• May 1, 2009
One of the many unfortunate casualties of General Motors' financial apocalypse is the loss of the Kappa platform, the small, rear-wheel drive architecture underpinning the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. With both of those brands being discontinued and no plans to migrate any models over to GM's surviving brands, the slow-selling roadsters will simply disappear within the next year.

Another disappointment to GM fans was the transformation of the Chevy Volt from concept to production form. The sporty, aggressive concept was, to many, a generic interpretation of an otherwise revolutionary design.

One of our readers came up with a novel solution to both problems. Just graft the Volt concept nose onto the Sky and install an adaptation of the Voltec powertrain and voila! you have a rival to the Dodge Circuit and Tesla Roadster. From a technical standpoint, the Volt Roadster is theoretically possible. A battery pack could easily fit into the center tunnel, with the drive motor mounted at the rear, but don't get your hopes up -- it's highly-doubtful that it could ever come to production. GM is struggling to finance the development of volume models and a niche product like this just couldn't happen in the foreseeable future. But if the General could keep the Kappa tooling around, who knows? One can dream, right? Thanks to reader Ryan for the tip and the rendering!


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM designs cars like Mike Brady designs buildings:

      All are based on the same basic look, and what a tired look it is!

      The Volt looks more or less just like a Cavalier to me. Ditto, the Cruze. Nothing makes me run the other way faster.

      All their sedans, regardless of what they're called or the little details, are Cavaliers or Impalas.

      I've hated the Cavaliers since the 80's. That's a long history of hating everything GM makes. No wonder they're so pathetic.

      I wasn't fooled for one second when the Cobalt "replaced" the Cavalier. It's the same stupid car ... AGAIN!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I had assumed the interiors were of much better quality too, until I rented a G8 earlier this year, and the central window switch panel collapsed down an inch into a dark well -- on a brand-new car (we were the first ones to rent it).

        If experience is a good teacher, GM quality still sucks inside and out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Man you're stupid,
        • 5 Years Ago
        Typesbad, you're right! The Cruze does look just like the Ion from the side.

        Idiots!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not quite as harsh on Chevy as you. The Malibu looks great....from the side, anyway. The interiors have improved significantly across several models, and they finally have some engines that aren't a decade behind foreign competition.

        Unfortunately, I feel the same about the Cruze. Mechanically it looks up to snuff, and the instrument panel looks pretty decent, but the exterior, including the side this time, seems to have the same clunky lack of character and finesse we have seen on the Colbalt, Ion and just about any GM small sedan you can think of. I'm not just talking about the corporate face, Which I don't think wears well on a rounded front end, but also the clumsy rear quarter window treatment and the oversized amorphous lights front and rear. I'm hoping it looks better in person because I want GM to succeed with this car.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks pretty good.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is pretty cool. Way too cool for Chevy to make. That's why they can't sell their cars to make a profit. Chevy=Boring
      • 5 Years Ago
      Call it the "Current"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Didn't the Pontiac Solstice originally come from a Chevy's last Nomad Concept and one of Saab's concept cars? So why couldn't they make it a Chevrolet?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually the Solstice concept came first and the Nomad was derived from the Solstice. That said, none of the derivatives have sold well and GM just doesn't have the funds to continue building and developing such a niche product right now
      • 5 Years Ago
      The writer of this article summed it up best in the last sentence of the first paragraph. It is for this reason that the Kappa is being discontinued in the first place. Why would they want to rebadge it as a Chevrolet and continue to milk a slow selling product?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tim: Caddy's design language separates anything that it is applied to from anything else on the planet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm just saying that the design of the body would need to change enough that it would appear to be a new car, not some step child from failed Saturn or Pontiac. I think the Kappa under-pinnings are fine, and it could work as a small Caddy or Chevy if it is precieved as a new product.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it would actually be cool if it was powered by the volt's driveline
      • 5 Years Ago
      ..that actually looks half decent.

      I feel like the present time should be an optimistic one for GM in terms of design, and it'll be interesting to see what kinds of new concepts GM will think of based on the worthier models from it's guillotined family tree. Although, what else comes to mind besides the obvious G8, Solstice/Sky? I'd personally like to see the Vibe stick around (small hatches being my favorite segment), but maybe as the new Optra? You can't deny that people have totally eaten up the Vibe (and Matrix).

      I'd be very curious to see what the Chevy line up looks like in 5 years..
      • 5 Years Ago
      ok photoshop...

      outstanding concept and idea!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Call it the Voltski.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boy the russians would go nuts for that car, LOL.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lightning Volt?

        Do a Chevy version of Solstice coupe, split the rear hatch glass and call it the Stingray.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The worst part of GM's consolidation is that more and more great cars are going to be tagged with a Chevy badge.

      Maybe it's just being from the midwest, but I can't disassociate 'Chevy' from 'redneck'.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're from the Midwest and you're still a biased idiot?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That does look ugly, i have to say that Sky right now is one of the most beautiful cars out there, every time i see it i stop to admire, Solstice is not even close, good looking, but Sky is amazing.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe he's referring to the terrible, out of date Chevy styling and cheap Chevy interiors that still exist today and thinks "cheap, redneck car."

        Can't blame him...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the solstice...
      I see quiet a few of them here in Southeast as well.
      I would buy one 'cept for the kidz.
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