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Old 05-13-2009, 02:29 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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It’s not news per se. After all, we knew that Wilmington was on GM’s “endangered plant” list. But the idea that GM will somehow attract a buyer for a factory that builds a dead-in-the-water sportscar is laughable. After all, Chrysler still hasn’t found a home for its Viper nameplate, a brand that carries far more heritage and prestige than the Skystice. So what to do with Wilmington?

GM’s halo-of-the-moment, the Camaro, is still in the halo portion of its lifespan. No incentives necessary . . . for now. But long term, GM faces serious challenges as the Japanese automakers prepare to roll out a new generation of compact sports cars. And while the Camaro squares off against the Challenger and Mustang in the neo-pony car wars, the new Japanese offerings aim to offer more economy, efficiency and handling than the three retro-ponies.

Honda’s CR-Z is set to drop late next year, probably with a sportier version of the Insight’s IMA Hybrid system. The original CRX is cited as a major inspiration for the CRZ, which should weigh 2800 lbs and should go on sale in late 2010. Toyota is working on a sub-$30K sports coupe with Subaru, with rear wheel drive and a boxer engine. A hybrid version has been hinted at, as has a return to the MR2 name. And now Nissan is rumored to be working on a Miata-fighting “baby Z,” which should offer a drop-top, RWD and about 200hp according to Autoexpress.

All of this means that by late 2010 or 2011, the compact sports market in the US should be flush with options. Hybrid systems, RWD, boxer-power and drop-tops will give these “end-of-recession-specials” a unique enthusiast appeal that GM will be hard-pressed to compete with. The Camaro’s day in the sun will likely not be a long one, especially in the face of a resurrection of the cheap-and-tossable segment.

A Kappa-based coupe with more practicality than the Sky or Solstice (perhaps along the lines of the 2004 Chevy Nomad concept) could keep GM in the fight, but at what cost? Moreover, with so much solid competition coming down the pipeline, who would buy up Wilmington with the intention of building more compromised Kappa sportscars?
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:23 PM   #2
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GM didn't kill the Solstice....Megatron did.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:04 PM   #3
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i'd buy it and start putting LS7 in them
they'd sell like hot cakes
( if i got enuf $$ ... )
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:29 PM   #4
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The Skyy and the Solstice are both fun/nice little cars. I don't know why they didn't sell more than they did. I hope they go back it production because they buy a lot of our parts.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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^ I agree I'm no GM fan but I thought the sky and solstice looked good.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kpluiten View Post
The Skyy and the Solstice are both fun/nice little cars. I don't know why they didn't sell more than they did. I hope they go back it production because they buy a lot of our parts.
I thought they were selling well by the amount of Solstice's I see everyday. Though they are only a summer car up here in Canada, kind of a niche market.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #7
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I think that there was an article that once compared the Sky to the MX5 and it did not do too well. If I remember correctly they complained about the shifting and the transmission. Personally, I did not like the fact that they did not have a automatic retracting roof. You had to manually take it back down. I also did not like the lack of trunk space. I know that you shouldn't care about trunk space in these types of cars, but you should still be able to fit a over night back in the trunk. With the Sky, it was more like a small backpack.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aren040 View Post
I think that there was an article that once compared the Sky to the MX5 and it did not do too well. If I remember correctly they complained about the shifting and the transmission. Personally, I did not like the fact that they did not have a automatic retracting roof. You had to manually take it back down. I also did not like the lack of trunk space. I know that you shouldn't care about trunk space in these types of cars, but you should still be able to fit a over night back in the trunk. With the Sky, it was more like a small backpack.
Versus the MX-5, the common complaints are cabin ergonomics, the ridiculously poorly designed trunk, and the wider gear ratios and sloppier tranny. I still think the Sky/Solstice is a remarkable first entry into the segment, but it had some major issues that I wish it would have lived long enough to correct. Nothing would probably have been done about the transmission (which is not bad, it's just not as good as the MX-5), but a refresh or successor model may well have addressed the trunk and ergonomics issues.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aren040 View Post
I think that there was an article that once compared the Sky to the MX5 and it did not do too well. If I remember correctly they complained about the shifting and the transmission. Personally, I did not like the fact that they did not have a automatic retracting roof. You had to manually take it back down. I also did not like the lack of trunk space. I know that you shouldn't care about trunk space in these types of cars, but you should still be able to fit a over night back in the trunk. With the Sky, it was more like a small backpack.
Versus the MX-5, the common complaints are cabin ergonomics, the ridiculously poorly designed trunk, and the wider gear ratios and sloppier tranny. I still think the Sky/Solstice is a remarkable first entry into the segment, but it had some major issues that I wish it would have lived long enough to correct. Nothing would probably have been done about the transmission (which is not bad, it's just not as good as the MX-5), but a refresh or successor model may well have addressed the trunk and ergonomics issues.

For reference, the trunk:

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Old 05-13-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
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Bar none the most crappy looking convertible top in existance. Look how lose and hap hazardly they fit the rear glass and material....
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:34 PM   #11
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I liked the look of this car a lot. I even got into one when I did a test drive of a WRX since my local Subaru dealer has all the GM lines also. When I got into the car it felt cheap.

