Monday, December 21, 2009

Car Style - The Pontiac Solstice

John Marine | 12/21/2009 04:15:00 PM | |
Since today is the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year), I figured I'd do a "Car Style" chat on the Pontiac Solstice. I had initially planned on doing one on the Saturn Sky rather than the Solstice. Conceptualized back in 2004, the Solstice was pretty much America's answer to the Mazda Miata. My brother doesn't like the Solstice, but I do. It's one of only three modern Pontiacs I'm excited about besides the 2003 Pontiac GTO (looked better than most of the other Pontiacs at the time) and the G8.

Pontiac may be no more (or nearing no more), but this car will surely be remembered. Among others, this car has seen drifting action in Formula D, various club racing series, and even in the Speed Channel reality TV show, "Setup." Earlier this year, Fast Lane Daily had a contest in which Derek DeAngelis, the host of "Fast Lane Daily" wanted you to pick his car. The winning car was the Solstice GXP. While I do love the Solstice GXP, this blog entry concerns the base Solstice.

--- Car Style: Pontiac Solstice ---

People have said that the car looks too much like a jelly bean. I don't want to think of this car as a girly car. To be honest... I've NEVER thought the Miata (which it was going against) was ever a girly car, though many others have hated on it. The front headlights are big and bold. Equally big and bold are the lights under the headlights. Pontiac's signature front grill design rests between the two fog lights and signal lights. The front hood isn't aggressive, but rather subtle.

From the sides, the car sports a lovely set of wheels. Its side profile has a swoopy profile almost Porsche-like. Only more like a top chopped Porsche. The section from the front windshield all the way to the rear is very aerodynamic and smooth. There are extra turning signals on the front quarter panels. There's a little opening on the front quarter panel bearing a small Pontiac badge. The rear quarter panels have a muscular appearance as the whole car has a minimal overfender. There is even a lip spoiler at the rear of the car from the sides. The tail lights are elongated on the sides of the Solstice.

Nothing intimidating about the rear of the Solstice, but there's no lack of character either. Its rear windshield looks pretty unusual, as it's curved off for a sporty appearance. I still fear some of the edges being blind spots. The tail lights are styled beautifully. Below the tail lights are a few signal and hazard lights. The rear bumper is flanked with a pair of mufflers. You get a better view of the minimalistic rear spoiler from the rear.

The interior is very sporty. The dashboard consists of big gauges and a sporty center console. Many elements of the car are finished off in metallic accents. The steering wheel isn't very sporty or stylish, however. I would have liked a more performance-oriented (even for a car like this) steering wheel with some lovely style. The seats are plenty comfortable and styled nicely, adding to the sporty appeal of this car.

Production for this car ended this year at its Wilmington, Delaware plant, but this was really one of the more unique and fun cars from Pontiac. Maybe not Fiero unique (I planned on doing a Car Style blog entry on this car, but I need to further study this car to do anything about it. I don't blog on anything unless I know everything or just enough to professionally discuss it), but certainly no ho-hum car. It's also one of the lovelier cars of the 21st century from Pontiac. There have been only three lovely cars from Pontiac this decade- the GTO, the G8, and the Solstice. If it were up to me, I'd get a Solstice GXP in silver or red. The Solstice was an American Miata with slightly bolder styling than the Miata/MX-5. I'd still take a Miata over the Solstice, but I wouldn't overlook the Solstice entirely.

UPDATE: 3/27/2010
If you are looking for car parts for your car or the car I mentioned, I invite you to use either the Amazon Auto Part Finder widget on the side. Or click on the link at the end of this sentence, as it links you to Amazon Auto Part Finder. Please read "An Important Amazon Note" in the sidebar for more information on Amazon products. Thank you for reading!
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