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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
This thread is an attempt to have a one stop shopping place to come and get frequently asked information. Think of this thread as a distilled information spot of knowlege accumulated by members of solsticeforum.com over the last year or so, and now Skyroadster.com.

Some of the information is based on information given out by GM, some of the information is speculative, but all of it is reasonably good guesses at frequent questions. Hope everyone finds it useful. Sources are identified where possible. Almost none of the information is based on "inside information" or "security leaks" - just good detective work, combined with intuition and collective cooperation of the members of this forum and Solsticeforum, using information available to anyone in public domain and primarily on the internet.

MESSAGE DIRECTED TO GM: THIS MEANS THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS THREAD IS NOT THE RESULT OF CORPORATE ESPIONAGE OR INFORMATION LEAKS OR INSIDE INFORMATION. IT IS THE RESULT OF THE LARGE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION THAT GM HAS MADE AVAILABLE OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS REGARDING THE SOLSTICE AND THE KAPPA PLATFORM, AND RECENT INFORMATION MADE AVAILABLE WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE SATURN SKY AT THE 2005 NAIAS.

Though it looks like I'm the one creating this information, I am merely collecting it in one spot for easy access to new and seasoned members alike. Please do not think that I'm this smart - this thread (which we suspect will be accessed by many who are not forum members) is the interesting result of a collaborative effort of many, many forum members.

Hope you find the information on the Sky for which you are looking, and we hope this helps.

The information in here is periodically updated as becomes available. If you see something that might need correction or have an idea of an FAQ to add, you'll find out this thread is closed for discussion to improve information clarity. Feel free to post on this thread:

Suggestions for FAQ inclusion

or send me a Private Message.

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Technical Summary/Specification Sheet Compiled with available information

Something like this (FORMAT IS REALLY ROUGH, but I think it captures almost everything): (Conversions: 25.4mm per inch, 2.2 pounds per kilogram)

[Sky spec sheet PDF added, thanks to brentil]

Base Price: | $23,000(estimated)
Max MSRP: | $26,000(estimated)

Vehicle Type: | 2 Passenger, 2 Door, Convertible Roadster
Drive Config: | Rear Wheel Drive

Standard Accessories: | CD Player
Optional Accessories: | Power wdo/locks/mirrors, cruise, remote locking, ABS, A/C, rear defrost, AM/FM/CD, XM, Accessory jack radio, Premium sound, leather trim, automatic trans?

Sound System: | TBD, but assumed to be Monsoon AM/FM/CD

Engine: | Ecotec 2.4L DOHC I-4 (LE5) [from 04 NAIAS]
Ecotec 2.4L DOHC Information (downloadable PDF)
Type: | Hydraulic Variable Cam Phasing[VVT], 2.4 L inline 4-cylinder, aluminum block and head with balance shafts

BoreXStroke | 88mmX98mm (2.2L=86mm X 94.6mm)
Displacement | 2384cc (2.4 liter)
Compression Ratio | 10.6:1 (Estimated)
Fuel-Delivery System | electronic sequential port injection (inferred from internet info)
Auxiliary Systems | None (Future forced induction TBD)
Valve Gear | Chain driven double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, Hydraulic roller finger followers,
Power (SAE net) | 170 bhp @ 6400 RPM (05NAIAS Handout)
----------177 bhp @ 6600 RPM (05NAIAS Solstice Display)
Torque (SAE net) | 170 ft-lb @ 4400 RPM (05NAIAS Handout)
----------166 ft-lb @ 4800 RPM (05NAIAS Solstice Display)
Redline | 6500 (estimated, not documented or announced, pics indicate 7000 redline on gauge, likely inaccurate)
----------Revised to 7000 RPM, based on 05 NAIAS Display info
Fuel | Assumed to be 91 octane recommended

Variable Valve Timing helps deliver 90 percent of the peak torque at as low as 2400 rpm (so in essence 153 ft-lbs at 2400 rpm)

Drivetrain: |
Transmission | MW5 Aisin 5-speed manual (from NAIAS Handout)
Final-Drive Ratio | 3.73:1 (estimated as CTS differential), Limited slip expected optional
Gear [Ratios from Chev Colorado Aisin Trans] | Ratio/Overall Ratio/MPH per 1000RPM/Max test speed
I | 3.75 / 13.99 /TBD/TBD
II | 2.26 / 8.43 /TBD/TBD
III | 1.37 / 5.11 /TBD/TBD
IV | 1.00 / 3.73 /TBD/TBD
V | 0.73 / 2.72 /TBD/TBD
R | 3.67 /NA/TBD/TBD
Engine RPM @60 MPH in top gear | TBD

Dimensions:
Wheelbase | 2415mm
Track front/rear | 1537mm/1555mm
Length/Width/Height | 3994mm/1819mm/1274mm
Ground Clearance | TBD
Curb Weight | 2860 lbs (1298kg)
Weight Distribution | Near 50%, 52% front per MotorTrend (assumed with driver?)
Curb weight per horsepower | 16.8 lbs

Chassis/Body
Type | "Lower-Dominant Tube Structure with Hydroformed Rails" (from NAIAS Handout) assume classified as unit body or similar to Corvette.
Body Material | welded steel stampings, "Sheet Hydroformed" outer body panels

Interior:
SAE volume, front seat | 46 cu ft (estimated based on Miata/S2000)
Front Legroom | 42.7" (Satch's Pont. Dealer)
Front Headroom | 38.5" (Satch's Pont. Dealer)
Front Hiproom | 50" estimated
Front Shoulder Room | 52.4" (Satch's Pont. Dealer)
Cargo Volume | 4 cu. ft. top up/ 2 cu. Ft, top down (MotorTrend)
Seatback Adjustment | TBD degrees
Seat F/A Adjustment | TBD inches

Gauges | 140 MPH speedometer, 8000 RPM tachometer, fuel level only. Assume digital readout of information system, odo, idiot lights for oil temp, water temp, etc.


