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Discussion Starter #1
The US auto industry has had a habit (bad in my view) of offering multiple brands from the same parent manufacturer with only minnor differences to differentiate one variety from another. If it were up to you to direct GM's efforts to market the Sky and the Solstice what would their differences be?

For me the Solstice should be the performance brand while the Sky should have more creature comforts and perhaps more upmarket appointments. Nothing novel about this opinion, as I think that this is the way it will happen. I just don't like (as far as we know) that the Blown/SC'ed won't be out for some period of time after the initial launch. I really want Pontiac to do more with the Solstice than they have done with the G6 or (the so called) GTO. I would also like the Solstice to have an option list that includes bigger wheels and a sporting shock / suspension package that could be ordered on it when the Solstice becomes available.
 

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Chip said:
For me the Solstice should be the performance brand while the Sky should have more creature comforts and perhaps more upmarket appointments.
Agree...Solstice should be more performance/sporty, Sky more luxury/bells whistles. That would blend with both divisions goals...Pontiac = performance, Saturn = upscale (the "new" Saturn not the old one...otherwise the Sky would have plastic panels :eek )
 

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I’ll start based on the reality that the Sky is going to be priced similarly to the Solstice (as per the GM release officially naming the Sky and releasing the sketch).

Based on that, I do not think the vehicle content will be all that different.

So, the first thing it needs is different styling. Very different. The problem with the American big 3 has been brand engineering vehicles off the same platform. Instead of trying to make the vehicles drive, ride, and appear different, they have a history of essentially making carbon copies and changing a few details such as lights, grilles, etc.

These two cars cannot follow that mold. A new face on the same roadster is not going to be enough to significantly increase roadster sales. Since the engines will be essentially the same, and the content will be essentially the same (assumption, but I think a safe one) styling certainly has to be different. It may be, we’ll find out next month.

One other area they could easily differentiate the two is in how they ride and drive. However, I am not sure how much you want to dumb down the handling and ride of the Sky. Doing so could make it an unappealing roadster. These cars are not big enough to make a good GT car IMO, and if they try to soften the ride characteristics of the Sky (since Maximum Bob has already said the Solstice will have a full sport suspension standard) you may make it less appealing.

I think this is a tough one for GM to do. The biggest difference is going to have to be styling.
 

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By bigger wheels do you mean like 19", 20", or do you mean wider wheels? Because it's not really a sports car anymore once the wheels get so big they weigh more then you do.

Personally I want the base Sky to be as close to the Solstice mechanically as possible. The interior I'm hoping will be different (minus the center guage cluster of course, and with the option to add a HUD :D ). I want it to be so that I can get parts of a Solstice for my Sky, or the opposite. I want every bit of work GM Performance Parts/Accessories puts into one is available for the other. I want the MOD community to be able to spend thousands of man hours making parts for one that just bolt onto another. Just like the Cobalt SS and the ION RL. If GM wants the aftermarket to take these cars in and make them their own, it helps tremendously to make them as compatable as possible. Because what's better then spending 100 man hours making a part that you can sell to 20,000 Solstice owners, then having that same part be available to 30,000+ Solstice+Sky owners?
 

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I think if the performance of the Solstice is close to well-balanced (not too edgy like the Honda, not too crappy like the miata, great steering), there may be no need to make the suspension and the steering parts different at all.

Actually, there is not that much difference between a miata, the honda, the BMWZ3, the BMW Z4... except for

-Styling
-Acoustics and Noise insulation
-Ride/Handling balance point (these cars tend to either ride well and sacrifice some handling or wheel control, or they tend to ride rather firm and handle very well, but you can't really have both)
-Styling
-Features
-Styling
-Size and weight

... oh, and um.... Styling!

So the Sky should maybe have a few more features, but similar or same handling, ride and steering componentry (IMHO).
 

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solsticeman said:
So the Sky should maybe have a few more features, but similar or same handling, ride and steering componentry (IMHO).
Yeah, that's what I'm hoping for. Is in essence a base Sky that's pretty much the same as a base Solstice except for styling. However, you end up with a ton more options for the Sky though to get it into higher price brackets, and to allow people to make it as posh as they want.

Things like more interior options, other interior colors, navigation system, roof with more insulation, seat heating, etc. Maybe give it option for softer suspension, or start soft and option for the sport suspension. People who buy posh expect to have choices. It doesn't matter if it's simple stuff like choices of wood, aluminum, carbon fiber trims, colors, etc they just want choices.
 

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One possible way to drop the Sky's initial cost for a different option piority is to drop the 18" rims to a 17" or even 16". This would alter the ride characteristics slightly to a softer but less performance driven cruiser. The cost savings could be put back in as offering on the base model some of the creature comforts that would be optional on the Solstice (heated seats, HUD, etc.) I don't know if having that, as well as a smaller base engine would be enough of a savings to cover the cost of a folding hard top. But, as others have said, I see the Solstice as a "back to basics roadster" and the Sky as a "great looking car to be seen in."

