Pontiac has taken what customers love about the popular and powerful Solstice roadster and upgraded it for 2008 with new technologies and many standard and optional features. With two Ecotec compact powerplants and a choice between a standard Aisin five-speed close-ratio manual transmission and an optional five-speed automatic, the Solstice and Solstice GXP are true roadsters.
The 2008 Solstice kicks up the excitement factor with new standard features that were once options, turning up customers’ appreciation for the vehicle. New standard equipment for the base model and GXP include a premium acoustic headliner, an enhanced sound system with an MP3-compatible stereo and an iPod jack, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar and GM’s driver information center, which offers important information such as current fuel economy, fuel range, oil life and warning indicators. Also standard for 2008 is GM’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which alerts drivers to changes in tire pressure that could lead to premature tire failure or a potentially dangerous and expensive breakdown. The system uses sensors mounted in each wheel to monitor tire pressure in real-time.
Additional standard equipment for both models includes two-way power driver seat height adjuster; racing-inspired sport bucket seats with convenient seat cushion and seatback storage; leather-wrapped manual shift knob, AM/FM and CD stereo with six speakers; rear window defogger; rake-adjustable steering wheel; dual-stage frontal air bags and easy-to-operate cloth convertible top with glass backlight.
Several packages are available that allow customers to tailor their Solstice to their driving needs:
- Convenience package – steering-wheel mounted cruise control, enhanced DIC controls and fog lamps
- Preferred Package – power locks, mirrors and windows, along with remote keyless entry
- Premium package – leather seating surfaces (Ebony or Ebony/Sand two-tone), leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel radio controls
For those wanting to push the driving envelope beyond the 177 horses offered by the base model, the Solstice GXP features a 2.0-liter turbo engine that kicks out 260 horsepower (194 kW). The Solstice GXP has been one of Pontiac ’s most popular vehicles since its introduction, and is outfitted with high-polished stainless steel dual exhaust outlets, and front and rear fascia extensions. Inside, the standard cloth or available leather seats are embroidered with a choice of gray or red accent stitching. Other standard interior appointments include brushed aluminum sill plates and embroidered floor mats.
Customization and convenience
Each of the nine colors in the Solstice exterior color palette is inspired by a different personality trait. New exterior colors available for 2008 include a new “Sly” color (Dark Steel Gray Metallic) and “Brazen” (Inferno Orange Metallic) available as a premium exterior color.
XM Satellite Radio has a wide variety of programming to please any driver. XM’s quality digital sound will be enhanced by a new premium acoustic headliner that is now standard on all models. The new headliner also offers a premium interior appearance.
The peace of mind and convenience of OnStar is now standard on all Solstice models. OnStar’s digital equipment includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, a fully integrated GPS navigation system, is a popular available feature that allows customers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to the vehicle through their OnStar system.
OnStar also includes OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics and the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help dispatch the appropriate live-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes quicker.
The tire pressure monitoring system now standard on the base and GXP models tracks tire wear and pressure by helping drivers avoid tire failure and potentially dangerous, costly breakdowns.
Solstice and Solstice GXP feature rear-wheel drive, four-wheel independent SLA suspensions and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Superior handling technologies such GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, now standard on the GXP, helps drivers maintain control during sudden maneuvers or in low-traction conditions by using a comprehensive series of sensors to measure acceleration, deceleration, steering angle and yaw rate. The system automatically controls the vehicle to help maintain the driver’s intended path when a measurable deviation from the intended course is detected.
Solstice uses independent short/long arm-type suspensions at the front and rear to give it a responsive, road-gripping driving feel. Other driver-focused features include:
- Bilstein coil-over monotube shocks at all corners
- Rack-and-pinion steering (power assisted)
- Eighteen-inch aluminum alloy wheels
- P245/45R18 all-season tires; P245/45R18-96W blackwall performance tires are standard on the GXP
- Four-wheel disc brakes
- Available limited-slip rear differential (standard on the GXP)
- Cockpit-style instrument panel with motorcycle-inspired gauges
- Short-throw shifter
The Solstice’s four-wheel disc brakes consist of 11.7-inch (297 mm) ventilated front rotors and 10.9-inch (277 mm) rear rotors, which combine to provide confident braking capability. Anti-lock brakes (with dynamic rear proportioning) are available.
The Solstice GXP’s Ecotec 2.0-liter turbo engine produces 260 horsepower (194 kW) at 5,300 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. (351 Nm) from 2,500 to 5,250 rpm, and is one of GM’s first direct-injection offering in North America . Gasoline direct-injection technology helps the engine produce more power without sacrificing fuel economy.
The base Solstice is powered by a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine producing 173 hp (128 kW) and 167 lb.-ft. (226 Nm) or torque. To comply with more stringent emission and diagnostic regulations the 2.4L equipped Solstice will be receiving a new catalytic converter system with slightly elevated exhaust system backpressure.
Both Ecotec engines share a number of characteristics including:
- Dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder
- Twin counter-rotating balance shafts
- Low-friction, roller-finger follower valvetrain with hydraulic lash adjusters
- Low-maintenance chain-drive for the camshafts
- Extremely compact dimensions and low mass
- Direct mounting of all accessories to the engine structure to eliminate common sources of noise, vibration and harshness
- Full circle transmission attachment is more rigid than most 4-cylinder powertrains for reduced noise and vibration
- GM Oil Life System for optimum oil change frequency (included with optional driver information system)
- No routine maintenance apart from oil/oil filter changes
- Innovative cast-in oil filter housing eliminates crawling under the car to perform oil changes. The design also eliminates throwaway oil-filter “cans” that retain used oil that typically end up in landfills
Solstice models equipped with the five-speed manual transmission have a new torque beam to reduce noise, vibration and harshness by isolating noise associated with abrupt torque transfer away from the passenger compartment. The system was originally developed specifically for the added power and torque outputs of the 2.0L turbo, and then added to all manual transmission models later in the 2007 model year.