seat roadster.
Built on GM’s new rear-wheel-drive Kappa architecture, featuring independent short/long arm (SLA) suspensions in front and rear, the Solstice comes with a 2.4-litre Ecotec four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic is optional.
Destined to compete with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Solstice features near 50/50 weight distribution, hydroformed frame rails, hydraulic engine mounts, four Bilstein coil-over monotube shocks, rack-and-pinion steering, 18-inch aluminum wheels, an available limited-slip rear differential and short-throw shifter.
Inside, the single trim line includes sport bucket seats with seatback storage, leather-wrapped shifter knob, six-speaker CD system, three cupholders, and a cloth convertible top with glass backlight and defogger.
Available option packages include a Power Package of power locks, mirrors, windows and keyless entry; a Convenience Package of cruise control, driver information centre and fog lamps; and a Premium Package of leather seats and leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls. Other options include air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, carpeted floor mats, MP3-capable CD player, six-CD system, Monsoon premium seven-speaker system, OnStar and satellite radio.
If the thought of a Pontiac sports car conjures up bad memories of the Fiero, get over it. The Solstice is a badly-needed shot in the arm for GM, and its stunningly good looks, precise handling and near-perfect balance make up for the fact that there’s no V6 under the hood. (A turbocharged version is expected in the Solstice in 2007, along with one in the similar, upcoming Saturn Sky; there’s also talk of a Solstice coupe.)
The Solstice is a big, wide car in this class, but it’s very light on its feet, with quick, nimble steering and a stiff chassis. The exhaust note sounds good, the suspension takes road imperfections well, and there’s a great deal of mid-range torque. The base price is lower than expected for a car of this caliber, but Pontiac really does mean “base”, and most buyers will end up spending considerably more once a few options are thrown on top. The obvious contender is the MX-5 Miata, itself redesigned for 2006; expect these two to battle it out all year.
No content available
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
No content available