If you have been itching for a brand new roadster on a budget and would like to feel the wind in your hair without the fear of your hat or toupee launching into space then the 2010 Pontiac Solstice Coupe might be just the ticket. With the Solstice Coupe and its Targa top you have the enjoyment of the elements while still having a bit of coupe to catch your wind-blown possessions. The coupe also provides owners the added advantage of a foot or two of more cargo space. Weekend getaways involving luggage is not what the Solstice was built for.
Much as BMW has done by offering their Z4 in both Coupe and Roadster form (that’s right! Who is the gutsy man to compare a BMW to a Pontiac? Mu-ha-ha-ha!), Pontiac looks to expand the marketability of their roadster by bringing it out in Coupe form. However, the Pontiac completes the package with the potential for wind shear from time to time and that might just make all the difference. …Or at least enough to sell a few more Solstice’s.
Mechanically the Coupe and Roadster forms of the 2010 Pontiac Solstice are identical and are unlikely to see any further changes. Pontiac will likely ride these little Roadsters out for a while before something new and maybe exciting is designed to replace it. Since being allocated from the GM adult table over to the kiddy table it seems unlikely that Pontiac will be bringing much more “excitement” to the family banquet than they already have. …Follow the link for the Solstice Coupe Gallery…
PONTIAC UNVEILS 2009 SOLSTICE COUPE
Hardtop Extends Appeal of Classic Design
NEW YORK – Drawing inspiration from classic sports cars, the 2009 Pontiac Solstice coupe was created for drivers who appreciate both dramatic styling and balanced performance. Unveiled at the New York Auto Show as a GXP model, the Solstice coupe builds on the success of the convertible model while offering a greater range of all-season driving opportunities.
For drivers still wanting an open-air experience, the coupe also features a removable roof panel, fully opening the cockpit to all of the sensations of the road.
“Today’s Solstice is the top-selling roadster in the U.S., and we believe this new model has even broader appeal,” said Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager. “The coupe has all the design cues and pleasing performance of the original roadster, and is an all-season alternative for people who enjoy open-air driving.”
The coupe is expected to arrive in Pontiac dealerships in early 2009.
The making of a coupe
The new coupe was inspired by the Solstice coupe concept shown at the North American International Auto Show in 2002. True to the concept, it is a modern sports car with classic lines. The roofline has a “fastback” shape with stylized “rails” that run from the front of the roof to the rear, culminating in a stylish and functional ducktail-style rear spoiler.
The coupe’s roof is fixed aft of the B-pillars, with side windows and a rear liftglass for access to the cargo area. The roof panel is easily removed from the passenger compartment, and an optional soft roof cover stores in the cargo area. A home storage case for the roof panel will be offered through GM Accessories.
Engineering the design
Despite its dramatic new look, engineers made only minor structural changes to create the Solstice coupe. The rear fenders and rear fascia are the same as those on the convertible. New taillight assemblies flow more smoothly into the tapered roofline.
“The Solstice coupe represents a major collaboration of design and engineering,” said Bruce Kosbab, chief engineer. “The sleek lines of the new roof give the car a fresh appearance, yet only minimal changes were made to the body structure – it’s a great example of building on an already solid foundation.”
The roof’s structure was strengthened with additional support elements, including an aluminum roof bow attached with aluminum brackets. The bow and brackets are stiff, yet low in mass, a design feature that pervades the coupe’s overall construction. The roof includes a lightweight sheet molding compound cover affixed to a rigid aluminum frame for additional lightweight support. A lightweight magnesium roof panel frame weighs just 31 pounds (14.2 kg) and can be removed by one person. The cover is also made of sheet molding compound.
Powertrain and suspension
Because the change to a coupe body style resulted in only a slight increase in curb weight, no drivetrain or suspension changes were necessary to shift from the convertible body structure. Initial tests have shown that the Solstice coupe will deliver ride and handling, acceleration, braking and fuel economy comparable to the convertible model.
The coupe is powered by a standard 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine that generates 173 horsepower (129 kW), while the GXP version is equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec engine with 260 horsepower (194 kW).
Much of the coupe’s interior remains the same as that of the convertible. However, the area behind the seats was redesigned for easy access to the cargo area, and a storage tray was mounted directly behind the headrests.
Removing the folding-top mechanism made way for a new, flat cargo floor and several storage compartments. The cargo area’s covered bins provide secure storage for smaller items. Cargo tie-down hooks help secure irregularly shaped items.