Suspension:
Front Suspension | Short-long arm, Aluminum control arms (From NAIAS photo)
Front Anti-Roll Bar | TBD diameter, Ball joint links (from tech-chassis photos)
Front Springs | Coil
Front Shocks | Bilstein Monotube Coil-over
Rear Suspension | Short-long arm, Aluminum control arms (From NAIAS photo)
Rear Anti-Roll Bar | TBD diameter, Ball joint links (from tech-chassis photos)
Rear Springs | Coil
Rear Shocks | Bilstein Monotube Coil-over

Steering | Rack & Pinion, Hydraulic Assist
Steering Ratio | TBD
Turns lock-to-lock | TBD
Turning circle curb-to-curb | TBD

Brakes
Type | 4 whl disc, hydraulic with vacuum power assist, (estimate: antilock optional)
Front | 11.65" x 1.02" / 296mm x 26mm; vented discs (cars.com/Malibu Maxx suspected reuse-GM info)
Rear | 10.63" x 0.55" / 270mm x 14mm; solid discs (cars.com/Malibu Maxx suspected reuse-GM info)
Total Swept Area | TBD
Swept Area/Ton | TBD


Wheels | 18.0" X 8.0" (Saturn Website)
Front Tires | P245/45SR18 Goodyear Eagle RS-A
Rear Tires (if different from Front) | Same
Inflation pressure | TBD PSI
Spare Tire and Wheel | Consensus: None, Inflator Kit similar to Corvette

Performance:
Acceleration
0-30 | TBD
0-40 | TBD
0-50 | TBD
0-60 | 7.2-7.5 seconds estimated by magazines
0-70 | TBD
0-80 | TBD
0-90 | TBD
0-100 | TBD
0-110 | TBD
0-120 | TBD
Street Start, 5-60 | TBD
Top-gear acceleration, 30-50 mph | TBD
Top-gear acceleration, 50-70 mph | TBD
1/4 Mile | TBD sec @ TBD mph
Top Speed | 120-130 MPH estimated, based on Miata/S2000

Braking:
From 60 MPH (R&T) | TBD
70-0 MPH @ impending lockup | TBD
From 80 MPH (R&T) | TBD
From 100 MPH (MT) | TBD

Handling:
Roadholding, 300 ft skidpad | 0.90g (Pontiac Website - Solstice)
Lateral accel, 200 ft skidpad | 0.90g (Pontiac Website - Solstice)
Understeer | Minimal (expected)
700 ft slalom speed (R&T) | 65-70 mph (based on S2000/Miata capability)
600 ft slalom speed (MT) | 65-70 mph (based on S2000 capability)
7 cone 490 ft slalom (AW) | 47.0 mph (based on S2000 capability)
Figure 8 test (MT) time @ avg. g | 26 sec @ 0.70 g (estimate from S2000)
Lateral Seat Support | estimated as "good" from seat photos

Fuel Economy:
EPA City | 22 mpg (C&D Estimate)
EPA Highway | 28 mpg (C&D Estimate)
Observed | Est 250 miles (85% of fuel capacity at average econ.)
Cruise Range | Est 315 miles (85% of fuel capacity at highway econ.)
Fuel Capacity | 13.3 gal (Satch's Pont. Dealer)

Interior Noise/Sound
Idle | 47 dba (Estimate based on Miata)
Full-throttle Acceleration | 79 dba (Estimate based on Miata)
70-mph cruising | 75 dba (Estimate based on Miata)
Maximum 1st gear | TBD dba
Constant 50-mph | TBD dba
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Question: I noticed you have decibels listed for interior noise and sound. What are decibels, and how loud is 75 Db?

Answer:
brentil said:
If you're into computers a 6000rpm to 7000rpm CPU heatsink is about 55db.
Problem is with db the value increases by factors of 10 as you go up. A race car with a very open exhaust without a catylitc converter is usually around 105db which is extremely loud.
dls6774 said:
Here's a site that gives sound levels for various things and also a list of various noise levels and how long you can listen before doing damage to your hearing.

http://www.freehearingtest.com/noiselimits.shtml

An amplified rock band is listed at 120dB
a jackhammer at 130dB
and a 12ga shotgun with an 18" barrel at 161.5 dB

75dB is compared to kitchen appliances. Although they didn't say which ones...
padgett said:
Decibels (db) are an expression of sound *pressure* and is really meaningful when coulpled with a distance (xxx db at xxx feet). One of the old government "emissions" requirements was 50 db at 50 feet for a WOT drive-by.

db is measured on a log scale - it doubles for every 3 db so 87 db is half the sound pressure of 90 db.

