Through Ian's Lens: 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe GXP

In the wake of General Motors filing for bankruptcy, I would like to take a moment of silence to honor the short life of the 2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP coupe (pause). Now that the moment has passed, I would like to remember the Solstice coupe as one of the prettiest cars I’ve seen come off a General Motors assembly line in the past five years. This little two-door will only be produced in a small run this year, then will disappear forever as Pontiac closes its doors.

As for the design of this coupe, the swooping hatch reminds me of a crossbreed between Corvettes and Porsches of yore, while even the nose harks back a bit to the British two-seaters of yesteryear. If that’s not enough for you to take a second look, the only production model we could find in the flesh to shoot was painted in a racing yellow, which, well, left a lot to be desired. Why can’t more fleet cars be black? I’d even take gunmetal gray ...

I honestly wish I’d had a chance to drive it. But, alas, we will never see the likes of it again. Adieu, little buddy, adieu.

By Ian Merritt | June 4, 2009 | Comments (5)
Tags: Pontiac


John Bryans Fontaine

I am hopeful that if there is a buyer for Saturn, perhaps the Sky, as well as the Solstice could return to production.

The Solstice Coupe is one of the best looking cars to come along in a while. It is like an updated version of the original Opel GT.


The beauty of a car is so subjective. I think that is a horrible looking car for so many reasons. It's good someone likes it, though.

Why can't GM just rebadge the Solstice as a Buick?


I do like the looks of the 'Coupe' concept and the Solstice and the convertible Solstice and Sky. They have classic American boulevard looks especially the Solstice (Though I prefer the Sky overall). That said, these cars are not very Sporty(Dynamic) to drive. Compared to the Miata and others, these cars are not that much fun to drive, if you know how. Sure they can post pretty good numbers, but the sporty feel is lacking. They feel like a low rectangular box with big rubber donuts at the corners.
The engine seems to have very little usable torque, and downshifts are always necessary when the speed drops off even a little. Shifting is vague compared to the best out there the Miata and Honda S2000.
The convertible tops are poorly executed and there is hardly room for a six pack let alone carrying any kind of groceries home or an overnite bag or two.
They are a good weekend car for driving around town. Don't even think of an over niter to some resort or distant rendezvous.
I hope these cars survive, though I doubt we will see much improvement in the mean time or ever.

A Knesal ......... Portland Oregon


Looks OK but the Solstice itself has too many flaws like the clunky gearbox out of a Chevy Colorado pickup truck and seats that have as much support as a folding lawn chair.

Amazing! the targa looks like GM found a way to make rearward visibility even worse than the bathtub convertible.

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