From its humble beginning as horse-drawn carriage manufacturer, Pontiac has evolved into one of the rated car manufacturers under the General Motors. Founded by Edward M. Murphy, Pontiac strives to perfect their cars to meet the high demands of car enthusiast. And one of the products of this goal is the Pontiac Solstice.
The Pontiac Solstice was first seen as a concept car at the 2002 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. It immediately gained attention and after three short years, the Solstice hit the road with the thrilling open-air driving experience. Upon its release, it is said that the Pontiac Solstice will compete and beat the best selling sports car, the Mazda Miata and the highly regarded Honda S2000.
Riding on a GM's new Kappa architecture, this roadster retains the original Solstice concept, including rear-wheel drive, two-passenger seating and a reverse hinged clamshell hood. It is powered by a double overhead cam variable-valve 4-liter DOHC Ecotec four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. of torque. It has a five-speed manual transmission and special feature close to a 50/50 front-rear weight distribution.
The Solstice simply overpowers the Mazda Miata by 28 horsepower. Aside from this, the Solstice rides on a wheelbase 6 inches longer than the Miata but its length is less than 2 inches greater. It is 5 inches shorter the S2000 but its wheelbase is almost an inch longer. It is 400 pounds heavier than the Miata, relatively close to the S2000. The S2000 has a torque of 161 pounds-feet while the Solstice has 170 pounds-feet.
This Pontiac features independent SLA designs with forged aluminum upper and lower control arms in its independent front and rear suspensions, which contribute to responsive handling. A monotube shock absorbers and coil springs add to uncompromised handling response and sporty driving characteristics while the wheels-at-the-corners wide stance improves handling. It comes with standard eighteen-inch wheels and tires and four-wheel disc brakes.
The best thing about the Pontiac Solstice is the freedom to totally experience the ride. As a roadster, the Solstice brings the driver and its passenger to the edge of their seats as it traverses to curves and open highway effortlessly. The 2006 Pontiac Solstice is the real sports car at a very affordable price of just $19,420. To sum it up all, the Pontiac Solstice is fun, fast, responsive, comfortable, and very affordable.
Why does the refrigerant level drop? Why does the system need to be re-gassed? Does it mean that the air-con of my Pontiac Solstice is no longer in good condition?
It's not unusual for the car's air-conditioner to run low on refrigerant. This is because the pipes and other connections of the air-conditioning system are a bit porous. Because of this, the system naturally loses gas over time. The system may lose up to 20% gas in a year. You shouldn't, however, let the air-con run too low on refrigerant. If you don't re-gas the system right away and fail to have the air-con serviced, the compressor may have to work twice as much. The undue stress to this component may eventually lead to A/C failure.
Why do some people choose to install a bigger brake kit on their Pontiac? Are stock brake systems not good enough?
Stock brake systems can provide decent braking power and the needed braking efficiency under usual driving conditions. However, if the vehicle is modified for power boost or has its suspension, tires, and other parts upgraded, the stock brakes may easily be overpowered or placed under a lot of stress if the vehicle is pushed beyond its usual capacities due to these changes. To get more braking power that would complement the hp gains or the modifications, a bigger brake kit may be installed. The kit provides bigger rotors and may include new calipers or caliper relocation brackets. It's designed to enhance braking performance through increased heat capacity from larger rotors. The higher heat capacity of the rotors would ensure better resistance to brake fade even under a lot of stress. The larger size of the rotors also make way for increased leverage for the calipers and the pads.
Can I really enjoy better fuel mileage when I install a performance exhaust on my Pontiac?
Aside from relevant horsepower gains, better fuel mileage is among the numerous benefits you can get from replacing the stock with a performance exhaust. Increased fuel economy is achieved as the engine gets to breathe more easily because of less restrictions in airflow. The aftermarket exhaust system is designed to allow the exhaust gases to flow out more easily, at a much preferred temperature. This makes it easier for the engine to generate power. In the process, increased fuel economy can be enjoyed at cruising speeds. Not all performance exhausts, however, are designed the same way; hence, the rate of fuel economy and horsepower gains may vary.
If I install an aftermarket performance exhaust and replaced the stock, will this automatically void the vehicle warranty?
The dealership shouldn't refuse to provide warranty coverage just because you switched to an aftermarket exhaust. Based on the provisions of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, this would be illegal. The warranty should not be cancelled out, especially if the defect or problem with the vehicle wasn't caused by the improper use of the performance exhaust, its incorrect installation, or a fault in the aftermarket design. If emissions/warranty claims are denied, the EPA should be contacted. You should get in touch with the FTC if the manufacturer refuses to provide federal warranty protection.