For some reason people find very high pressure vibrations pleasurable hence the rise of automotive boom-boxes. I suspect my Beltone stock is going to continue to go up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Question: I've heard the Solstice is using parts-bin strategy. What type of parts are being re-used on the Solstice. How much of this carries over to the Saturn Sky?

Answer:
Most of the re-utilized parts appear to be items that won't significantly affect or will benefit the characteristice of this car, such as performance, ride, handling, or braking. Critical systems, like the suspension and body structure, are new and appear to be optimized to deliver a good, solid car.

Some re-used parts that have been noted so far are:

Front fog lamps: Grand Prix
Rear Back-up Lamps: Envoy/Trailblazer
Seats: Shared with Opel (maybe just the frame?)
Outside Rear View Mirrors: Fiat Barchetta?
Interior AC vents: Lotus Elise or Alfa 156/Fiat
Brakes/Rotors: ION Redline or Malibu Maxx? (suspect, but specs look very close)
Engine: Chevy Cobalt (2.4l), Uplevel F/I unknown, Cobalt S/C possible
Transmission: Aisin 5 spd manual, suspect adapted from Chevy Colorado
Differential: Cadillac CTS (from cars.com overview)
Door Handles: Unknown but mentioned as shared
Gage Cluster: Chevy Cobalt

Additional thread info on parts re-use here:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=437

As for what parts are re-used for the Sky, we honestly don't know. It is generally thought that the Sky will share engine, transmisssion, electrical architecture, suspension, wheels/tires, steering, and most of the underpinnings with the Solstice. The Sky may or may not be tuned to a different ride/handling balance - some of the indications from the 2005 NAIAS suggest a slightly softer ride. Obviously, the interior and exterior styling is very different from the Solstice - so other than things like seat frames or instrument panel structure, it's not likely much of the "appearance" items will be reused.

We will all learn more, so stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Options List, Anticipated Colors, Availability

Question:When will the Sky be available, for sale, at dealerships? What options will be available? What Colors will be available?
Answer
We don't know when the Sky will be orderable, available, or for sale at dealerships, but indications from Saturn (website and 2005 NAIAS handouts) indicate availability sometime early 2006.

Question: What about heated seats? Height adjustable seats?
Answer: At this time, it doesn't look like they are available.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Top Questions

Question: Will there be a retractable hardtop, or a coupe version? What about a vehicle like the Curve or Nomad shown at the 04 North American International Auto Show?

Answer: Based on information from recent (2005) news articles, there are no plans for anything at this time past the three variations of the "Kappa" platform (Solstice, Saturn Sky, and an European Exported Version).

Question: Will a powered soft top or a power top or power roof be available?
Answer: Based on all available information, only a soft top manually-operated (manual operation) convertible top will be available.

Question: Will the soft top be made of vinyl?
Answer: Based on available information, No. It appears to be a cloth manual top.

Question: What about the rear window? Vinyl or Glass?
Answer: Glass. An article in AutoWeek mentions a glass rear window in the cloth manual top. We also know rear window defogger/defroster is available (from interior pictures and suspected options) - which cannot be used on a vinyl window. Recently, from the Lutz blog, it states clealy the rear is Glass.

Question: Will the top come in optional colors?
Answer: At this time, the only known color is black. This is not completely certain.

Pictures are attached of the top up - various sources, none of which are "true production" models.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Question: How does the Solstice/Sky stack up against other competitors?

Answer:

A comparison of roadsters and convertibles was compiled by brentil here:

ROADSTER/CONVERTIBLE COMPARISON

An excel version is available to download, courtesy of brentil,in the following attachment.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Buttress, AFBTS, Top Operation

Question:
What is an AFBTS? Is it an acronym? If so what does it stand for?

Answer:
It stands for Artsy-Fartsy Buttress Top Support. It's an inside joke reference for the non-functional wedge-shaped extensions that are part of the top. They extend from the flat plane of the back glass to points on the decklid. Reference a picture of the top up.

You may see them called "wings", "winglets", "thingies", or "buttresses".

At this time, it appears they release with some sort of actuation, either through a trunk release or a key fob, to allow access to the trunk. Reference top actuation for suspicions on how the top operates.

At this time, their only "function" appears to be styling-related only, hence the "artsy-fartsy" nomenclature, and may hinder smooth operation of the top. "Artsy-fartsy" is a reference to features that affect form only with no or detrimental effect on function.

Before anyone asks, AFBTS can be referred to through the letters of the acronym, but it's also acceptable to prounounce it as "Aff - butts".
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Higher HP, Removable/Retractable Hardtop, Coupe, Trunk Capacity

Question: Will there be a higher horsepower engine available? If so, what form will it be and how much will it cost?

Answer: Officially, only subtle hints have been given by GM/Pontiac about a more powerful Solstice coming. Consensus from some magazine articles is around 240 HP, but no committment on whether it is a turbo or supercharged. Highest probability is some sort of forced induction. There is no information on when it might be available, but most certainly will not be available anytime during the first model year. It will likely cost whatever the market will bear, a question that will have to be answered at a future date. It is expected that whatever is available for the Solstice will be available for the Sky.

Question: Will there be a removable hardtop, retractable hardtop, or any type of roof other than the soft-top shown? What about a Coupe?