Does the fact that the body panels are hydroformed make it cheaper to give them each a significantly different look? My impression is the dies are a lot less then those that have come before and if so, would encourage more variations between models than just the rebadgeing we've too often seen.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I’ll start based on the reality that the Sky is going to be priced similarly to the Solstice (as per the GM release officially naming the Sky and releasing the sketch).
Did GM actually come out and say Sky would be 20k base? I must have missed that. I kind of assumed they would weasel out of the 20k thing on the 2nd roadster?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
brentil said:
By bigger wheels do you mean like 19", 20", or do you mean wider wheels? Because it's not really a sports car anymore once the wheels get so big they weigh more then you do.
Both, but remember I stated that they should be available as an option.This car for many will be all about the "Bling / Bling Factor" and not the so called Sports Car thing. That may not be what we are about now, but this site in six months time will have its share of people that dig "Bling / Bling". Sad but true. :cryin
The aftermarket will have wheels (and everthing else) for the Kappa's available by the droves. No reason that GM can't hit a homerun and be ready for the next SEMA show with a full catalog of goodies for their new platform. GM needs to start thinking outside their "box" when it comes to selling cars and parts. Parts these days are for more than just fixing / reparing broken components!
 

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What I think the Sky should be:

Totaly different engine, ie. V6.
More creature comforts
different styling inside and out.
Higher base price.

What I think the Sky will be:

More or less the same engine.
Slightly more options than Solstice.
Different styling outside, somewhat different inside.
Slightly higher base price.

I think the Sky will just be an alternate styling option for the Solstice.
 

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I think the cars should be mechanically identical. Other than styling differences, I'd vote for a plastic body on the Sky.

Didn't the Camaro and Firebird both survive for quite a while with very similar mechanical components? They seemed to target the same type of buyer.
 

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I think the styling differences will be enough. Mechanically I hope they stay the same. I plan on getting a Solstice as soon as they come out then trading it in on the Sky high output version when it becomes available. I don't want either car to be a dumbed down version of the other.
 

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mceb said:
Did GM actually come out and say Sky would be 20k base? I must have missed that. I kind of assumed they would weasel out of the 20k thing on the 2nd roadster?
I think I will retract my prior statement on price. :yesnod Let me explain. A lot of the articles in the automotive press two weeks ago indicated among other vague details, that the Sky would be priced similarly to the Solstice which it shares a platform with. Since the report seemed wide-spread, I assumed it came right from GM. However, GM did not include any price information at all in its official press release (or even a reference to the Solstice for that matter). Here is what they said:

General Motors Press Release on 11/29/04 regarding the Saturn Sky said:
Detroit - Saturn today released the first visual rendering of its upcoming sports roadster and announced that the two-seater will carry the name Sky.

The rear-wheel drive Sky will showcase new design cues that will appear across Saturn’s future products as the brand renews and extends its portfolio over the next 24 months

The Sky is scheduled for public debut in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show in January. It will arrive at Saturn retailers in early 2006.

“The new form vocabulary of Saturn has been influenced by GM’s design talent from around the globe,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Design. “Taut, controlled lines combine with harmonious and fluid surfacing to create a technical and dynamic feel.”

The Sky will be built at GM’s Wilmington, Del., assembly plant. It borrows its name from a Saturn concept that was shown in 2002, but there is no design link between the two vehicles.
So the pricing guestimate in all the published articles looks to be conjecture by the automotive press. Still, they may know something, or have heard something we didn't. They also never said it would be $20K, just priced similarly to the Solstice. However, since I have discovered GM did not give the pricing info, actual pricing could very much be up in the air (and therefore, options as well).
 

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Yeah, also who knows what price simular to the Solstice really means. Could mean the base Sky costs what a maxed out Solstice is. So there's a $20k to $25k range.
 

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brentil said:
Yeah, also who knows what price simular to the Solstice really means. Could mean the base Sky costs what a maxed out Solstice is. So there's a $20k to $25k range.
Very true too. I just interpreted those reports as meaning they would essentially carry the same pricing structure, starting around $20K and heading to $25K, but that was just my interpretation. It certainly was not what they said. Either way, hopefully GM will clear that up at the NAIAS too.
 

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Only reason I borught that up is a while back we thought GM might have regreted Lutz throwing down the 20k figure. An upscale Saturn version might give them a little more room for profit.
 

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mceb said:
Only reason I borught that up is a while back we thought GM might have regreted Lutz throwing down the 20k figure. An upscale Saturn version might give them a little more room for profit.

I am guessing that the 20K unit figure is what they hope to sell regardless of other models/versions of Kappa based on their due diligence. They must have had an idea they were doing a Saturn roadster when they threw out that figure.
 

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One of the oldest threads on this site ... 2004

Regarding forum membership anniversaries . . .
The earliest join dates of members on this thread go back to February of 2004.



Back to original thread topic: The SKY turned out looking a lot different than the SOL but those differences were only skin deep. :)
 
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