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.