Answer: It does not currently look like there will be any type of replacement top available for the first year of production. There has been no word or information from GM that supports availability of anything other than a rag-top.

Question: How much can I fit in the trunk?

Answer: Estimates based on the Solstice are 4 cubic feet with the top up and 2 cubic feet with the top down, based on a magazine article written by someone who actually drove a Solstice in England. The Mazda Miata and the Honda S2000 have approximately 5 cubic feet of trunk space. The top and trunk for the Sky is expected to be similar to or shared with the Solstice.

Pictures taken by one of our members at an autoshow of the trunk in one of the show Solstices. There is no top present. Not everyone agrees, but the most likely function of the "hump" is the gas tank.

A picture of an early rendition of the top design (in clay) is also attached [from a no-longer-internet-available May 2002 Popular Science (TOC May 2002 PopSci) article on the rapid design of the Solstice http://www.popsci.com/popsci/auto/article/0,12543,233259-1,00.html entitled "Speed Record: How GM Supercharged the Solstice Launch"].
Also, a top and bottom picture of the Sky is provided, which gives further indication that the gas tank is where it is suspected. The Sky and Solstice are expected to share underbody/structure to a large extent.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Front License Plate Location?

Question: I live in a state that requires a front plate. Where will it go on my Sky?

Answer: We don't know at this time. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How does the top work? Top Operation? Convertible Top FAQ

Question:How does the top work? How long does it take? Do I have to get out of the car?

Answer: The Sky is expected to share top functionality with the Solstice. The answer is from Solsticeforum.com:

FIRST: right now, we don't exactly know. The most likely scenario is based on part information from someone who participated in a "customer review" of some sort, with other bits and parts of articles, such as this one:

AutoWeek article on England "Test Mule" Drive said:
...Before letting us slip in behind the wheel, the GM engineers folded down the mechanical top. The process starts by twisting a latch on the inside that releases the top from the header, and then opening the trunk in reverse fashion. There are a couple of wings at the rear of the top that fold inward, and then you're ready to fold the top down into the trunk. After the top is stowed, the trunk lid can be closed and the finished look is clean with no need for a boot. There is very little cargo room in the car, even with the top up. There is no space behind the seats for any storage, so unless a cargo rack is added, judicious packing is required for even weekend trips. Don't even think of bringing your golf clubs.
...
Lots of discussion about top operation here: Convertible Top FAQ / Pictures

We do know or suspect this:

-The end result is a clean look with the top stowed in the trunk.
-It seems most likely you'll have to get out of the car some time to deal with th AFBTS's (see previous FAQ or search).
-It looks like it will take longer than a Miata to drop the top if you don't count the addition of the tonneau cover for the Miata. It looks like it would take less time to open the top on the Solstice than it would take to drop the top and install the tonneau snap-on cover on either the Honda S2000 or the Miata.
-The top takes up storage space in the trunk when stowed(about half - see previous questions)
-It seems highly likely that you will be able to access the trunk with the top remaining up. It is unknown how the AFBTS's are dealt with, but suspect a logical operation would couple the motion with the opening of the decklid.
-It looks like there is two guidepins of some sort (or at least there appear to be sockets for them in the header), with one central latch, the reciever for which is visible in most pictures taken at many different auto shows across the country.

Based on information available, looking at many, many photos taken at shows, and assessing the myriad information sources (some of which seem very dubious), it appears the top should operate something like this:

top operation suspicion said:
From Driver's Seat
1) Pop Decklid (unlatches AFBTS also), possibly from inside button, lever-cable release, or FOB
2) Unlatch ONE center latch (all pictures support only one central latch, not two).
3) Get out of car and stow the roof.
4) Close the Decklid

Or at least that's what seems to make the most sense. Maybe a minute?

To put it up, the most logical method would be:
1) Pop Decklid (? using button, lever-cable release or FOB)
2) Get out and raise decklid
3) Unstow the roof

Then either:
4a) Get in and latch the roof
5a) Get back out and close the decklid
6a) Walk to passenger side and latch the passenger side AFBTS (mechanism unknown)
7a) Walk back to the driver's side and latch the driver's side AFBTS (ibid)
8a) Get in driver's seat

or:
4b) Close Decklid
5b) Walk to passenger side and latch the passenger side AFBTS
6b) Walk back to the driver's side and latch the driver's side AFBTS
7b) Get in driver's seat
8b) Latch the central latch
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Interior, Gages, Cupholders

Question: Are there any cupholders?
Answer: It appears there are three - one that comes out of a side panel on the passenger side of the console, and two that come out of a tray in the center of the back of the console, under the storage bin. See attached pics. These pictures are from a Solstice, but similar locations exist on pictures of the interior of the Saturn Sky.

Question: What about Gages (Gauges)?
Answer: Based on interior pictures, there appear to be only a Tachometer, speedometer, and fuel gage. There's also a "Driver Information Center" or DIC, that is expected to work like the DIC in a Trailblazer. There may be additional information (like temperature, mileage, etc.) but the actual DIC content is unknown at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kappa Platform Solstice/Sky

Question: What is the Kappa Platform? What is the Kappa Architecture?
Answer: [summary compiled from various articles and discussions over the last two years]

The Kappa Platform, or architecture, is a new vehicle architecture developed by General Motors to enable the Pontiac Solstice to become reality as a production car.

