Pontiac Solstice

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Pontiac Solstice
Manufacturer General Motors
Production 2005–2009
Model years 2006–2010
Assembly Wilmington Assembly, Wilmington, Delaware
Designer Franz von Holzhausen, Vicki Vlachakis, and Wayne Cherry
Body and chassis
Class Roadster, coupe
Body style 2-door convertible
2-door coupe
Layout FMR layout
Platform GM Kappa platform
Related Saturn Sky
Opel GT
Daewoo G2X
Engine 2.4 L Ecotec LE5 I4
2.0 L Ecotec LNF I4
Turbocharged 260 hp (GXP)
Transmission 5-speed Aisin AR5 manual
5-speed 5L40-E automatic
Wheelbase 2416 mm (95.1 in)
Length 3993 mm (157.2 in)
Width 1811 mm (71.3 in)
Height 1273 mm (50.1 in)
Coupe: 50.9 in (1,293 mm)
Curb weight 1305 kg (2877 lbs)

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,[1] 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[2] 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.[3] The new hardtop targa top 2009 model was announced in mid-2008.[4] 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[citation needed], GM agreed to eliminate the Pontiac Division. Production ended with the closure of the Wilmington Assembly plant in July 2009.

GXP (2007–2009)[edit]

Pontiac Solstice GXP convertible

The GXP version of the Solstice debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006.[5] 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 by cubic inches 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. The Pontiac Solstice is pretty much the same car as the Saturn Sky but a different logo. The GXP has gone 0-60 in 4.0 seconds in one case[citation needed].

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.

Solstice Coupe (2009)[edit]

2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP coupe

A targa coupe version of the Solstice was unveiled at the 2008 New York Auto Show. Engine choices are the same as the convertible versions. The roof can be removed, but the hard roof cannot be fit into the trunk. An optional cloth top is available, which can be fit into the trunk.

The car went on sale in early 2009.[4] The Pontiac Solstice Coupes are considered to be quite rare: There were a total of 1,266 Solstice Coupes that were able to be manufactured before the production line in Wilmington, Delaware was shut down: 102 pre-production 2009 models, 1,152 sequentially-vin'd regular production 2009 models, and 12 pre-production 2010 models. This is in contrast to over 64,000 of the Pontiac Solstice Convertibles that were manufactured.

2006 21,273
2007 24,018
2008 15,587
2009 4,826
2010 20
Total 65,724

Yearly American sales[edit]

Calendar Year Total American sales
2005[7] 5,445
2006[8] 19,710
2007 16,779
2008[9] 10,739
2009[10] 5,642
2010 7,409

Concept variations[edit]

Weekend Club Racer concept[edit]

Built by GM Performance Division, this special Solstice features a removable hardtop that drew inspiration from the Dodge Viper roadster, an aggressive body kit, and an oversized spoiler. Engine is rated 325 hp (242 kW). It includes 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 255/45ZR18 tires, cat-back performance exhaust system, T-2 race suspension package, along with larger diameter disc brakes. The car was unveiled at the 2005 SEMA show.[11]

GXP-R concept[edit]

The GXP-R concept is a modified GXP with engine rated 300 hp (220 kW) and 315 lb·ft (427 N·m) torque. It includes SSBC Performance Brake Package, 19-inch x 8.5-inch wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 245/40ZR19 tires.

The car was unveiled at the 2006 SEMA show.[12]

SD-290 race concept[edit]

The SD-290 race concept is a single-seat Solstice GXP with engine rated 290 hp (220 kW). Weight is reduced by installaing driver-side only windscreen and elimination of door glass/hardware, convertible top/hardware, HVAC system and wiper system. It includes Solo Performance cat-back exhaust system, KW Automotive coil-over suspension package, 6-piston aluminum calipers with 13-inch (330 mm) rotors from Stainless Steel Brake Company, forged 19-inch wheels with Hoosier R6 racing tire, rear spoiler, Removable racing-style steering wheel, Racing seat with four-point safety harness, Chrome fire extinguisher, Pegasus center console gauge package, Driver's roll bar

The car was unveiled at the 2006 SEMA show.[13]

Solstice GXP Coupe concept[edit]

The Pontiac Solstice Coupe at the 2009 North American International Auto Show.

