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Old 03-05-2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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Default Pontiac Solstice Targa to debut this month

Back in October, Leftlane exclusively reported GM was planning to launch a hardtop "targa" version of its popular Pontiac Solstice two-seater. Now, multiple sources are reporting the car will debut at the end of the month in New York.

The vehicle will be on display at the New York Auto Show in two weeks. It's not clear how the project relates to the previously-rumored Solstice coupe. Internally, GM refers to the Targa as GMX627.

Production will start in January of 2009 at GM's Wilmington plant. Production may be limited to as few as 10,000 units annually. Possible debut venues would include SEMA '08 or LAIAS '08.

The Solstice will have a traditional Targa setup, with the panels directly over the driver and passenger's head being removable. Buyers might even have the choice of hard or soft removable panels. It's probably safe to assume the trunk will be mildly reconfigured for a system to stow the roof panels.

It remains to be seen whether GM will also build a regular Solstice coupe, or if this model will sufficiently fill that gap. Nearly a year ago, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said building a Solstice coupe would be a "very logical thing to do."

Lutz said any possible Solstice Coupe would look "exactly" like the Solstice Coupe Concept shown in 2002, so it's safe to assume the Targa model will share its basic lines with that concept. He said it was always GM's intention to build the coupe, but priority went to the roadster.

Lutz acknowledged adding new bodystyles is a good way keep consumers interested in a model when the "new" wears off after a couple of years.

The 2002 Solstice Coupe concept car is shown below for reference.

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