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DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT Dork
3/19/21 6:59 p.m.

Never drove one, nothing meaningful to add.  But from the first sighting I thought the design of the front end of the Solstice was fantastic.  So I came here to post a picture and, boy, all I can find are ugly pictures of the front end.  Does it just photograph that poorly?  Finally found this one...  I still think they look great, but I never see them.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
3/19/21 7:05 p.m.

Coincidentally, I passed a Solstice coupe on the road yesterday for the first time in who knows how long. Still a great looking vehicle.

Carsandbikes
Carsandbikes Reader
3/21/21 9:39 a.m.

There are a couple in my area.  It looks like guys that " years " ago might have bought a Corvette bought the Pontiac (the Saturn wasn't as popular) as a fun car or investment. 

wawazat
wawazat Dork
3/21/21 11:03 a.m.

Saw a black Solstice convertible rolling by today.  Automatic transmission revealed itself when it accelerated from the stop light.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
3/21/21 11:17 a.m.

I still want one, I see 8-9k asking for some turbo models with under 75k miles. Couple small bolt ons and a tune and you're at 300/300 hp/tq at the wheel. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/21/21 11:54 a.m.
NickD said:

Darren McNamara competed in Formula Drift with a one-of-none Saturn Sky Coupe that looked fuggin' siiiiiiickkk.

 

 

The wildest part about this photo... the #1 thing that dates it is the Sears Auto center logo on the hood..

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
3/21/21 11:55 a.m.

I have a friend who has a Sky. She likes it but it's also the only sports car she has ever driven, so nothing to compare it to. I've never driven one myself, but I recall running against one in my race group at Waterford Hills around 2005.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/21/21 12:00 p.m.
Chris_V said:

You know, a lot of people here say they are unappealing, but sales figures during the run were higher than Miatas'. So SOMEONE liked them more.

but in typical GM pre bailout plastic fantastic fashion... they depreciated like mad and have not had long term appeal.. which is what we're really get at in this thread.. they came.. they existed.. and then they just kinda disappeared..

I have a buddy who turned his into an autox and tracktoy and his miata runs the ecotec motor.. it's literally the only solstice I've seen in 4 years. The last one i saw "in the wild" was when this older lady came in to have us look at changing the battery in her sky back when i worked as a service advisor at a shop in 2017. 

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
3/21/21 12:10 p.m.

I know nothing about them, but someone in the biz told me that at one point, a batch of them were modified for a celebrity race event, swapping in V8s. That must have been a nice combination.

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
3/21/21 12:15 p.m.

I'd have liked a dark blue coupe, but I grabbed what I could get (the only dark blue that came to Canada was at the same dealer I bought mine at. I thought I'd hit the lottery - until I walked over and saw that it was an automatic.

We only got 84 coupes to Canada, all the GXP turbo model, of which only 46 were manual trans (Mexico, for some reason, also got all GXP turbos, but all of them (122 cars) were automatics).  I don't mind automatics in touring cars - I have owned four big Jensens and still have one Interceptor, but would never own an automatic sports car.  Besides, these days having a stick is an anti-theft measure - half the kids who might want to steal one are unable to drive stick.

The cars have the space for engine swapping a V8 (Chev LS are popular) and the Aisin 5 speed manual box takes the torque (also used in Supra turbos etc.) but I've never seen much point. Unless you are one of the people that can't live without the poorly muffled bass roar of a V8, the 2.0 Ecotec offers plenty of potential.  Stock bottom ends take 400-425 bhp safely, and with suitably sized turbos and stronger rods and pistons, 500 + is possible. I  'settled' for 375 as it is a very safe level and the high output engines are mostly good for tire shredding, which is (no longer) my style.

For those that gotta have V8s, here is an LS7 Solstice (a firm called Mallett made a bunch of them).  BTW, while some people have claimed that having the space for a V8 indicated some future intention by GM to install that sot of engine, I don't believe that. The Corvette has always been their halo car and they killed the proposed turbo V6 Fiero (two prototypes made) because the performance level was too close to the Vette.

 

 

Snrub
Snrub Dork
3/21/21 4:48 p.m.

I would say they held their value pretty well. Up until a couple of years ago there was one about a block from my house. A good friend of mine has owned a GXP since new. It's had a few issues, but it hasn't been terrible.

I think they drive nicely. I think they're overall nice cars. I don't think the space utilization is as good as a Miata, but they are nicer looking from the outside. I like that the turbo engine makes power up top.

Around twelve years ago I considered buying one, but decided on an RX-8 instead. The RX-8 drove better and was much more practical as a daily. At the track, my friends Solstice was quick/fun, but struggled with brake fade, whereas the RX-8 could double duty as an endurance racer.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
3/21/21 7:51 p.m.

Having not seen / noticed one of these things in the wild for probably 5 years, I have seen 2 on the road (both Saturns) in the last 10 days and seen a Facebook post about one.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/22/21 5:32 a.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
NickD said:

Darren McNamara competed in Formula Drift with a one-of-none Saturn Sky Coupe that looked fuggin' siiiiiiickkk.

 

 

The wildest part about this photo... the #1 thing that dates it is the Sears Auto center logo on the hood..

Chris Forsberg drove a Sears-sponsored 350Z when the Z first came out. Also, because LS swaps weren't really a thing at the time and no one knew what to do with a VQ35, it was SR20DET-swapped.

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
3/22/21 6:15 a.m.

