America's Pontiac Solstice Is Pure Roadster


2006 Pontiac Solstice
The 2006 Pontiac Solstice
is now available in North America.

11th September, 2005

Vehicle Highlights

Pontiac ’s first production two-seat roadster

2.4L Ecotec engine with 177 hp (132 kw)*

Built on new rear-drive 'Kappa' platform

Near 50/50 weight distribution

Four-wheel independent SLA suspension

AM/FM and CD stereo with six speakers

Standard Aisin five-speed manual transmission

Available Hydra-Matic 5L40-E five-speed automatic transmission (late availability)

Eighteen-inch five-spoke aluminium alloy wheels

Inspired by the pure driving experience offered by classic roadsters, the 2006 Pontiac Solstice delivers invigorating driving thrills with balanced performance from a sophisticated, Ecotec-based powertrain and delivers them in a curvaceous form. True sports car features include rear-wheel drive, four-wheel independent SLA suspension, 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels and a powerful 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine rated at 177 horsepower (132 kw).* A close-ratio Aisin five-speed close-ratio manual transmission is standard, while a five-speed automatic will become available later in the model year.

“The Solstice is pure roadster and the newest expression of performance at Pontiac,” said John Larson, general manager for Buick-Pontiac-GMC. “In addition to invigorating performance and the exhilaration of top-down driving, the Solstice delivers a roomy, well-equipped package that puts fun back into everyday driving.”

Solstice was first shown as a concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit , where it had gone from idea to driveable concept vehicle in four months. A groundswell of support inside General Motors and legions of admiring enthusiasts helped give the project a green light for production in 2004. Less than two years later, the production model is hitting the street – a remarkable achievement given the fact that the vehicle’s architecture was developed from scratch.

Customers were invited to submit orders for the first 1,000 production vehicles on 15th April, 2005. It took only 41 minutes to pre-sell the exclusive “First 1,000” vehicles, which feature sequential VIN numbering, special badging and certificate of authenticity.

Well-equipped sports car

Although Solstice conveys a minimalist image, it is nonetheless well-equipped with the type of comfort and convenience items appreciated by enthusiastic drivers. The interior is surprisingly roomy, allowing for a comfortable driving position for tall drivers – a trait that some competitors’ roadsters cannot boast. Standard equipment includes:

  • Racing-inspired sport bucket seats with convenient seat cushion and seatback storage
  • Leather-wrapped manual shift knob
  • AM/FM and CD stereo with six speakers
  • Rear window defogger
  • Rake-adjustable steering wheel
  • Three cupholders
  • Easy-to-operate cloth convertible top with glass window
  • Dual front air bags

Additionally, several option packages are available:

Power package – includes power locks, mirrors and windows, along with remote keyless entry

Convenience package – includes cruise control, driver information centre and fog lamps

Premium package – includes leather seating surfaces (Ebony or Steel/Sand two-tone), leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel radio controls

Other available equipment includes air conditioning, carpeted floor mats, MP3-capable CD player radio, MP3-capable radio with six-disc in-dash CD player, Monsoon Premium seven-speaker system, OnStar and XM Satellite Radio.

'OnStar'-equipped Solstice models feature OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.

The OnStar service standard on the 2006 Solstice includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centres to help them despatch the appropriate live-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.

Standard excitement, solid performance

In keeping with the spirit of a pure sports car, Solstice is designed to feel like an extension of the driver’s body. It is built on GM’s new rear-wheel drive 'Kappa' architecture (Kappa was also the basis of the 2004 Holden Torana TT36 concept car), which uses independent short/long arm-type suspensions in the front and rear to give the Solstice a responsive, road-gripping driving feel. Other driver-focused features include:

  • Bilstein coil-over monotube shocks at all corners
  • Rack-and-pinion steering (power assisted)
  • Eighteen-inch aluminium alloy wheels
  • P245/45R18 all-season tyres
  • Large, four-wheel disc brakes, with 11.7-inch (297 mm) front rotors and 10.9-inch (277 mm) rear rotors
  • Available limited-slip rear differential
  • Cockpit-style instrument panel with motorcycle-inspired gauges
  • Short-throw shifter

To provide a solid foundation for the Solstice’s responsive suspension, engineers developed a lower-dominant tube structure for the chassis. Hydroformed frame rails, which run the full length of the vehicle, are the basis of the chassis, while additional stampings form a rigid structure onto which the bodywork is attached. The hydroforming process uses pressurised fluid to form each frame rail from a single piece of steel, rather than several pieces of steel welded together. This provides a stronger frame rail and requires less time to form it. Additional components and stampings are added to the frame rail during vehicle assembly.

