Tucking a turbo beneath the Solstice hood supplies performance to match the roadster's richly-curved, assertively-shaped skin, while weight distribution near 50/50 contributes to the GXP's balanced sports-car handling. Clever design provides a hidden compartment for the convertible top, though it steals trunk space and raising or lowering the roof isn't a simple task.
When Pontiac first showed the Solstice concept, the public and the press had just two words for the people at GM: Build it. And build it they did. Three years into production, the 2009 Pontiac Solstice roadster is an unqualified success, combining exotic good looks with a sturdy chassis and world-class handling. Despite the obvious use of in-house parts (the ventilation controls are borrowed from the Hummer H3 and the reverse lights from the GMC Envoy), and the less-than-user-friendly convertible-top mechanism, the Solstice comes off as fresh and original. Visually, the Solstice easily rivals such stylish competitors as the BMW Z4 and Audi TT, yet costs half as much.