I don’t really have anything about which to write today. So, why am I? Compulsion…I want the blog to reach a certain “milestone” for views for the year before the end of April. If I post every day, or almost every day, until the end of the month, then that “milestone” will probably be reached. If I skip two or three days, then it won’t.
I suspect many readers are already tired of my writing about the possibility of my buying a Saturn Sky Red Line. By the way, while the turbo version of the Pontiac Solstice (the GXP) was not available until its second model year of production, the Red Line was available from the beginning for the Sky. However, the Solstice was released one model year before the Sky.
About 30 percent of Skys were in Red Line spec for its first year, 2007, but from then through the end of production, more than 60 percent of Skys were Red Line models. Only about 44 percent of Solstices were GXPs during the same period. I found that factoid (OK, you can call it minutia) to be surprising. I doubt most “car people” would think more Saturn buyers would opt for a performance upgrade than Pontiac buyers. From Fortune, a picture of both cars:
This photo was shown as part of a piece called, “10 Tarnished Halo Cars.” Three of the other cars were also among my favorites: the Studebaker Avanti, Cadillac Allante and Buick Reatta. More trivia/minutia: almost exactly 100,000 Solstices/Skys were produced, 99,954, to be exact. If one counts the Opel GT and Daewoo G2X, both of which were just re-badged Sky Red Lines, then total production of Kappa platform convertibles was 107,658. From the Fortune article, which was published in 2012:
“These two roadsters were supposed to inject some much-needed Viagra into the flagging Pontiac and Saturn brands, and GM launched them with all the thunder that a failing automaker could muster. Yet even the imprimatur of design guru Bob Lutz couldn’t fend off harsh comments from car reviewers who found them dynamically inferior to the long-established Mazda Miata and incapable carrying any baggage than could fit in a number 10 envelope. Touted as instant classics, they are now little more than curiosities — poor relatives to the 60-year-old-and-still-going-strong Chevy Corvette.”
It’s hard to remember now that when the Solstice was first introduced, it was hugely popular. Pontiac received 7,000 orders, its planned first-year production, in just the first 10 days of availability. Dealers often sold the car for more than MSRP. More than 21,000 Solstices were actually produced for model year 2006.
Despite the introduction of the Sky for the 2007 model year, Solstice sales actually increased to about 24,000. I think the cars were a victim of the Financial Crisis and then, of course, rumors of the demise of Pontiac and Saturn became louder and those makes were, sadly, both discontinued. 30 Kappa platform cars (20 Solstices, 8 Skys and 2 Opel GTs) were built with 2010 VINs in late April/early May of 2009.
The Sky Red Line could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 5.2 seconds (with an automatic transmission, the manual was slower), pull nearly .9g on a skidpad and brake from 60 MPH to a stop in just 124 feet. (Do you sense that I am trying to talk myself into buying one sooner rather than later?) The “car reviewers” mentioned in the Fortune piece as being critical of the car somehow never mentioned those facts. Of course, those weren’t the performance specs of the base car, either.
OCD is no fun…
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