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PONTIAC SOLSTICE COUPE PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
|Models:||Pontiac Solstice Coupe, Solstice GXP Coupe|
|Body style / driveline:||2-passenger, 2-door coupe; front-engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Construction:||welded galvanized steel enclosed central tunnel and hydroformed tube|
|EPA vehicle class:||two-seater|
|Manufacturing location:||Wilmington , Del.|
|Key competitors:||base: Mazda MX-5 Miata retractable hardtop
GXP: Nissan 350Z Coupe
|Ecotec 2.4L VVT||Ecotec 2.0L DI Turbo VVT|
|Type:||2.4L DOHC I-4||2.0L DOHC I-4|
|Displacement (cu in / cc):||145 / 2384||122 / 1998|
|Bore & stroke (in / mm):||3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98||3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86|
|Block material:||cast aluminum||cast aluminum|
|Cylinder head material:||cast aluminum||cast aluminum|
|Valvetrain:||DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder; variable valve timing||DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder; dual continuous variable valve timing|
|Ignition system:||electronic direct||individual coil-on-plug|
|Fuel delivery:||sequential multi-port fuel injection with high-pressure injectors and electronic throttle control||spark ignition direct injection (SIDI) with variable high-pressure rail and electronic throttle control|
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):||173 / 129 @ 5800*||260 / 194 @ 5300*|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):||167 / 226 @ 4500||260 / 353 @ 2500-5250*|
|Recommended fuel:||premium recommended but not required||premium recommended but not required|
|Max engine speed
|7000 rpm||6350 rpm (fuel shut off)|
|Emissions controls:||close-coupled catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast-response O2 sensor||close-coupled catalytic converters, Quick-Sync 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; wide-range O2 sensor|
|EPA estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):||19 / 24 (automatic)
19 / 25 (manual)
|19 / 26 (automatic)
19 / 28 (manual)
|Type:||5-spd manual (MA5)||5L40 5-spd automatic|
|Gear ratios: (:1):|
|Final drive ratio:||base: 3.91:1
|Front:||base: independent short/long arm, with hollow 27.2 x 4.5 mm stabilizer bar
GXP: independent short/long arm, with hollow 33.3 x 4.5 mm stabilizer bar
|Rear:||base: independent short/long arm, with hollow 24.2 x 3.0 mm stabilizer bar
GXP: independent short/long arm, with hollow 25.4×3.0 mm stabilizer bar
|Steering type:||hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion|
|Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:||2.7|
|Turning circle, curb-to-curb
(ft / m):
|34.8 / 10.6|
|Type:||four-wheel disc, with ABS and electronic stability control (StabiliTrak)|
|Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm):||front: 11.7 x 1 / 297 x 25, vented
rear: 10.9 x 0.5 / 277 x 13, solid
|Swept area (sq in / cc)||front: 243 / 1570
rear: 189 / 1221
|Wheel size and type:||base std: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke painted alloy; base opt: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke chromed aluminum and polished aluminum alloy
GXP std: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke polished aluminum alloy or chromed aluminum
|Tires:||base: P245/45R18 Goodyear Eagle RSA 96V all-season
GXP: P245/45R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 GS2 96W high-performance
|Wheelbase (in / mm):||95.1 / 2415|
|Overall length (in / mm):||157.2 / 3992|
|Overall width (in / mm):||71.3 / 1810|
|Overall height (in / mm):||50.9 / 1292|
|Track (in / mm):||front: 60.7 / 1543|
|rear: 61.4 / 1560|
|Curb weight, base (lb / kg):||base: 2930 / 1329 (est.)
GXP: 3018 / 1369 (est.)
|Weight distribution (front / rear), approx.:||50 / 50|
|Headroom (in / mm):||37.4 / 950|
|Legroom (in / mm):||42.8 / 1086|
|Shoulder room (in / mm):||52.4 / 1332|
|Hip room (in / mm):||50.6 / 1284|
|EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):||50.8 / 1438|
|Passenger Volume (cu ft / L)||48.5 / 1373|
|Cargo volume (cu ft / L), includes storage beneath load floor:||5.6 / 159|
|Fuel tank (gal / L):||13.6 / 51.5|
|Engine oil (qt / L):||5 / 4.7|
|Cooling system (qt / L):||Base with:
manual: 8.9 / 8.4
automatic: 8.7 / 8.2
manual: 9.5 / 9.0
automatic: 9.3 / 8.8