If ever there was an automotive brand in desperate need of an icon, it's Pontiac. Even now, after various product re-skins and improvements, the updates that keep coming seem to ring hollow. Case in point: the 2006 Pontiac G6 coupe and convertible wound up strangers at their own ball when the 2006 Solstice roadster showed up and stole the show. Ah. There's your icon. It's not as if the assembled journalists were seeing the pretty metal-blue roadster for the first time. In fact, it may well be the most photographed concept car in the history of auto shows. Yet when the Solstice rolled on stage, all heads jerked to it, leaving the new versions of the G6 lonely and afraid. Pontiac is hoping -- nay, praying -- that the 2006 Pontiac G6 coupe will get some attention of their own when they start selling this summer. The release date of the convertible, originally pegged for winter of 2005, will likely be delayed thanks to the complexities of its retractable hard top.
Until then, the Solstice staring continues. Sadly for the Pontiac G6 coupe and convertible, while blessed with style and an athletic stance, it just can't seem to force that Solstice gaze toward them. Maybe similarities to the Toyota Camry Solara ring out too loudly. Or that retractable hard top -- won't the convertible wind up priced out of its league, thus dampening enthusiasm? General Motors Vice Chairman and car-guy extraordinaire Bob Lutz says no, that the price increase is only "marginal," but it's hard to see how that kind of technology in this type of vehicle could avoid ending up with either low volumes or with a significantly higher price. For the convertible, its very survival may likely depend on stealing sales from Brother Solstice -- priced at $19,995, the business case for a less-fun, more expensive 2+2 seems a bit flimsy.