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, both the public and the press had just two words for the people at GM: Build it. And build it they did. The 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), the Solstice comes off as fresh and original. Visually, the Solstice easily rivals such legends as the BMW Z4 and Audi TT, yet it costs half as much. And while some may rightfully complain about the lack of power under the base car's hood, those critics will soon be silenced when Pontiac unveils the 260-horsepower GXP model later this year.