A vehicle architecture or platform is the basic underlying, load-bearing structure in a vehicle. Analogous to the framing of a building, it also is the majority of expense in production, design, and validation of a new car. A typical strategy for an automotive company is to develop a new architecture or platform rarely - and use that platform for producing variants or improving successive generations of vehicles.

Regarding the Kappa Platform:

In 2002, the Pontiac Solstice Concept was shown, in two forms: a driveable roadster convertible, and a design study of a fastback coupe.

The Pontiac Solstice was recieved very well at the 2002 NAIAS. The driveable roadster concept car shown had been cobbled together from many different components, using a cobbled portion of the "Delta" architecture (a Front-Wheel-Drive small car architecture that supports the Saturn ION and the Chevy Cobalt). The thinking was that this architecture might be heavily modified and used to produce the Solstice.

We have speculated that when General Motors decided to try to produce the Solstice as a highly-styled, low-cost, low-volume niche vehicle for enthusiasts, it became apparent that there were no existing platforms that could be used to achieve the needs of a modern roadster.

Therefore, the Kappa Platform was developed to provide the necessary structure for a two-seat, Rear Wheel Drive convertible. It features hydroformed rails and a tunnel structure similar to the Corvette architecture, and is designed for a short-long-arm suspension for the front and rear. It features rear wheel drive, longitudinal-mounted transmission and front-mid engine.

At this time it appears the platform has only been designed to accomodate a single engine - the four-cylinder Ecotec family. It also appears this platform was only designed to be "left-hand drive".

Since the Solstice, GM has designed another roadster that looks radically different, but shares the same underlying Kappa Platform: The Saturn Sky. The Saturn Sky was styled after the pattern of the Vauxhall VX Lightning design (see below). It also appears that there will be a European version built off the same platform, the details of which have not been released at this time.

Three other concept vehicles were built off the initial Kappa Platform, and shown at the 2004 NAIAS: The Vauxhall VX Lightning, The Saturn Curve and Chevy Nomad. All three cars were recieved reasonably well, but were not nearly as embraced as the original Solstice Concept.

The Vauxhall VX Lightning is the same size as the original Solstice Concept, and pieced together in the same manner as the 2002 Solstice Concept, and had been shown in Europe several months earlier, before the "Kappa Platform" had apparently been finalized. The Vauxhall VX Lightning is the styling pattern after which the appearance of the Saturn Sky is based.

The Saturn Curve and the Chevy Nomad Concept Cars were built on "modified" versions of the Kappa Platform, and exhibited 12" longer wheelbases, and 2+2 seating.

See also A Look at GM's Kappa RWD Architecture
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Press Release : 2003 Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept

Press Release : 2003 Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://vauxhall.co.uk/companyInformation/newsPage.jhtml?indexNo=72013/05/03 [May 13, 2003]

Vauxhall Lightning - our first concept car for 25 years.
LIGHTNING STRIKES AS CENTENARY CONCEPT DEMONSTRATES VAUXHALL RENAISSANCE

LIGHTNING STRIKES AS CENTENARY CONCEPT DEMONSTRATES VAUXHALL RENAISSANCE

"Keep it simple, pure, and beautiful." The words of GM vice president Bob Lutz when launching the Solstice concept in the US.

This was the basic requirement for Vauxhall's stunning new concept car, the VX Lightning.

Being launched as a centrepiece to the company's Centenary celebrations, the VX Lightning is a two-seater roadster based on the same technical foundation as the Pontiac concept Solstice, first seen at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Vauxhall's roadster concept, however, has been designed for British tastes, at GM's UK Advanced Design Studio in the Midlands.

Under the long bonnet of the VX Lightning is a new version of Vauxhall's all aluminium 2.2 ECOTEC engine, reworked with a supercharger to produce a maximum power of 240hp and 305Nm of torque.

A six-speed manual gearbox is mated to the new engine, which drives the rear wheels. The chassis incorporates independent suspension, the front end using a simple and reliable strut configuration with a rack and pinion steering.

At the rear, the independent suspension is all aluminium for weight saving. Overall, the car manages a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution for the best in handling and agility.

Kevin Wale, Vauxhall chairman and managing director says: "The VX Lightning says everything about where Vauxhall is heading. The car represents a return to our early performance roots when Vauxhall was famous as the manufacturer of the first true British sports car - while we continue to be both innovative and bold in exterior and interior design. "We have made great strides recently in terms of our interior packaging through cars like Zafira and Signum. Vauxhall is also about pure driving excitement - just look at the new VX220 Turbo.

"Ultimately the VX Lightning, as a classic roadster, represents the best of our past, and our future - a vehicle that is quintessentially British."

DesignDesigned in the UK, the VX Lightning is a classically proportioned sports car with a long bonnet and short rear overhang.

There are also some subtle echoes of the past, including the rollover hoops sculptured into the rear deck and bodywork which flows down into the cabin.

Fitting for a car with the presence of the VX Lightning, it sits on 19inch alloy wheels at the front (fitted with 245/35 Michelin Pilot tyres) while at the rear massive 20 inch alloys are fitted with 255/35 tyres.

