2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe
(from General Motors
Press Release) PONTIAC UNVEILS 2009 SOLSTICE COUPE:
Hardtop Extends Appeal of Classic Design
The making of a coupe
The new coupe was
inspired by the Solstice coupe concept shown at the North American
International Auto Show in 2002. True to the concept, it is a modern
sports car with classic lines. The roofline has a fastback shape
with stylized rails that run from the front of the roof to the
rear, culminating in a stylish and functional ducktail-style rear
Engineering the design
Despite its dramatic new
look, engineers made only minor structural changes to create the
Solstice coupe. The rear fenders and rear fascia are the same as
those on the convertible. New taillight assemblies flow more
smoothly into the tapered roofline.
The roofs structure was strengthened with additional support elements, including an aluminum roof bow attached with aluminum brackets. The bow and brackets are stiff, yet low in mass, a design feature that pervades the coupes overall construction. The roof includes a lightweight sheet molding compound cover affixed to a rigid aluminum frame for additional lightweight support. A lightweight magnesium roof panel frame weighs just 31 pounds (14.2 kg) and can be removed by one person. The cover is also made of sheet molding compound.
Powertrain and suspension
Because the change to a
coupe body style resulted in only a slight increase in curb weight,
no drivetrain or suspension changes were necessary to shift from the
convertible body structure. Initial tests have shown that the
Solstice coupe will deliver ride and handling, acceleration, braking
and fuel economy comparable to the convertible model.
Much of the coupes
interior remains the same as that of the convertible. However, the
area behind the seats was redesigned for easy access to the cargo
area, and a storage tray was mounted directly behind the headrests.