This vehicle is the epitome of sex appeal, performance, and complete and utter uselessness, all rolled into one well priced package. The Pontiac Solstice GXP is a vehicle that every man, woman, and child wants to own.
The base Solstice (and its twin, the Saturn Sky) can be had in the upper 20’s, meaning that you walk out of the dealer with a very attractive car, equipped with a 170 horsepower engine, with cash still left in your bank account. The Solstice GXP (and its twin, the Saturn Sky Redline) is a bit more expensive (around $8,000 more), and massive demand has shot the MSRP price up.
However, that extra change nets you an entirely different vehicle. Allow me to digress.
The Pontiac Solstice GXP looks similar to the regular Solstice, with very few styling cues setting it apart. The wheels are a bit larger, and there is one more exhaust pipe adorning the read end of the car, but otherwise there is little that separates the two.
The real difference, you see, lies underneath the hood. Where the regular Solstice is given a comfortable 170 horsepower, the GXP is blessed with over 260 neck-snapping horses, delivered via a slick turbocharged engine and close ratio five speed transmission.
If you’re having a hard time realizing the significance of that power difference, let me put it to you like this: imagine that the regular Solstice is a city bus. Riding the bus can be comfortable, though there is nothing about it that screams “maximum performance”, is there? The GXP is kind of like a rocket ship, throwing you forward at an incredible rate of speed, refusing to let up for even one moment as it forces unreal amounts of thrust upon you. Now do you see where I’m coming from?
Driving the Car
I could go on all day about how undeniably sexy the exterior is, but a quick Google image search will yield the same understanding as I have come to realize: this car is gorgeous, no matter which angle you view it at. The design team should be given awards, free cars, and a microwave in recognition of their massive aesthetic success.
The interior of the car is attractive, though being 6’2” and 225 lbs, I found it to be a bit cramped. Operating the power window buttons required me to finagle my left arm in order to hit the switch, though it was nothing uncomfortable. As well, the rag top is manual operated, as opposed to a power folding top. A minor gripe, but a valid point just the same.
However, all is forgiven as soon as this vehicle is on the roads, as this vehicle is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on four wheels.
Pressing the throttle to the floor yields a moment of tepid acceleration, followed by the sound of a fully spooled turbo and the feeling of being thrown into the back of your seat. The acceleration is brutal, causing the Solstice to careen down the roadway at speeds that are very illegal.
I slow down, taking a corner, hard, and mashing the throttle once again. The rear tires break loose, and I find myself sideways at 60 miles per hour. Recovering quickly, I once again allow the car to launch forward, the vehicle once again accelerating furiously, as if it is chasing down its next meal.
By the time I’ve pulled into the dealership I am out of breath- this vehicle represents the embodiment of what a pure, unadulterated drivers car should be. Move over Mazda Miata- though you are fun to drive, you cannot match the sheer ferocity of the Solstice.
The Bottom Line
This vehicle starts, stops, and turns without complaint. The suspension is firm enough that you are able to throw the car around corners and remain glued to the road, and the 2.0 litre turbo has more than enough power to send this vehicle flying down the road, leaving just about every other car in its wake.
I love it, and you will too. Trust me.
Monday, July 23, 2007
A black silhouette of a vehicle is brought before me, its massive 18” wheels filling the pronounced wheel arches nicely. The style is sleek, pushed back, and very attractive. This may be the first sport compact that Chevrolet has released in a long time that has caught my attention.
Before I get into the vehicle I spend a few moments admiring the aggressive flairs which separate this vehicle, the Cobalt SS Supercharged, from the regular Cobalt. Larger wheels, a lower stance, and of course, the massive rear wing all highlight the gem under the hood- a 2.0L 4 cylinder that, with the assistance of a supercharger, puts out just over 200 horsepower to the front wheels.
This particular vehicle was slightly different than most, and the larger exhaust was an indication of that. Owners of the Cobalt SS Supercharged (Cobalt SS-S?) have the option of purchasing performance upgrades from the dealer, adding up to 36 horsepower and 30 pound feet of torque and retaining the comfort of a factory warranty.
This vehicle was equipped with such modifications.
Inside the Car
The interior of Cobalt SS is abundant in plastics, though their quality is much better than the vehicles released in the last few years. Low on the drivers side A pillar is a boost gauge, designed to let the driver know how much boost the supercharger was providing.
The seats are quite supportive and form fitting- I found myself strapped in quite nicely, and I was confident in my positioning. The seats are also adjustable in nearly every way, and the option to have heated power leather seats is available to those who want their glutes a little warmer.
The center console and dash are attractive enough, and all of the dials and buttons are easy to reach. Being 6’2” and 225 lbs makes some vehicles a challenge to operate, but the Cobalt SS-S is more than happy to oblige my every request. Turning up the stereo, I am greeted to a melodic symphony of the latest top-40 billboard hits, displayed with prominence as the 10” subwoofer in the trunk spits out vibration inducing bass.
After admiring the cockpit, I turn on the engine and place the Cobalt into gear. Raising the revs to just fewer than 3,000 rpm, I feather the clutch and launch the vehicle.
