The first Solstice Coupe was launched back in 2002. Back then it was a simple Concept, but as many other concepts it told something about the future. And after seven years it will become reality.
Pontiac will build the fastback coupe version on the same "Kappa" platform as the Roadster version, one of the best selling models of the company. Compared to the current Solstice, the fastback coupe will be powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine used in the Roadster version. The maximum output will be around 265 hp. A V8 version will also be used, probably for the GXP version (also available for the coupe version). We expect a maximum output of 300 hp. The transmission will remain the same as in the Roadster version.
The 0 to 60 mph sprint will be made in around 5.5 seconds and the top speed will be next to 150 mph.
When Pontiac launched the Coupe Concept in 2002 they said that if the car will ever go into production it will follow exactly the same design cues as the concept. If will be to believe this, then we have a pretty good picture of how the 2009 Solstice will look like. But if were to consider that there is a seven years difference between the Concept and the production version, we are more than sure that the car will evolve in terms of design.
Is for sure that the Coupe version will have a familiar look with the Roadster version, but we expect a few of the elements used in the G8 to also be used for the Coupe Solstice: dual-port grille, fog lamps, bold wheels and a confident, wheels-at-the-corners stance. It will also feature fenders that flare over the wheels, projector-beam headlamps housed in crystal-clear lenses, jewel-like taillamps.
Only two years after the Solstice Coupe will be launched, probably after the company will test the market, they will launch a redesigned version, probably a more aggressive and modern one.
Pontiac launched the Solstice in 2004 at the North American International Auto Show, and went into production in mid 2005 as a 2006 model. It is built on GM’s Kappa platform, same used for the Saturn Sky and Opel GT.
Underpinning the 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.
On paper, Pontiac 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.
The Solstice’s convertible top folds flat behind a clamshell cover on the rear deck, completely hidden from view when the sun is shining into the driver-oriented cockpit. Designed to envelop the driver, the instrument panel features simplicity and quality - a departure for Pontiac. Engineers and designers reportedly spent plenty of time getting the placement and feel of the shifter just right, and the pedals have been placed to offer optimum heel-and-toe downshifting. When leather is ordered, the cabin is treated to an upscale two-tone treatment.
In January 2006, Pontiac launched the GXP version of the Solstice. The heart of the Solstice GXP is the Ecotec 2.0-liter turbo engine, GM’s first direct injection offering in North America . It produces 260 horsepower (194 kw) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 Nm), making it GM’s highest specific output engine ever, at 2.1 horsepower per cubic inch of displacement (130 hp / 97 kw per liter), and the most powerful production engine in the Ecotec family.
The GXP’s high-performance Ecotec turbo engine is connected to a standard five-speed manual gearbox, or an optional five-speed automatic transmission. Either transmission can propel the car from zero-to 60 mph in under 5.5 seconds.
In 2003, BMW launched an all-new 2-seater sports car, the Z4 Roadster. The Z4 lineup offered a pair of models, each powered by a version of BMW’s famously smooth and sonorous inline 6-cylinder engine. Firmly planted suspension, standard run-flat performance tires and state-of-the-art stability electronics were anchored in a remarkably rigid Roadster body/chassis structure; all of this was clothed in a unique and captivating look.
Most vehicle manufacturers’ 6-cylinder engines are in the V-6 format, whose compactness is advantageous for small or midsize cars with front-wheel drive. By contrast, BMW’s inline 6-cylinder engines are brilliant for their smoothness and sound, and BMW customers as well as professional auto critics have come to treasure them for these attributes. BMW has retained this inline format while developing it toward reduced weight, more compact dimensions – and even more brilliant performance, smoothness and sound. An increase in fuel efficiency and even tighter control of emissions were also set as goals for the new engine.The result of this quest is a new generation of 6-cylinder engines, called N52. Compared to its predecessor, the M54 engine family, the N52 achieves notable progress on all fronts (N52 3.0-liter of 3.0si models vs. previous M54 3.0-liter):
- Greater power, 255 hp vs. 225 hp – a very impressive 85 hp/liter.
- Greater torque, 220 lb-ft. vs. 214, and even stronger torque delivery across the broad range of engine speeds.