A tunnel at the centre of the chassis, which houses the transmission and driveshaft, is internally reinforced and enclosed at the bottom to enhance stiffness. This built-in strength reduces chassis flex and cowl shake in a vehicle designed from the outset as a convertible. The Kappa architecture’s rigid structure also permits more precision when it comes to tuning the suspension. The short-long arm suspension design features forged aluminium upper and lower control arms that are strong and low in mass. The rear suspension also features a toe control link and the rear differential housing has an optimised three-point mounting design.

The Solstice’s four-wheel disc brakes consist of 11.7-inch (297 mm) ventilated front rotors and 10.9-inch (277 mm) rear rotors, which combine to provide assured braking capability. ABS (with dynamic rear proportioning) is available. Engineers also executed on the following dynamic details to produce a world-class platform:

  • A near 50/50 weight distribution provides a balanced handling feel
  • Hydraulic engine mounts are used to provide a smoother engine feel
  • An optimised acoustic barrier and sound absorption package to provide world-class levels of interior quietness
  • Exterior components, such as mirrors, were wind-tunnel tested to minimise wind noise
  • The tyres were selected for handling performance and low noise

Compact powerhouse

Solstice is powered by a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower (132 kw) at 6600 rpm and 166 lb.-ft. of torque (225 Nm) at 4800 rpm.* With a curb weight of just 2,860 pounds (1,297 kg), the 2.4L Ecotec engine helps give the Solstice an enviable horsepower-to-weight ratio of nearly 16.2 to 1.

The 2.4L Ecotec is a sophisticated, dual-overhead cam engine with an aluminium block and cylinder head, which contributes to the Solstice’s lightweight character and enhances front-to-rear weight balance. As with other engines in the Ecotec family, the 2.4L version in the Solstice features:

  • Dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder
  • Twin counter-rotating balance shafts
  • Low-friction, roller-finger follower valvetrain with hydraulic lash adjusters
  • Zero-maintenance chain-drive for the camshafts
  • Extremely compact dimensions and low mass
  • Direct mounting of all accessories to the engine structure to eliminate common sources of noise, vibration and harshness
  • Full circle transmission attachment is more rigid than most 4-cylinder powertrains for reduced noise and vibration
  • GM Oil Life System for optimum oil change frequency (included with optional driver information system)
  • No routine maintenance apart from oil/oil filter changes
  • Catalyst located close to the exhaust manifold to speed catalyst “light-off” and reduce hydrocarbon emissions
  • Innovative cast-in oil filter housing eliminates crawling under the car to perform oil changes. The design also eliminates throwaway oil-filter “cans” that retain used oil that typically end up in landfills

Matching the 2.4L Ecotec’s power is a standard close-ratio Aisin five-speed manual transmission. Later in the ’06 model year, the advanced Hydra-Matic 5L40-E five-speed automatic transmission will be offered as an option.

A 3.91:1 axle ratio is standard with the five-speed manual powertrain. The gears are housed in a rear axle derived from the Cadillac CTS, which was chosen for its excellent performance characteristics and high torque capability. A limited-slip rear differential is available.

 Fluid lines, clever details

Designers worked carefully to transfer the clean lines, taut proportions and interesting details of the concept vehicle to the production model, including the forward-opening clamshell hood. The Solstice’s tightly wrapped proportions are accented with five-spoke aluminium wheels and a low, wide stance. A dual-port grille and expressive lighting at all corners instantly identify the car as a Pontiac. A body-colour extension into the passenger compartment gives Solstice an integrated appearance when the top is down. In fact, the top folds flat into the rear clamshell opening, providing a smooth, seamless appearance.