Inside, deeply sculptured seats are finished in black and red leather, while red leather has also been used to trim the sweeping dashboard.

There are currently no plans to build the VX Lightning concept, however Vauxhall will be closely monitoring public reaction to this great new car

33257/SH120503

VX Lightning - technical specifications

Body/chassis structure: unique GM platform, based on the Solstice, with front engine and rear-wheel driveBody material: compositeChassis material: all steel, unibody Suspension: 4-wheel independent, strut front, adjustable for rate and travel Wheels: machined aluminiumFront: 19 x 8.5 inRear 20 x 9 in Tyres: front - Michelin Pilot 245/35R19Rear - Michelin Pilot 255/35R20

BrakesDiscs all-round

Powertrain

Engine: modified, supercharged ECOTEC L850 2.2L 4-cylinderEngine displacement (cu. in/cc):134/2200Max. horsepower (hp/kW):240/179Max. torque (lb.ft/Nm):225/305

TransmissionGM T56, six-speed manual (5th/6th gears overdrive).

Dimensions

Height (in/mm):45.0/1140Length (in/mm):153.1/4100Width (in/mm):71/1808 (1908mm inc. mirrors)Wheelbase (in/mm): 95/2415Track (in/mm):front -60.3/1532

rear - 60.5/1537Weight (lbs/kg):2900/1318


http://vauxhall.co.uk/futureModels/VXLightning.jhtml

The VX Lightning is a two-seater roadster based on the same technical foundation as the Pontiac concept Solstice, first seen at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Vauxhall's roadster concept, however, has been designed for British tastes, at GM's UK Advanced Design Studio in the Midlands.

Under the long bonnet of the VX Lightning is a new version of Vauxhall's all aluminium 2.2 ECOTEC engine, reworked with a supercharger to produce a maximum power of 240hp and 305Nm of torque.

A six-speed manual gearbox is mated to the new engine, which drives the rear wheels. The chassis incorporates independent suspension, the front end using a simple and reliable strut configuration with a rack and pinion steering.

At the rear, the independent suspension is all aluminium for weight saving. Overall, the car manages a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution for the best in handling and agility.

Designed in the UK, the VX Lightning is a classically proportioned sports car with a long bonnet and short rear overhang. There are also some subtle echoes of the past, including the rollover hoops sculptured into the rear deck and bodywork which flows down into the cabin. Inside, deeply sculptured seats are finished in black and red leather, while red leather has also been used to trim the sweeping dashboard.

Fitting for a car with the presence of the VX Lightning, it sits on 19inch alloy wheels at the front (fitted with 245/35 Michelin Pilot tyres) while at the rear massive 20-inch alloys are fitted with 255/35 tyres.

There are currently no plans to build the VX Lightning concept, however we will be closely monitoring public reaction to this great new car.

Read the press release

VX Lightning - Technical Specifications

Body/chassis structure Unique GM platform, based on the Solstice, with front engine and rear-wheel drive.
Body material Composite
Chassis material All steel, unibody
Suspension 4-wheel independent, strut front, adjustable for rate and travel
Wheels Machined aluminium
Front - 19 x 8.5 in.
Rear - 20 x 9 in.
Tyres Front - Michelin Pilot 245/35R19
Rear - Michelin Pilot 255/35R20
Brakes 4-wheel disc power
Powertrain Engine - modified, supercharged EcoTec L850 2.2L 4-cylinder
Engine displacement (cu. in/cc) - 134/2200
Max. Horsepower (hp/kw): 240/179
Max. Torque (lb-ft/Nm): 225/305
Transmission GM T56, six-speed manual (5th/6th gears overdrive).
Dimensions Height (in/mm) - 45.0/1140
Length (in/mm) - 153.1/4100
Width (in/mm) - 71/1808 (1908mm inc. mirrors)
Wheelbase (in/mm) - 95/2415
Track (in/mm) - front - 60.3/15, rear - 60.5/1537
Weight (lbs/kg) - 2900/1318
 

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Discussion Starter #16
http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/environment/news_issues/news/simplified_maintenance_040104.html

GMOLS GMOL oillife oillifeindicator indicator GMOLMS oillifemonitoring

GM's Simplified Vehicle Maintenance Can Save Consumers Time & Money
3000-Mile Oil Changes May be Unnecessary

Frequently Asked Questions on GM Oil Life System & Simplified Maintenance

How frequently should drivers change their engine oil? Most technicians will say 3,000 miles while others say 5,000 or 7,000. But ask Mr. Goodwrench and he'll offer a simple solution - let your vehicle tell you when - that could protect your wallet and the environment from unnecessary oil changes. GM's patented Oil Life System (GMOLS) can double or even triple the time between oil changes when compared to the common 3,000-mile recommendation simply by evaluating driving conditions.

"This car care season, most owners of 2004 GM vehicles won't have to worry about deciding when to change their engine oil because leading-edge technology will determine the right time for them," said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. "Simply visit your GM Goodwrench dealership for an oil change service when the vehicle signals and you won't have to worry about how many miles you have driven. This alone could save consumers significantly on the number of oil changes they purchase over the life of the vehicle."

GMOLS is on about 95 percent of the vehicles that GM produces today and on a wide variety of models since the mid-1990's. There are roughly 20 million vehicles on the road today equipped with GMOLS. The system itself uses an algorithm that tracks engine revolutions and temperature and predicts oil life based on these parameters and driver use.

