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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Pontiac Solstice Coupe

For those who can't stand the nightmare contraption that is the Solstice top, Pontiac now has an answer for you. Behold the Solstice Coupe. Those who want some fresh air without the hassle of the Solstice soft top can partake in this car's removable roof panel of the targa variety. The new coupe has looks derived from the original coupe concept that debuted at the same time as the roadster in 2002. While the roof panel doesn't fit in the car when removed, there's no need to be concerned (too much) about getting caught in the rain. A soft roof cover can be stashed in the back and put in place in case of a sudden downpour. The hard roof panel has a magnesium frame around the SMC plastic shell and weighs just 31 lbs. Aside from the top, the coupe is pretty much mechanically the same as the roadster. It gets the same 2.4L normally aspirated and 2.0L turbo direct-injected four-cylinder engines with five speed transmissions of the self-shifting or manual kind. If you're hankering for this hard-top Solstice, you'll have to wait alongside the Camaro fans until early in 2009 to get one.

[Source: General Motors]



Hardtop Extends Appeal of Classic Design

NEW YORK Drawing inspiration from classic sports cars, the 2009 Pontiac Solstice coupe was created for drivers who appreciate both dramatic styling and balanced performance. Unveiled at the New York Auto Show as a GXP model, the Solstice coupe builds on the success of the convertible model while offering a greater range of all-season driving opportunities.

For drivers still wanting an open-air experience, the coupe also features a removable roof panel, fully opening the cockpit to all of the sensations of the road.

"Today's Solstice is the top-selling roadster in the U.S., and we believe this new model has even broader appeal," said Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager. "The coupe has all the design cues and pleasing performance of the original roadster, and is an all-season alternative for people who enjoy open-air driving."

The coupe is expected to arrive in Pontiac dealerships in early 2009.

The making of a coupe

The new coupe was inspired by the Solstice coupe concept shown at the North American International Auto Show in 2002. True to the concept, it is a modern sports car with classic lines. The roofline has a "fastback" shape with stylized "rails" that run from the front of the roof to the rear, culminating in a stylish and functional ducktail-style rear spoiler.

The coupe's roof is fixed aft of the B-pillars, with side windows and a rear liftglass for access to the cargo area. The roof panel is easily removed from the passenger compartment, and an optional soft roof cover stores in the cargo area. A home storage case for the roof panel will be offered through GM Accessories.

Engineering the design

Despite its dramatic new look, engineers made only minor structural changes to create the Solstice coupe. The rear fenders and rear fascia are the same as those on the convertible. New taillight assemblies flow more smoothly into the tapered roofline.

"The Solstice coupe represents a major collaboration of design and engineering," said Bruce Kosbab, chief engineer. "The sleek lines of the new roof give the car a fresh appearance, yet only minimal changes were made to the body structure – it's a great example of building on an already solid foundation."

Lightweight structure

The roof's structure was strengthened with additional support elements, including an aluminum roof bow attached with aluminum brackets. The bow and brackets are stiff, yet low in mass, a design feature that pervades the coupe's overall construction. The roof includes a lightweight sheet molding compound cover affixed to a rigid aluminum frame for additional lightweight support. A lightweight magnesium roof panel frame weighs just 31 pounds (14.2 kg) and can be removed by one person. The cover is also made of sheet molding compound.

Powertrain and suspension

Because the change to a coupe body style resulted in only a slight increase in curb weight, no drivetrain or suspension changes were necessary to shift from the convertible body structure. Initial tests have shown that the Solstice coupe will deliver ride and handling, acceleration, braking and fuel economy comparable to the convertible model.

The coupe is powered by a standard 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine that generates 173 horsepower (129 kW), while the GXP version is equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec engine with 260 horsepower (194 kW).

Interior additions

Much of the coupe's interior remains the same as that of the convertible. However, the area behind the seats was redesigned for easy access to the cargo area, and a storage tray was mounted directly behind the headrests.

Removing the folding-top mechanism made way for a new, flat cargo floor and several storage compartments. The cargo area's covered bins provide secure storage for smaller items. Cargo tie-down hooks help secure irregularly shaped items.

