Why Americans Loved The Pontiac Solstice

(Photo Source: GM/Pontiac/topspeed.com)
Small car that borrows from great machines

Under the hood, the Solstice carries a 177-hp, 2.4-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, which is just slightly expanded from the 2.2-liter that pulls around relatively small cars from General Motors. It is an interesting piece of engineering that is has a five-speed manual gearbox from a Chevy Colorado pickup.

It is massively altered to make it work in a sports car, and notably, there are great improvements on shift feel. The gearbox is easy to work through the numbers and gets this small car close to the beloved Honda S2000.

The Solstice weighs a humongous 2888 pounds and its price tag of $20,000 for the roadsters version wasn’t too bad a thing. If you evaluate the Solstice from the front, you quickly notice the superb retro reworking taking you back to the mid-Fifties when the Thunderbird roaded.

Shift your focus to the right and you see a Corvette. The designers also made the wheels to fill the arches so completely the car seems designed for serious sportsmanship.

It is a relatively practical car in several ways. The seating position is comfortable, the seats have useful bolsters, and from that low position, you still have excellent visibility. The gauge clusters were plucked from Chevy Cobalt, and HVAC controls come from the Hummer H3.

One might just say the Solstice is a cocktail of several good offerings from different cars. It gets practical and smooth without being harsh on its persona.