2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe's weird cupholders – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you've ever driven a Pontiac Solstice, you know that it's a very pretty but extremely flawed car. In the interest of getting the concept car's look exactly right in production form, GM had to make a host of compromises, which manifest themselves in a number of ways.

You all know about the roadster's ridiculously recalcitrant top mechanism and dearth of usable space for both humans and cargo. What you may not be aware of is that inside the cockpit, there are three cupholders. One is actually semi-usable – it pops out of the transmission tunnel on the passenger side but is a bit flimsy and threatens to dump on your passenger's lap. In the convertible, the other two are mounted in a pop-out tray below the storage bin between the front seats. Perhaps they were designed by someone with a cruel sense of humor. Or maybe by a fan of comic books, because unless one possesses the flexibility of Reed Richards, it's essentially impossible to reach for a drink nestled in one of them without incurring some sort of sports injury.

After our man Sam Abuelsamid reviewed the 2009 Solstice GXP Coupe, I got to spend a week with one myself. (My car had a manual gearbox – the only difference between the two). One of the first things I noticed about the interior is that the tray with the useless cupholders is absent from the space between the seats. I opened the owner's manual and, sure enough, the only cupholder mentioned is the one in the tranny tunnel. But while loading the "trunk" (as it were), I discovered an undocumented feature. Well, two of them, actually.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid, Alex Núñez/Weblogs, Inc.

You see, despite what the manual officially says, there are two additional cupholders in the Solstice Coupe. Warning bells should now be going off, because if I'm seeing cupholders only by peering down through the coupe's open cargo hatch glass, you know something weird is going on.

Behind each headrest sits a cupholder. No, that's not a typo – I said "behind each headrest." They're molded into these rectangular storage bins General Motors put back there. Obviously, someone at GM wanted to uphold the Solstice tradition of bizarrely-placed cupholders.

The irony is that they're actually more useful than the ones in the roadster, which are, you know, not. The idea is that the driver can simply reach behind the passenger's head and grab his or her beverage, and vice versa. I would not necessarily recommend this, mind you, because these secret "Easter egg" cupholders aren't particularly good at holding things – a half-liter water bottle tips pretty easily, for example. A small coffee cup sits so low that it requires a bit of hunting and careful lifting, and that has distraction-caused disaster written all over it. Careful with the tall drinks, too – you stand to bump the coupe's crossbar while pulling them it out.

But there you have it: One final quirk in the final Pontiac Solstice model.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid, Alex Núñez/Weblogs, Inc.

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