# # #




Pontiac Solstice Coupe, Solstice GXP Coupe

Body style / driveline:

2-passenger, 2-door coupe; front-engine, rear-wheel drive


welded galvanized steel enclosed central tunnel and hydroformed tube

EPA vehicle class:


Manufacturing location:

Wilmington , Del.

Key competitors:

base: Mazda MX-5 Miata retractable hardtop
GXP: Nissan 350Z Coupe


Ecotec 2.4L VVT

Ecotec 2.0L DI Turbo VVT


2.4L DOHC I-4

2.0L DOHC I-4

Displacement (cu in / cc):

145 / 2384

122 / 1998

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98

3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86

Block material:

cast aluminum

cast aluminum

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminum

cast aluminum


DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder; variable valve timing

DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder; dual continuous variable valve timing

Ignition system:

electronic direct

individual coil-on-plug

Fuel delivery:

sequential multi-port fuel injection with high-pressure injectors and electronic throttle control

spark ignition direct injection (SIDI) with variable high-pressure rail and electronic throttle control

Compression ratio:



Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):

173 / 129 @ 5800*

260 / 194 @ 5300*

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

167 / 226 @ 4500

260 / 353 @ 2500-5250*

Recommended fuel:

premium recommended but not required

premium recommended but not required

Max engine speed
(fuel cut-off):

7000 rpm

6350 rpm (fuel shut off)

Emissions controls:

close-coupled catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast-response O2 sensor

close-coupled catalytic converters, Quick-Sync 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; wide-range O2 sensor

EPA estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):

19 / 24 (automatic)
19 / 25 (manual)

19 / 26 (automatic)
19 / 28 (manual)



5-spd manual (MA5)

5L40 5-spd automatic

Gear ratios: (:1):



















Final drive ratio:

base: 3.91:1
GXP: 3.73:1

base: 3.91:1
GXP: 3.73:1



base: independent short/long arm, with hollow 27.2 x 4.5 mm stabilizer bar
GXP: independent short/long arm, with hollow 33.3 x 4.5 mm stabilizer bar


base: independent short/long arm, with hollow 24.2 x 3.0 mm stabilizer bar
GXP: independent short/long arm, with hollow 25.4x3.0 mm stabilizer bar

Steering type:

hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion

Steering ratio:


Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:


Turning circle, curb-to-curb
(ft / m):

34.8 / 10.6



four-wheel disc, with ABS and electronic stability control (StabiliTrak)

Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm):

front: 11.7 x 1 / 297 x 25, vented
rear: 10.9 x 0.5 / 277 x 13, solid

Swept area (sq in / cc)

front: 243 / 1570
rear: 189 / 1221


Wheel size and type:

base std: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke painted alloy; base opt: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke chromed aluminum and polished aluminum alloy
GXP std: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke polished aluminum alloy or chromed aluminum


base: P245/45R18 Goodyear Eagle RSA 96V all-season
GXP: P245/45R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 GS2 96W high-performance


Wheelbase (in / mm):

95.1 / 2415

Overall length (in / mm):

157.2 / 3992

Overall width (in / mm):

71.3 / 1810

Overall height (in / mm):

50.9 / 1292

Track (in / mm):

front: 60.7 / 1543

rear: 61.4 / 1560

Curb weight, base (lb / kg):

base: 2930 / 1329 (est.)
GXP: 3018 / 1369 (est.)

