Sunday, October 02, 2005

Holy #*&@!!!!

Have you seen the Pontiac Solstice? Unless I'm missing something, I'd take this over the Boxter, the Z3--even the way hot Lexus SC. Paging Mickey Kaus . . .

8 comments:

Bill Walsh said...

Hey, cool. I still like the S2000 a little better, but that's a heck of a second choice.

Serenity Now said...

Kaus likes it, too.

Anonymous said...

Really, Jonathan? Really? I had you pegged for a minivan kind of guy. Maybe a minivan with a special magazine rack feature. You know why, don't you?

REAL AMERICANS DRIVE FORD F-350s! NO RESTRICTOR PLATE!! NOT EXACTLY STREET LEGAL!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, looks great, except for that minor glaring detail that it's a, ummmmm..... PONTIAC!!!!!!!!!!
There is a simple rule I follow these days, do not buy an American car. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Anonymous said...

Liking the Solstice over the Boxster shows discernment, as the Solstice is a much better-handling car than the overpowered Porsche. But even mentioning the BMW or the Lexus shows a shallow regard for looks over performance. Truth is, very few cars on the friendly side of $150 grand match the performance of the now-pedestrian Mazda MX-5, whose utilitarian looks haven't had much "wow" since the car was novel in 1989. The Solstice is one (though the Mazda has a slight edge on acceleration and handling, due mainly to excess weight that will probably be trimmed from future Solstice models, leaving them tied with the Mazda winning only on trunk space). The Boxster doesn't come close on any measure except acceleration; it is one heck of a fun car to drive in straight lines. The Z3 and the SC, however, are pretty, pretty cars that are both complete crap to drive. Might as well just get a Civic and take out the back seats for all the speed and handling either car delivers. Sluggish engines, unresponsive transmissions, and handling so mushy an SUV on snow tires would blush. I can say in all honesty that my mother's old Ford Focus wagon was more fun to drive than either the Z3 or the Lexus.

(Surely, JVL meant to say he'd take the Solstice over the 350Z, which is an excellent car, in fact better in almost every way than the Boxster, whereas the Z3 is the single most laughable girly-car on the road today, even with its adorable little P-51ish side vents.)

The possibly revolutionary effect of the Solstice might be bringing quality performance to the large car-buying market that regularly purchases crap cars like the Z3 and the SC based solely on their exterior looks. The Solstice has flash the MX-5 lacks and delivers comparable performance. The question is whether people who've been buying dreadful cars for their looks will go back after driving the Solstice, which offers both insanely beautiful looks and shockingly good performance.

Anonymous said...

Car and Driver, which is pretty unbiased, gave the nod to the sol. over the new miata in a brief comparison. I guess GM is going to either supercharge or turbocharge the solstice with around 250 or so bhp, which would be very exciting.

Jason O.

Anonymous said...

I've driven all of the cars mentioned except for the Solstice, and will say that, at its price, the Solstice must offer at least very good performance to beat the Boxster (at $20+K more) and phenomenal performance to beat the comparably priced Miata.

Anonymous said...

But doesn't the Sol already put out something like 207 hp? Will the extra weight of the turbo, on an already too-heavy car, really be worth the extra 40 or so hp? With a gear shift as short (and a transmission sweet spot as big) as the Solstice, you don't need a turbo. You just need quick hands.

IIRC, Car & Driver gave the nod to the Solstice largely on the basis of styling; in performance tests the '06 MX-5 (which I haven't driven, but will next week) was generally slightly ahead (better accel, better braking, better handling in general, though loss of rigidity not seen in previous MX-5 models or the much heavier Sol, which does plant itself nicely at speed).

Assuming Pontiac works out some kinks on the next model year (one word, Pontiac: Aluminum), the 2007 Sol could easily be the best car of its kind since the 1991 MX-5 -- and and it's easy to see it being better.