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New York show: Pontiac puts a lid on Solstice

Hard-top: Solstice Coupe features a removable magnesium roof.

Pontiac hatches a coupe version of its sexy rear-drive Solstice at New York

20 Mar 2008

GENERAL Motors subsidiary and home of the Australian VE-based sedan and ute, Pontiac, has put a lid on its Solstice two-seater convertible.

Removable and made from magnesium for lightness, the panel adds all-weather protection to the front-engined, rear-wheel drive roadster that Pontiac revealed in concept-car form during 2002 as a rival to the evergreen Mazda MX-5, and then launched three years later.

196 center imageNot due in American dealerships until early 2009, the Solstice Coupe will sell alongside its rag-top sibling.

It is unclear whether a coupe version of the almost identical Saturn Sky will also appear.

Two 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engines will be available, in 129kW naturally-aspirated and high-performance 194kW turbocharged GXP guises.

Although the Solstice gains a new silhouette and greater weather and security protection as a result of the roof, GM says only minimal changes occurred to the body structure in its transition from an open to a closed car.

Pontiac launched the Solstice in 2005, with almost 20,000 finding homes in the United States the following year. However, sales fell by around 15 per cent in 2007.

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