Perhaps more frustrating than any of the financial troubles at the world’s biggest automaker are its ho-hum production of loads of unappealing vehicles (Insert anything made by Buick here). Which along with nagging questions of build quality is a big reason for that financial trouble. However, one bright spot has been the Pontiac Solstice, the 2-seater convertible that has sold well since it was introduced in 2004. Even as successful as the Solstice has been, is there still room for improvement? The folks at Mallet Cars thinks so. The more important question at Mallet is whether there is room for a bigger engine.
A stock Solstice is powered by a fuel efficient 2.4-litre, 4-cylinder 177 horsepower engine and features four-wheel independent suspension and nearly 50:50 weight distribution for an inspiring level of handling.
Enter Mallett cars, who took the Solstice and swapped a GM LS2 engine 400 horsepower V8 engine (along with alot of other performance parts) for the 4-cylinder. A spin around the Mallet website www.malletcars.com, will find alot of rather violent car speak such as, “All the horsepower of the Corvette slammed into the Pontiac Solstice.” More aptly is how the engine itself is slammed, crammed and…..jammed into the rather diminutive space of the Solstice’s engine bay.
As you might expect, the added weight of an engine that is double the size of stock Solstice changes the driving dynamics, which are not completely offset by the addition of alot of Corvette suspension and transmission parts. The conversions at Mallett are “only” $21,285.75 (they should just round that up) + a donor car and are backed with a 2-year, 24,000 mile warranty.
Next for Mallet was adding a fiberglass widebody kit, the “Pitbull Edition” that allows owners to add ultra-wide wheels and tires as well as give the car a much tougher look. I’m not a big fan of the name but the larger air-intakes up front improve airflow to the engine, while the increased traction of wider tires provides superior grip especially at the drag-strip. This adds roughly another $18,000 to the price. (Carbon fiber version extra of course)
Only 100 of these are going to be made to increase their desirebility. So maybe the most important question is whether a supersized Solstice is in the same league as the Corvette?