Co-worker of mine went from a stick shift Scion tC to an automatic red base Solstice after getting tired of driving stick. He seems to enjoy it even tho I've never seen the top down on it.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
3/22/21 7:21 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

I remeber when Chris blew the VQ running the Drift Out Wednesday events with DGTrials at E-Town. When we heard he SR swapped it, we were like, oh? Circa 2002-2003 I think.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/22/21 7:34 p.m.

In reply to fatallightning :

A couple years ago they dumped the nitrous "VK56" (it was based on a VK56 but was a crazy short-course offroad race motor pretty far-removed from what you get in a Titan) in his 370Z and tried running a wild nitrous, twin turbocharged VQ37-based stroker with anti-lag. They ran the old VK car the first couple events because they kept blowing up the VQs on the dyno and even once they were "ready", they blew up the VQ every single event. They dumped it and went to a VR38-based engine the next year.

cyow5
cyow5 Reader
3/23/21 3:55 p.m.

So my wife is still mad about selling her Redline for the low teens a few years ago when we were expecting our first kid. She still loved it well into the pregnancy - straight pipe, tune, cramped interior, all of it. It was quicker than my Elise in a straight line (not exactly a fair comparison since a lot of cars are) but it just *felt* heavy when you really tried to hustle it. I couldn't imagine trying to autocross it. Outward visibility was also relatively poor compared to the Elise since the hood felt like it was a mile long. It also wasn't the most rigid chassis either. Just didn't seem like a car that'd be easy to thread cones with. Still, she loved the loud blowoff valve and the convertible top. Her only other reference point for a soft top was my Elise, so there isn't a clear winner in that particular regard. From a Fun Factor standpoint she loved it more than her mom-mobile now (G8 GT), but  not a car I'd associate with autocrossing. 

Snrub
Snrub Dork
3/23/21 4:21 p.m.

^ Drove/drives and loves a modded Sky Redline and a G8 GT? She's a keeper.

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/23/21 6:44 p.m.

A couple years ago when I got my Z4 the twins were going for more than I could have sold it for. I really like the look of the Saturn -- the Pontiac looks like a Grand Prix's face melted and got pulled under by the front wheels. But my wife preferred the Pontiac look too
Good to know that they weren't all they were cracked up to be, since I couldnt get one anyway (Canadian experience notwithstanding, of course)

cyow5
cyow5 Reader
3/24/21 7:38 a.m.
Snrub said:

^ Drove/drives and loves a modded Sky Redline and a G8 GT? She's a keeper.

It's great having an understanding partner, but it also doubles the car mods budget, haha. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/24/21 4:33 p.m.

In reply to wspohn :

Mallett is local.  The company I used to work for would build 7 liter blocks for them, in the days before you could just buy an LS7.  

Having poked around an LS3 Solstice in progress, the engine drops in like the engine bay was made for it, although you do need to modify the rack for crank damper clearance.  (One of the ram line inputs needs to be relocated 90 degrees forward)

The trans tunnel, however, very much does not have room for dual exhaust.  There is room next to the trans on the right side, where the stock exhaust ran, but the driver side floorpan runs right out to the trans.

That's where the car was at when I saw it, just a pair of shorty headers and some head scratching.   Clearly a solution was found, because I saw the car on the road a ways after that, but at the time the owner/builder was adamant about not modifying the floorpan.  Oval pipes may have been used.

GeddesB
GeddesB New Reader
3/24/21 7:06 p.m.

In reply to wawazat :

I grew up in Chelsea, family in A2 since before UofM was there. 

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/24/21 8:16 p.m.
wspohn said:

I'd have liked a dark blue coupe, but I grabbed what I could get (the only dark blue that came to Canada was at the same dealer I bought mine at. I thought I'd hit the lottery - until I walked over and saw that it was an automatic.

We only got 84 coupes to Canada, all the GXP turbo model, of which only 46 were manual trans (Mexico, for some reason, also got all GXP turbos, but all of them (122 cars) were automatics).  I don't mind automatics in touring cars - I have owned four big Jensens and still have one Interceptor, but would never own an automatic sports car.  Besides, these days having a stick is an anti-theft measure - half the kids who might want to steal one are unable to drive stick.

The cars have the space for engine swapping a V8 (Chev LS are popular) and the Aisin 5 speed manual box takes the torque (also used in Supra turbos etc.) but I've never seen much point. Unless you are one of the people that can't live without the poorly muffled bass roar of a V8, the 2.0 Ecotec offers plenty of potential.  Stock bottom ends take 400-425 bhp safely, and with suitably sized turbos and stronger rods and pistons, 500 + is possible. I  'settled' for 375 as it is a very safe level and the high output engines are mostly good for tire shredding, which is (no longer) my style.

For those that gotta have V8s, here is an LS7 Solstice (a firm called Mallett made a bunch of them).  BTW, while some people have claimed that having the space for a V8 indicated some future intention by GM to install that sot of engine, I don't believe that. The Corvette has always been their halo car and they killed the proposed turbo V6 Fiero (two prototypes made) because the performance level was too close to the Vette.

 

 

Heh.  Those roads are familiar to me, because the trails I used to ride all the time in high school are not too far offscreen smiley

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
4/14/21 7:33 a.m.

A little late, but it popped up in Facebook Memories from 2017. Rolled over the 10k mile point while driving, doubt her parents have added another 1k.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
4/14/21 8:11 a.m.

I see one just about every day here in Fla., and usually about two or three if I’m out for more than an hour.  They are ALWAYS in beautiful condition, versus the clapped out Miatas I see from the same model year range.

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