The Solstice GXP Coupe concept is based on the GXP coupe. It is equipped with a GM Performance Parts Stage 2 performance kit and a performance air intake kit, which boosts engine horsepower to about 290 (216 kW). The car also includes a GM Performance Parts cat-back exhaust system and race-ready suspension kit, polished factory wheels. The first version of the Coupe Concept was a metallic orange.

The car was unveiled at the 2008 SEMA show.[14]


  • In the Formula Drift series, Gardella Racing currently fields the Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice driven by Ryan Tuerck. Ryan Tuerck won the 2008 Formula Drift Driver of the Year award and finished 2nd in points for the 2009 season.[15] The Pontiac Solstice Tuerck drives has over 500 hp and built off the stock LSJ engine found in the 2004-2007 Saturn Ion Redline and 2005-2007 Chevy Cobalt SS.
  • 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.
  • SCCA Club Racing 2008 National Championship the Pontiac Solstice GXP placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in Touring 2 (T2)
  • SCCA Club Racing 2009 National Championship the Pontiac Solstice GXP placed 1st and 3rd place in Touring 2 (T2)

Shared technology[edit]

The sharing of technology and various components is a common practice among automakers, resulting in reduced parts costs. The Solstice shares major components with nearly every GM division:


In April 2009, after GM announced the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010, CEO Fritz Henderson stated that the Solstice would not continue under another GM brand.[16] Although they considered selling the Wilmington plant and the Solstice/Sky products to an outside business,[17] the Wilmington assembly plant closed in July 2009.[18] In October 2009, the new DeLorean Motor Company expressed interest in continuing production of the Solstice, going so far as to release concept artwork for a 2011 DeLorean Solstice. These plans were shelved shortly thereafter, when Fisker Automotive instead acquired the Wilmington Assembly where the Solstice was produced.[19]



  1. ^ "GM to produce Pontiac Solstice at Wilmington, Delaware assembly plant". CanadianDriver Communications, Inc. January 4, 2004. Retrieved 2004-01-11. 
  2. ^ "2002 Pontiac Solstice Roadster Concept - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. 2002-08-26. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  3. ^ Stein, Jason (April 25, 2005). "See you in September: Production snafus may delay launch of Pontiac Solstice roadster until fall". AutoWeek. 
  4. ^ a b Abuelsamid, Sam (2008-03-19). "New York '08 Preview: 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe puts up a targa top". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  5. ^ "Pontiac Debuts 2007 Solstice GXP at LA Auto Show" (Press release). Media.GM.com. 2006-01-01. 
  6. ^ "General Motors: Investors: Sales and Production Reports: Historical Production". GM. 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  7. ^ "GM Reports December 2005 and Year Results". 
  8. ^ "GM Reports 341,327 Deliveries in December" (Press release). Media.gm.com. 2007-01-03. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  9. ^ "GM Reports 221,983 Deliveries in December; 2,980,688 Vehicles Sold in 2008" (Press release). Media.gm.com. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  10. ^ http://media.gm.com/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/Jan/0105_Dec_Sales/_jcr_content/iconrow/textfile/file.res/Deliveries%20December%2009.xls
  11. ^ "2005 Pontiac Solstice Club Racer". Supercars.net. 2005-10-30. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  12. ^ Filipponio, Frank (2006-11-02). "SEMA: Pontiac Solstice GXP-R". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  13. ^ Neff, John (2007-10-30). "SEMA 2007: Pontiac Solstice SD-290 takes us back". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  14. ^ Drew Phillips. "SEMA Preview: Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe Concept". Autoblog. 
  15. ^ "Driver Profile - Ryan Tuerck". Gmtunersource.com. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  16. ^ Wert, Ray (April 27, 2009). "Pontiac Vibe, Solstice Are Dead, Won't Live On As Chevys". Jalopnik.com. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  17. ^ Migliore, Greg (May 11, 2009). "GM’s Henderson offers a ray of hope for Sky, Solstice". AutoWeek. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  18. ^ "GM Pulls Ahead U.S. Plant Closures; Reaffirms Intent to Build Future Small Car in U.S." (Press release). GM Media Online. June 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  19. ^ Hardigree, Matt (2009-10-06). "EXCLUSIVE: DeLorean Motor Company Contemplating Building Pontiac Solstice". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 

External links[edit]