Pontiac Solstice


The Pontiac Solstice was a 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 top 2009 model was announced in mid-2008. The Solstice uses the GM Kappa platform, which also underpins the Saturn Sky, Opel GT, and Daewoo G2X.

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 was 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 2008 economic recession caused auto sales to plummet and, under pressure from the US government, GM agreed to eliminate the Pontiac Division. Production ended with the closure of the Wilmington Assembly plant in July 2009.

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 (121.9 cu in) I4 Ecotec engine equipped with a dual-scroll turbocharger. The engine’s output is 260 hp (193 kW) and 260 lb·ft (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. According to pontiac.com, the GXP goes 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under 5.5 seconds.

Other GXP features include standard Stabilitrak traction control, a limited-slip differential, and anti-lock brakes. Summer tires on 18 inch wheels are standard. An available dealer installed option was a modified computer tune and two new sensors that resulted in an increased output to 290 bhp (216 kW; 294 PS) and 340 lb·ft (461 N·m)., further enhancing the performance of the GXP model.

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September 6, 2015

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