Weight distribution (front / rear), approx.:

50 / 50


Seating capacity:


Headroom (in / mm):

37.4 / 950

Legroom (in / mm):

42.8 / 1086

Shoulder room (in / mm):

52.4 / 1332

Hip room (in / mm):

50.6 / 1284


EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):

50.8 / 1438

Passenger Volume (cu ft / L)

48.5 / 1373

Cargo volume (cu ft / L), includes storage beneath load floor:

5.6 / 159

Fuel tank (gal / L):

13.6 / 51.5

Engine oil (qt / L):

5 / 4.7

Cooling system (qt / L):

Base with:
manual: 8.9 / 8.4
automatic: 8.7 / 8.2
GXP with:
manual: 9.5 / 9.0
automatic: 9.3 / 8.8

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is a lot of the Jaguar J coupe's of the late 1960 in this car, what a drop dead beauty. Anyone findng fault with this cars looks are either ignorant or braindead, best looking thing under $50,000 and can hold it's own above that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you're interested in chatting with a Pontiac designer who worked on the Solstice Coupe, GMnext is hosting a web chat with Designer Jose Gonzalez on Thursday at 11 a.m. EST. Just go to http://www.gmnext.com/LiveChat.aspx and register with your e-mail address.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In the words of Jim Carrey: "I like it a lot"
      • 7 Years Ago
      supposedly it is a targa simply to avoid having to completely re-engineer the winsheild structure, and be pressured to offer side curtain airbags in the roof rails.

      Removeable roof panel means convertible header doesn't change. The B-pillar hoop should provide some lateral re-inforcement.

      A panel in place is more than nothing, at least it has tensile strenght and somewhat ties the header to the B-pillar hoop.

      I wonder if a plexiglass/lexan/acrylic transparent roof will be optional, with solid side rails.

      The cloth top probably stows in the trunk, but the solid roof probably does not, unfortunately.

      It is also odd that the whole rear section doesn't lift, more like the 350Z's hatch. The cut lines remain, but only the glass appears to lift. There is probably still enough room back there for a suitcase large enough for two people's things, and the folding cloth roof. Enough for a weekend trip, or a modest shopping trip to town for small goods, which is right up this car's alley.

      Hard roof might be relegated to purposeful driving and inclement seasons.

      It is also not unthinkable that someone will come up with a bolt-in or weld-in roof panel with some interior trim panel modification, that more securely fixes the roof closed, and stiffens the car.

      anyway, this car is one of the most promising in quite some time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So even after removing the top there still isn't any storage space? What in the hell did they do back there to not allow for any storage? Z4 Coupe has a huge trunk and the MX5 has a bigger one with the top down.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is not only one of the best looking cars to come from a U.S. car company, but one of the top in the world.

      This is beautiful and one of the best looking cars on the road. GM's problems are nothing that cars with great design can't fix.

      I have several expensive German cars in the garage, with the styling of this car I would happily welcome it into my garage.

      And throw in the fact that this is a very affordable car and they have a real winner.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Truly the most beautiful body to come from GM in way too many years!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, that's impressive. I had no idea a targa was coming, but it makes we want one more. Agreed that they need to make this an option for the Sky also. This is also perfect timing to debut the targa, because they regular models are starting to slow in sales. Now if only they would debut a GTO/Trans Am instead of the ugly-ass G8 ute.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Man I liked the spy shot yesterday better when it looked like a coupe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Holy crap, who would want a genesis coupe now
        • 7 Years Ago
        I dunno, I always found the Solstice to be a bit too bubbly shaped for me. I'd rather have the Hyundai... but what do I know?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree w/ James. It's bubbly, and they also went w/ more of a z3 M Coupe hatch style as opposed to a sleeker Cayman look. Here's hoping for a nicer Sky version
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's with the "For those who can't stand the nightmare contraption that is the Solstice top..." comment?

      Only idiot bloggers and journalists have a problem with the Solstice top. How is opening the trunk, releasing the top latch, lowering the top, and then closing the trunk a "nightmare"?

      The '89 Jeep Wrangler's top was a nightmare, the Solstice's top is not.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Try putting it back up!

        You have to fold the two "buttresses" down individually and that means running around to both sides of the car.

        I don't know if I'd call the top a "nightmare", but it's not at all convenient.
      • 7 Years Ago
      it looks great!
      however, from the looks of it, you loose the whole trunk!
      i think all you get is that small area under the rear glass. if you look at the images from the rear of the car, the gap in the metal that would show the trunk being there appears to be gone, who would think you would loose some of the already tiny storage space in the solstice by making it a coupe/targa
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