Driving the Car
The Cobalt takes off quickly, the thrust coming on smoothly. The relatively linearity of the power band makes this car easy to drive as it builds speed. With every shift of the silky-smooth transmission I find the speedometer rising, quickly reaching speeds that are both unsafe and unlawful.
I am pleased.
Trying out the responsiveness of the gears, I am happy to see that the Cobalt remains its pep in all but 5th gear, and I am led to believe that the lack of power in its last gear is simply the result of the revs being too low. Though not the quickest car on the road, it displays excellent form and dynamics as I throw it headlong into hairpin turns and dramatic stops.
The suspension is firm, and I feel every crack and divot in the road. As I take corners I remain planted in my seat, and my confidence remains high as the sport-tuned suspension handles my abuse with ease. The limits of this vehicle are obviously quite high.
Overall Impression and Conclusion
I am at a stoplight when a bagged drop-top 5.0L fox body Mustang pulls up beside me. The driver has his hat on backwards and is positioned low in his seat. He looks at the car, then me, and then back at the car. He nods towards the distance, motioning that he wants to race. With the salesmen in the seat beside me, I rev the engine- I’m happy to oblige.
I raise the revs to just under 3,000 rpm, and I hear the distinctive roar of 8 cylinders firing in response. The light turns green, and I aggressively feather the clutch, launching the Cobalt forward in a split second. My tires chirp slightly, though I am able to retain traction and rocket forward. The Mustang is not far behind, having spun his tires excessively when he dropped the clutch.
I am just passing 120 miles per hour when the Mustang finally catches me. The owner, obviously surprised that it took him that long to catch me, nods in approval. His vehicle sounds as if it has over 300 horsepower under the hood, and he speeds off into the distance.
I shift my attention to the salesmen and shoot him a nod. I’m impressed.
The bottom line is that this vehicle is a relatively inexpensive way to have 240 horsepower worth of fun. It accelerates quickly, stops quickly, and encounters turns with ease and confidence. For someone looking for a sports car that can also seat four people, this is your ride.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
This airgyle t-shirt pays homage to classic argyle design pattern with a great graphic of three planes crossing the design. Over-lapped argyle design is claimed to be the oldest known three dimensional spacing in history. This t-shirt is printed on a jade 50/50 tee to prevent itching, different from normal wool argyle.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
As fashion launches itself headfirst into 2007, emerging musical trends - most notably indie rock and new rave - seem to have influenced the t-shirt design industry in a variety of ways. Tops and T-shirts for men found on the fashion highway are so bright, colourful and splashed across with patterns that it's hard to believe that, at one time, the t-shirt was only available in one colour - white.
The t-shirt has a long history that dates back to the nineteenth century. Primarily developed as a type of underwear, the t-shirt was popularised in European society around the turn of the century. The t-shirt then spread into the United States during World War One, when American soldiers caught sight of the soft undershirts - then made of Egyptian cotton - while the US military sweated in wool uniforms.
By World War Two, the t-shirt had become standard issue in both the US army and the Navy; and although the t-shirt was still formally issued as underwear, soldiers stationed in hot climates would often wear it without any clothes on top - hence giving birth to the modern notion of the t-shirt. As the public were exposed to photographs of men wearing their t-shirts, the fashion soon spread into American life.
In the post-World War Two era, t-shirts were popularised by global movie stars such as John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean - and since this time, t-shirt fashion trends have undergone constant revolutions. In the 1960s, Ringer T-Shirts were popular, as were tie-dying and screen-printing on basic t-shirts. In the 1970s, the black concert t-shirt became a staple with rock music fans across the world, as people began wearing t-shirts emblazoned with their favourite band's logo or symbol for all to see.
While the t-shirt trend continued well into the 1980s and 1990s, these decades also saw the advent of slogan t-shirts. T-shirt slogans like "I'm with stupid" or "Frankie says Relax" - a popular homage to the 1980s band, Frankie Goes to Hollywood - became a common fashion feature. But as these slogans became increasingly ubiquitous, it's no surprise that the early years of the new millennium saw the phenomenon of "personal branding" on t-shirts become a mainstay of t-shirt fashion.
And with both traditional fashion retailers and t-shirt websites making it easier for people to create their own t-shirt trends, the world of t-shirt design has never been brighter - in both a physical and metaphorical sense! With bright colours and bold patterns - a prominent feature of t-shirt fashion in early 2007 - t-shirt fans around the world can expect great things from the t-shirt world, both now and in years to come.
Andrew Regan is an online, freelance journalist.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Regan
This is a T-Shirt of the 2.0 Generation available at ThinkGeek. The interesting thing about this unique, black, 100% cotton t-shirt is that it comes pre-packaged with its own write-on, wash-off marker. So you can fill the blank spaces with whatever you want, then go out and show the world how geeky you are. Better yet, don't imagine. Experience it for yourself this Black shirt with white lowercase text and fill-in-the-blank style boxes for ur fillin-in-the-blank pleasure.