GM's New Simplified Maintenance Schedules Challenge Industry Assumptions

GMOLS technology allows GM and GM Goodwrench dealerships to offer all new Simplified Maintenance Schedules on most 2004 vehicles to simplify maintenance for GM customers and to build long-lasting customer relationships. The new schedules are a departure from the typical industry approach of basing maintenance intervals on mileage. Instead of a complicated list of different services to be performed at different mileage intervals, GM's new Simplified Maintenance Schedules are based on the change oil light/message.

The first time the message on the dash appears, GM Goodwrench dealerships will offer a Maintenance I service package which includes an oil and filter change, a four-tire rotation, visual inspections of the fluid levels and brakes and a resetting of the system. The next time the message appears a Maintenance II service package is recommended, which includes everything in Maintenance I, plus a professional inspection of the suspension and steering components and the transmission. After the first two visits drivers will alternate between the two schedules as the prompt appears on the dash for the life of the vehicle. Since the system must be reset to work properly and many of the required maintenance services can be complex, GM recommends taking GMOLS-equipped vehicles to the GM experts at Goodwrench dealerships for proper service.

"Simplified Maintenance Schedules are a major convenience to drivers because it takes the guesswork out of when to change oil and it eliminates the need to make decisions regarding routine maintenance," Lord said. "Basically, when the light comes on you bring the vehicle in for maintenance and the technician can perform an oil change along with other necessary maintenance items such as checking belts, rotating tires and changing the air filter."

When used as intended and linked with the Simplified Maintenance Schedules offered by GM Goodwrench dealerships, GMOLS also can provide an environmental benefit, said Lord. If the more than 20 million vehicles on the road equipped with this technology all used the system as intended, hundreds of millions of gallons of oil would be saved, eliminating the chance of this oil ever entering the environment, he added.

Consumers should check their owner's manual to determine if their GM vehicle has GMOLS. If it does, a GM Goodwrench dealership can service and reset the system at the vehicle's next oil change. If it doesn't, they should follow the oil change recommendations listed in their owner's manual. The engine oil and filter must be changed at least once a year even if the GMOLS indicator does not come on.
GM Oil Life System & Simplified Maintenance
Frequently Asked Questions



Oil Life Monitoring System

How does the system work?
The GMOLS system is not a mileage counter. It is actually a computer based software algorithm that determines when to change oil based on engine operating conditions. There is no actual oil condition sensor. Rather, the computer continuously monitors engine-operating conditions to determine when to change oil. Over the years, millions of test miles have been accumulated to calibrate the system for a variety of vehicles. The system was first introduced in 1988 and is now on more than 18 million GM vehicles.

What makes it so simple?
GM engineers have been studying oil life for decades and they've learned that oil tends to degrade in a predictable pattern. Engine oil forms a coating on the moving parts of the vehicle's engine to protect against friction and heat damage related to combustion. But over time, that protection can be damaged by several factors. High operating temperatures can cause oxidation while cold engine operation introduces contamination to the oil.

Taking many short trips is more harmful to the oil than highway driving, because it tends to introduce moisture when the engine doesn't reach full operating temperature before being shut off. Heavy use like trailer towing or prolonged driving in very hot conditions can lead to a thickening of the oil that prevents it from adequately coating engine parts. GM engineers took this knowledge of operating parameters and oil life and built a mathematical model that is run by the car's powertrain control computer. The Oil Life System monitors engine temperature, combustion events and other parameters to gauge the oil's life.

How do I operate the system?
The GMOLS is very easy to use. First, refer to the vehicle owner's manual for a description of the specific 'change oil' message and instructions for resetting the system. When the engine has been operating the appropriate amount, the 'change oil' message will be illuminated on the instrument panel or driver information center when the vehicle is first started. An oil change should be done within 600 miles from when the message was first displayed. Immediately after the oil has been changed, the system must be reset. After resetting, the 'change oil' display will no longer be displayed after engine start up.


How many miles can I expect to go between oil changes when using this system?
The beauty of the GMOLS is that it will automatically adjust the oil change interval based engine characteristics, driving habits and the climate in which the vehicle is operated. For instance, mild highway driving in a warm climate will maximize the interval between oil changes. Depending on the vehicle, this could be in excess of 7000 miles and as high as 12,000 miles. On the other hand, short trip driving in cold a climate may limit the oil change to 3000 miles or less. In general, most people that drive a combination of city and highway find that the GMOLS will indicate an oil change every 5000 to 6000 miles. Additionally, most people maintain consistent driving habits. Therefore, their mileage between oil changes will be consistent. Changes in climate will affect this somewhat.

What happens if I change oil and forget to reset the system?
Since the GMOLS does not actually sense oil condition, it is important that the engine computer knows when an oil change takes place. By enabling the reset (read owner's manual for instructions), it lets the computer know an oil change has taken place. In the event that an oil change is done without resetting the system, the 'change oil' indicator will remain illuminated until the system is reset. The more miles that are driven without the system being reset, the more inaccurate the GMOLS will be. If more than 500 miles have been driven after an oil change without resetting the GMOLS, the oil change interval should be defaulted back to 3000 miles. After the oil has been changed and the system reset, normal use of the system can be resumed.

