Thursday, June 17, 2010

pontiac solstice reviews

Pontiac Solstice GXP – First Drive: Pontiac says it wants to be a brand known for performance. Except for the GTO, the so-called Goat that'll soon be making a one-way trip to the automotive slaughterhouse, and possibly the V8-powered Grand Prix GXP, we've seen little proof in the pudding. The G6? Not a performer. The Torrent SUV? Yeah, not so much. There is, of course, the Solstice roadster, one of the sexiest rides to come out of Pontiac in years, and anyone who has driven it will attest to its tight, responsive demeanor. They'll also likely complain about the horribly unrefined 177-horsepower engine, clunky five-speed manual transmission, low-grade materials and convoluted convertible top that, when stowed, transforms cargo storage into an unrealistic notion.

With the release of the 2007 Solstice GXP, Pontiac has effectively stapled shut the flapping mouths of incessant naysayers. Between the staples, we're still able to get out muffled complaints about the cheap materials and questionable fit and finish, though our babble is basically drowned out by the GXP's sweet exhaust note. Under the hood resides a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine good for 260 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, which Pontiac claims pushes the GXP to 60 mph in only 5.5 seconds, tapping out at a drag-limited 142 mph. Plus, it's all wrapped in the same sexy package that attacks curves and autocross tracks with tenacity. If you, like us, have been waiting for Pontiac performance to mean more than an Aussie-bred GTO, it's time to check out the Solstice GXP.

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Pontiac Solstice GXP specs
0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds
Engine: 2 liter 260 bhp @ 5300 rpm
The Pontiac Solstice GXP has the capacity to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 5.5 seconds and that should be enough to keep enthusiasts´ hearts pounding. Still Pontiac loads the sports car with more features that makes it one of the best cars released by Pontiac in years. The Solstice GXP sports car is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine with 260 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, dual overhead camshafts and full circle transmission. It is the first Spark Ignition Direct Injection model released by GM in North America and it provides a more efficient burning of the fuel and air.

The sweetest thing about this racing car is its sexy curves. The Solstice GXP is probably the best looking compact sports car in the market today. The designers have perfected the roadster at each angle giving this car the sleek and sexy look from all sides. The side view offers 18" wheels and clean lines. The front looks faultless with the perfectly placed head lights cluster. Even some of the best cars sometimes have awkward rear ends but this sports car has a great looking back that screams "perfect". It has a GXP badge, dual exhaust pipes and optional lip spoiler at the back. It has a well-designed manual convertible roof that includes a rear deck-lid that conceals the roof when it´s down. A hard roof option is also available.

Despite the car´s lusty exteriors, some people have misgivings about the Pontiac Solstice because of a few ergonomic flaws in the interiors and some design faults. The cockpit is tight and the center tunnel is made of hard plastic that can cause your right elbow to go stiff. The center tunnel would have been better off with a softer, nicer material. The sports car has very little storage space in the trunk and window switches and the center storage are ill-placed.

With manufacturer suggested retail price of only a little over US$ 25,000, many are willing to overlook the flaws and concentrate on the features. This is after all, the best roadster within the price range. Even after you upgrade to all leather seating and chromed wheels, it is very unlikely it will cost you over US$ 35,000 and that´s totally a great deal. Other upgrade options include: anti-lock disc brakes, sports suspension, electric windows, mirrors and locks, cruise control, XM satellite radio, and sporty car pedals.

Controlled by a 5-speed manual gearbox, allows for quick, smooth gear changes and quick response giving the sports car tight and steady handling. The 5-speed automatic transmission is available as an option. It has the same cruising trait as the standard Solstice. The handling was further improved with the addition of the StabiliTrak electronic stability control and torque-sensing limited slip differential.

Since its debut in the Los Angeles International Auto Show in January 2006, the Solstice is being credited for the 20% increase of showroom traffic of Pontiac. Many more are lined up for the improved GXP priced at only US$ 5000 higher than the base model, with its better transmission and more horsepower.


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