Page 1: Introduction
DETROIT, MI - Based upon a new General Motors global architecture that will spawn several fun-to-drive small cars around the world in coming years, the gorgeous 2006 Pontiac Solstice roadster is not only intended to become an icon for GM's performance division but also is gunning for the best-selling roadster on the globe, the Mazda Miata.
On paper, the Solstice has the goods to take on today's Miata. An aluminum 2.4-liter DOHC Ecotec four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. of torque sits under a reverse-hinged clamshell hood, powering the Pontiac Solstice's rear wheels through a five-speed, close-ratio manual transmission. Given the engineers' weight target of 2,860 pounds, this amount of power should result in acceleration that outpaces today's 142-horse Miata.
But, that kind of muscle won't make the Solstice a rocket. Sometime after launch, it seems likely that GM will install a supercharged 2.0-liter Ecotec under the Pontiac Solstice's hood, a motor expected to generate more than 200 horsepower in the Saturn Ion Red Line and new 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged.
Underpinning the 2006 Pontiac Solstice is GM's Kappa architecture, comprised of hydroformed full-length frame rails, a closed stamped steel center tunnel and a four-wheel-independent short- and long-arm suspension system. Large 18-inch wheels with 245/45 tires and four-wheel-disc brakes come standard on the Pontiac Solstice, with ABS an available option.
Page 2: Features
General Motors insists that the predicted entry price of about $20,000 will be met when this sexy roadster goes on sale in the fall of 2004. We cannot imagine that at that price, with these looks, and commendable performance to back the bodywork up, that the 2006 Pontiac Solstice won't be a home run for General Motors.
--Photos courtesy of General Motors