When the concept version of the Pontiac Solstice was unveiled at the 2002 north American international auto show in Detroit, GM was convinced by the public's positive response that it had a winner. Now that the Solstice has arrived in production trim, there's every indication that Pontiac's first rear-drive, two-seat roadster is sure to become a hot item.
The style of the Solstice is definitely one of its major selling points, with sleek, low-slung lines and a tasty combination of compound curves. The body is constructed of hyro-formed panels making it rust and corrosion-free and everything rides on four-wheel independent suspension. At each corner there's 18-inch alloy wheels and the entire package offers a 50-50 weight distribution for excellent balance.
Power is supplied by GM's 2.4 liter Ecotec four cylinder engine that spins out 177 horsepower and 166 foot pounds of torque. There's a five-speed manual transmission as of right now, with a five-speed automatic due to be added in the spring of 2006.
The manually-operated top retracts to reveal a roomy interior, with the two bucket seats hunkered down low, giving the inside of the Solstice a fighter-plane-like environment. There's over 47 inches of legroom and 38 inches of headroom in the Solstice and you'll find a generous list of standard features onboard despite the fact there's but a single trim level. There's a glass rear window and defogger, a tilt-adjustable steering column and a six-speaker audio system with in-dash CD player. Options include air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, leather seats, 2 upgraded sound systems, cruise control, an On-Star system, and satellite radio.
The Solstice is unquestionably a fun ride and the quick responding steering and agile suspension work together harmoniously. Every Solstice comes with four-wheel disc brakes with abs as an option.
Affordability is another benefit that makes the Solstice worth considering. The suggested base price of Pontiac's brand new sports roadster is $19, 420. Even with every available option checked off, the total would still be somewhere in the mid-$20,000 range.
Pontiac's first foray into the two-seat sports car department has resulted in an impressive addition to its 2006 lineup. The Solstice is quick, roomy, and pegs the fun-meter and won't break the bank. A pretty successful first try if you ask us.