Creative leveraging of GM resources, as well as clever solutions to other needs, helped complete the Solstice’s design efficiently and economically. For example, the back-up lamps are from the GMC Envoy, while door handles, fog lamps, seats, engine and transmission are shared with other GM vehicles.

However, some parts are pure Solstice. The taillamps, for instance, were designed with special reflectors to eliminate the need for a separate side marker light. This not only contributes to the car’s sleek, progressive design, but also eliminates the cost of a separate marker lens and bulb.

Solstice is available in seven bold exterior colours, each inspired by a personality trait: Aggressive (red), Cool (silver), Deep (blue), Envious (green), Mysterious (black), Pure (white) and Sly (gray).

The interior design is equally purposeful and intuitive, with details like pedals placed for easy heel-and-toe driving and a cockpit-style instrument panel that sweeps around the driver. Designers also worked with chassis engineers to optimise the placement of the shifter. Manual shifter throws between gear changes were studied and revised until the “just right” length was determined.

Interior colours include standard Ebony cloth, as well as with available all-Ebony or Steel/Sand (two-tone) leather seating surfaces.

2006 Pontiac Solstice




Pontiac Solstice

Body style/driveline:

2-passenger, 2-door roadster; front-engine, rear-wheel drive


welded galvanised steel enclosed central tunnel and hydroformed tube

EPA vehicle class:

two seater

Manufacturing location:

Wilmington , Delaware


2.4L Ecotec


2.4L DOHC I-4

Displacement (cu in / cc):

145 / 2384

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98

Block material:

cast aluminium

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminium


overhead camshafts, 4 valves per cylinder; variable valve timing

Ignition system:

electronic direct

Fuel delivery:

sequential multi-port fuel injection with high-pressure injectors and electronic throttle control

Compression ratio:


Horsepower (hp/kw @ rpm):

177/132 @ 6600*

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

166/225 @ 4800*

Recommended fuel:

premium recommended but not required

Max engine speed (fuel cut-off):

7000 rpm

Emissions controls:

close-coupled catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 24x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast-response O 2 sensor

Estimated fuel economy

(mpg city/hwy/combined):




5-spd man (MA5)

5L40-E 5-spd auto

Gear ratios: (:1):



















Final drive ratio:





independent short/long arm, with 27.2 mm stabiliser bar


independent short/long arm, with 24.2 mm stabiliser bar

Steering type:

power rack-and-pinion

Steering ratio:


Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:


Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft/m):




std: four-wheel disc; opt: ABS with dynamic rear proportioning

Rotor diameter x thickness (in/mm):

front: 11.7/297

rear: 10.9/277

Swept area (sq in / cc)

front: 243/1570

rear: 189/1221


Wheel size and type:

std: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke painted alloy; opt: 18-inch x 8-inch five-spoke chrome-plated alloy and polished aluminium alloy


P245/45R18 Goodyear Eagle RSA



Wheelbase (in/mm):


Overall length (in/mm):


Overall width (in/mm):


Overall height (in/mm):


Track (in/mm):

front: 60.7/1543

rear: 61.5/1561

Curb weight, base (lb/kg):


Weight distribution (front/rear):

approx. 50/50


Seating capacity:


Headroom (in/mm):


Legroom (in/mm):


Shoulder room (in/mm):


Hip room (in/mm):



EPA interior volume (cu ft/L):


Passenger Volume (cu ft/L)

50 / 1416

Cargo volume (cu ft/L):

3.8/107.6 (top up)

Fuel tank (gal/L):


Engine oil (qt/L):


Cooling system (qt/L):


Our previous articles on the Pontiac Solstice:

2006 Pontiac Solstice

First 1,000 Pontiac Solstices Ordered In Minutes
17th April, 2005
Americans snap up the first 1,000 Pontiac Solstices in just 41 minutes ..... more

2006 Pontiac Solstice

Cooler than GTO
January, 2004
Bringing the popular 2002 concept car to life, GM announced production of the Pontiac Solstice roadster as a 2006 model ..... more

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