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Pontiac Solstice

The Pontiac Solstice is a small sports car from the Pontiac division of General Motors. Introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, the Solstice roadster began production in Wilmington, Delaware, starting in mid-2005 for the 2006 model year. The exterior styling of the production Solstice is similar to that of the 2002 Solstice concept that preceded it. Production of the Solstice was to be running before summer 2005, but delays at the Wilmington plant pushed volume production to the fourth quarter The new hardtop targa 2009 model was announced in mid 2008 The Solstice uses the GM Kappa platform, which also underpins the Saturn Sky and Opel GT.

The Solstice was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award and Design of the Year award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) for 2006. It has been a runaway hit for Pontiac, with 7,000 orders in the first 10 days of availability and 6,000 more orders before winter. Although first-year production was planned at 7,000, GM apologized to customers for delays and increased production, delivering 10,000 by March 1. The base price was adjusted upwards to $20,490 in mid-December, but most buyers report paying $5,000 or more over sticker to get a Solstice. The Solstice currently has an MSRP of $22,115.

GXP

The GXP version of the Solstice debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006. It is powered by a new 2.0 L I4 Ecotec engine equipped with a dual-scroll turbocharger. The engine's output is 260 hp (193 kW) and 260 ft·lbf (353 N·m). This is the highest specific output of any engine in the history of General Motors at 2.1 hp (1.6 kW) per cubic inch, and it is the first gasoline direct injection engine from an American automaker.

Other GXP features include standard Stabilitrak traction control, a limited-slip differential, and anti-lock brakes. Summer tires on 18 inch wheels are standard.

Targa Coupe version

A targa coupe version of the Solstice was unveiled at the 2008 New York Auto Show. When it goes on sale for 2009, it will include a revised four-cylinder engine with an increase in power, as well as a removeable roof section, which is too large to store onboard and cannot fit in the trunk. To remedy this Pontiac has announced an optional cloth top that can fit in the trunk.

Motorsport

  • Pontiac works and Red Bull backed driver Rhys Millen replaced his GTO for a Solstice GXP to compete in drifting events, particularly in Formula D and in the US rounds of D1 Grand Prix
  • SCCA Club Racing 2006 National Championship Runoffs the Pontiac Solstice placed first place in Showroom Stock B (SSB).
  • SCCA Club Racing 2007 National Championship Runoffs the Pontiac Solstice GXP placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in Touring 2 (T2) and the Pontiac Solstice placed first place in Showroom Stock B (SSB) even after being penalized 200 lbs between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

In Popular Culture

The Pontiac Solstice made its film debut in the 2007 blockbuster toy-based movie Transformers as the Autobot Jazz. His vehicle mode is simliar to the weekend race concept car.

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