Pontiac and Saturn's Swan Song
Pontiac was so lost for so long that it was perhaps inevitable that it couldn’t bring itself back from the brink. It’s too bad that one of the best looking cars on the road, the Solstice Coupe, had to go down with the ship. Production was stopped after only about 1,000 units in July.
I first saw it at the San Francisco Auto Show back in November and was quite bowled over by it, and I haven’t liked much of anything that Pontiac has made in, well, ever. Even knowing what the Solstice convertible looked like didn’t prepare me for how stunning this car is. Pictures don’t really do it justice, in the flesh it is (or was) very striking. The roofline is fantastic, quite reminiscent of the Viper Coupe or the Lotus Elise, and I’m sure creating quite a letterbox feel inside that all the old sports coupes from the 1960’s had.
The consensus on the Solstice (either version) seemed to be that it was a looker but not comparable to the Mazda MX-5 in terms of performance, fit and finish, or interior quality. No surprise, since the MX-5 is now an amazing twenty years old and has taken the 911 route - gradual evolution of the recipe.
Now with the news that the Saturn brand is also destined for the dustbin after the Penske deal fell through, the Solstice’s twin, the Saturn Sky Coupe, will also no longer be available. It’s a shame, as the Solstice/Sky Coupe was probably the most beautiful car produced by a major American manufacturer in quite some time.