I change my oil every 3,000 miles, so of what use is this system?
You can continue to change your oil every 3,000 miles if you so choose, but remember to reset the system after changing the oil or you will get a false "change oil" message. Also, remember that the GMOLS will allow you the ability to extend the mileage between changes without harming your engine. This will save you time and money as well as helping to protect the environment by minimizing the amount of used oil. And, if you took your vehicle to your GM Goodwrench dealer they could inspect your vehicle, reset the system and make it easier to have your vehicle properly maintained in the future.

Do I have to use special oil?
The GM Oil Life System calibrates the vehicle's needs based on use of the standard factory-fill mineral-based automotive engine oil that displays the "Starburst" API® Certification Mark. Make sure to read the vehicle's Owner's Manual to select oil with the viscosity and grade that are correct for your engine. Synthetic oils are not required except for the models that came with synthetic oil from the factory.

You've had OLM for years. Why hasn't my dealer told me about it and why all the fuss now?
As you can imagine, when changing from a 35-year-old traditional approach that is marketed by some very large companies, people will resist the change. Until the 2004 model year GMOLS was only available on select vehicles. Since the system was only on select vehicles it's been a little difficult for dealers to fully explain to customers so they stayed with the conservative approach. By putting it on the majority of the portfolio and simplifying the maintenance schedules we believe the benefits to the consumer and environment make this a change worth talking about.

The oil change service station recommends that I change oil every 3000 miles. Why should I not believe them?
The 3000-mile oil change is very conservative approach to maintaining your vehicle. It is based off an oil performance rating that was introduced in 1968. Since then, there have been many advancements made in both engine and oil technology. These advancements, in conjunction with using the GMOLS, allow engine oil drain intervals to be increased without risking harm to your the engine.

What should I do if I suspect my engine is leaking coolant into the oil?
Use of the GMOLS should be suspended until the engine has been repaired and the engine no longer leaks coolant.

I change my own oil, should I reset the system myself?
You can per the vehicle owner's manual, or ask your selling dealer.

Will I damage the car if I don't get the oil changed soon after the light comes on?
As stated in the owner's manual, it is recommended that oil be changed within two fuel tank fill-ups. Owner's manuals for newer vehicles recommend changing oil within 600 miles of the light turning on.

Do I have to check my oil level now that my vehicle is equipped with the GMOLS?
Yes, the system does not sense oil level. As stated in the owner's manual, it is recommended that you check your oil every time you stop for gasoline.

Will I void my warranty if I don't go by the GMOLS?
Complying with the owner's manual recommendations will maintain the warranty.

I had my oil changed recently and now my GMOLS light came on.
If the system was not reset (refer to owner's manual) at the time of oil change, the system can be reset as long as it's been less than 500 miles since the last oil change. If this mileage has been exceeded, change the oil at 3000 miles and reset system.

I prefer to have my oil changed still around 3,500 miles, what should I do?
You can continue to change your oil every 3,500 miles if you so choose, but remember to reset the system after changing the oil or you will get a false "change oil" message. Also, remember that the GMOLS will allow you the ability to extend the mileage between changes without harming your engine. This will save you time and money as well as helping to protect the environment by minimizing the amount of used oil. And, if you took your vehicle to your GM Goodwrench dealer they could inspect your vehicle, reset the system and make it easier to have your vehicle properly maintained in the future.

My oil seems dirty, I have 6,000 miles and no light, do I have a problem?
Discoloration will take place under normal conditions depending on driving conditions. Refer to owner's manual.
...
Also some really good information available in this thread:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26859
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Simplified Maintenance Schedules
What is the potential impact of this new maintenance schedule program on a dealership's profitability/revenues?
By simplifying the owner's responsibility to maintain their vehicle at their GM dealership, this will result in better overall service loyalty, which can have a positive impact on dealership profitability.

Why should a customer follow the Simplified Maintenance schedules, instead of "traditional" maintenance schedules?
The new schedules make it easier and more cost effective for consumers to obtain required maintenance from their GM Goodwrench dealer. They simplify the decision about when to have oil changed because GMOLS notifies the driver. The new schedules also allow customers to have all of their routine maintenance completed in one simple visit, saving them time. By reducing the number of oil changes, consumers may also save money.

Are customers now required to bring their vehicle into a GM dealership for routine maintenance?
No. However, GM Goodwrench dealerships are best equipped to meet GM vehicle owner's needs for comprehensive maintenance, service and GM Parts and the new Simplified Maintenance schedules make it easier than ever to obtain this expertise.

Why should a customer follow Simplified Maintenance schedules, instead of "ala-carte" maintenance?
The new schedules make it easier and more cost effective for consumers to obtain required maintenance from their GM Goodwrench dealer. They simplify a consumer decision about when to have oil changed because GMOLS notifies the consumer. The new schedules also allow customers to have all of their routine maintenance completed in one simple visit, saving them time. By reducing the number of oil changes, consumers may also save money.

Can independents provide the service requirements of Simplified Maintenance?
Customers can choose to have an independent service shop perform their required maintenance. However, it is recommended that these services are performed by GM Goodwrench technicians, who are trained and equipped to meet GM vehicle owner's needs for comprehensive maintenance, service and they use only genuine GM Parts.
 
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