It did seam to handle very well durring autocross I must say.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkers View Post
Versus the MX-5, the common complaints are cabin ergonomics, the ridiculously poorly designed trunk, and the wider gear ratios and sloppier tranny. I still think the Sky/Solstice is a remarkable first entry into the segment, but it had some major issues that I wish it would have lived long enough to correct. Nothing would probably have been done about the transmission (which is not bad, it's just not as good as the MX-5), but a refresh or successor model may well have addressed the trunk and ergonomics issues.

For reference, the trunk:

Typical GM problem... they do a 1/2-ass job on their 1st attempt, and pull-out of the segment before they ever get a change to follow up with a much better 2nd generation.

The rare exception is the CTS... the first was pretty good, but definitely not great. And shock of all shocks, they didn't give up and instead came out with a fantastic 2nd gen car.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:16 PM   #13
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The solstice is a monster when tuned and upgraded the right way, I have seen one in a video tear up the track over much more expensive two seat sports cars, and the solstice and sky look a helluva a lot better than miatas IMHO. Sad to see them go...
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:50 AM   #14
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Maybe the new owner, whomever it be, of Opel will buy the factory. The current Sky is sold in Europe as an Opel GT. If Fiat gets ahold of Opel they could start selling it at Dodge dealers as the Opel GT or some sort of New Fiat/Alfa Spider. Hopefully not as the new mini viper, ha, ha ,ha...
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruckus04 View Post
Maybe the new owner, whomever it be, of Opel will buy the factory. The current Sky is sold in Europe as an Opel GT. If Fiat gets ahold of Opel they could start selling it at Dodge dealers as the Opel GT or some sort of New Fiat/Alfa Spider. Hopefully not as the new mini viper, ha, ha ,ha...
I raised in the midwest in an all GM family, that would be an abomination to us. But at least we would still have the car and realize where it originally came from, I doubt that would happen though.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #16
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It was never destined to sell as a high volume, so they weren't making a lot of money off of it either.

But then, they didn't have a lot of development invested either.

They raided the parts bin of a bunch of different vehicles to make the car.

It was a decent car released at a horrible time. If it were released 10 years ago? Who knows what might have been.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 904scooby View Post
I raised in the midwest in an all GM family, that would be an abomination to us. But at least we would still have the car and realize where it originally came from, I doubt that would happen though.
You do realize it originally came from Europe, right?
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:49 PM   #18
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The plant is in Newark, not Wilmington...
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:10 AM   #19
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If I had the extra cash I wouldn’t mind having a turbo sky. IMO the sky looks way better than the solstice.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:48 AM   #20
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If I had the extra cash I wouldn’t mind having a turbo sky. IMO the sky looks way better than the solstice.
I agree.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Hazdaz View Post
Typical GM problem... they do a 1/2-ass job on their 1st attempt, and pull-out of the segment before they ever get a change to follow up with a much better 2nd generation.

The rare exception is the CTS... the first was pretty good, but definitely not great. And shock of all shocks, they didn't give up and instead came out with a fantastic 2nd gen car.
Actually it's Gen 3....because CTS is basically short for Catera Touring Sedan. Gen 1 was the Holden based Commodore....same thing at the GTO coupe that resurfaced here a few years ago. Yes...that's right, the GTO was basically the same as the Catera when if first came out...just a coupe vs. four door. Oh..and a V6(catera) vs. V8 (GTO).
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:54 PM   #22
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The future of fuel costs will make a big impact on what sells well in future. Keep in mind both the V8 Camaro and Ls7 Corvette get far better fuel millage then the STI and even the WRX.
You know you want one ...watch this

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0D95xWahRSM&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0D95xWahRSM&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:55 PM   #23
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The future of fuel costs will make a big impact on what sells well in future. Keep in mind both the V8 Camaro and Ls7 Corvette get far better fuel millage then the STI and even the WRX.
No they don't
10 Camaro V8: 16 City, 19 Combined, 24 Hwy
09 Z06: 15 City, 18 Combined, 24 Hwy
09 STI: 17 City, 19 Combined, 23 Hwy
09 WRX: 18 City, 21 Combined, 25 Hwy
(all with manual transmissions, info from FuelEconomy.gov)
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #24
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No they don't
10 Camaro V8: 16 City, 19 Combined, 24 Hwy
09 Z06: 15 City, 18 Combined, 24 Hwy
09 STI: 17 City, 19 Combined, 23 Hwy
09 WRX: 18 City, 21 Combined, 25 Hwy
(all with manual transmissions, info from FuelEconomy.gov)
No, silly...he's living in the magical world where the LSx motor's EPA Highway rating is used to compare it's fuel economy with every other car's EPA City rating... and when that doesn't work, add another 2, or 3 or 6 MPG because his friend's uncle's boss' neighbor said that he once got 33 MPG out of his Vette.






Seriously though, the Vette gets good mileage, but let's not get crazy about it... it's good for the performance it offers, but it's not magical.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:31 AM   #25
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-------------------------------------------------------------

It's over Johny

-------------------------------------------------------------

http://jalopnik.com/5325135/goodbye-...t-closes-doors



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Yesterday marked the end of production at GM's Delaware assembly plant, the home of the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice roadsters. Fan clubs came to pay their respects, stuffing their tear-soaked tissues into awkwardly-placed cupholders.
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