DETROIT - The eye-catching Solstice may be a halo car for Pontiac, but it is part Cadillac, part Chevrolet and part Hummer. And - oh, yeah - there's a bit of GMC, Saturn and scores of other General Motors brands tossed into the mix.
GM dipped into its vast global parts bin to move the two-seat roadster from concept to production rapidly. The sharing of parts is not new for GM, but it was critical for the speedy launch of the Solstice.
Officials gave the go-ahead to build the roadster in the spring of 2003. The car went on sale in July 2005. The Solstice was unveiled at the 2002 Detroit auto show.
Jim Hunter, marketing product manager for the Solstice, says some of the parts essentially were dropped in, while others had to be tuned to produce a car that met GM's expectations.
"This was a program that was important for Pontiac," Hunter says.
The Solstice drew parts from GM's bookend brands, Cadillac and Chevrolet. The roadster's Cadillac flavor appears in the rear differential and axle, which are borrowed from the CTS, and its interior storage bin is from the XLR. The Chevy Cobalt contributed the passenger side airbag, steering column, and exterior and interior door handles.
GM also grabbed items from its truck lineup, using the GMC Envoy's backup lights and the Hummer H3's heating, ventilating and air conditioning modules.
Naturally, the Solstice borrowed components from its Pontiac cousins, including the Grand Prix's front fog lamp assembly and the Torrent's steering wheel.
The Solstice base engine is the 2.4-liter Ecotec four cylinder, which also is used in the Saturn Ion, Pontiac G6, and Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR. (The Solstice's 177-hp rating is the highest of the five.) The Solstice's five-speed manual transmission also is used in the H3, GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado. An optional five-speed automatic is taken from Cadillac's CTS, STS and SRX.
On average, vehicles have about 3,000 parts, and Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson says the Solstice falls in that range. He could not disclose the percentage of the car's parts that are used in other vehicles.
To be sure, the Solstice does feature some parts that are its own. They include body panels, wheels and taillamps. It also was the first use of GM's new rear-drive architecture, known as Kappa.