AW Cover Story - 2006 LS2 Pontiac Solstice

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    If I had a Hammer: Mallett forges a beast out of the Pontiac Solstice

    [​IMG]

    NATALIE NEFF
    Published Date: 12/19/05

    The readout on the dashboard might have indicated 32 degrees F, but the wind tearing at our faces felt colder. Much colder. So when the radio guy announced a wind chill factor of just 10 degrees, we had no reason to doubt him.

    Not exactly what one might consider ideal convertible weather, but the Mallett Solstice V8 isn’t your everyday convertible, and a little arctic air wasn’t going to keep us from at least getting a taste of the shiny black two-seater. Besides, snug within the confines of its cabin and with the heat cranked full tilt, it felt nearly 32. Nearly.

    The car’s last name tells the story, obviously, but only part of it. The V8 squeezed under the hood of this other-wise benign-looking Solstice is none other than the mighty LS2 sourced from the Chevrolet Corvette. And with almost 500 pounds less heft curbside than the bow-tied beast, the LS2’s 400 horses and 395 lb-ft of torque make for one monstrously fast little roadster.

    But lest you think the Mallett Solstice V8 is only about speed, think again: Throw a few cones in front of it and the car really comes to life.

    To achieve such superior agility, the car is ballasted such that a 200-pound person sitting behind the wheel gives it perfect 50:50 lateral weight distribution. And with a full tank of gas, the weight split fore and aft is near that, at 52:48.


    Achieving such good balance involved shoving the engine rearward to within millimeters of the tolerances set by GM for crash-worthiness. In fact, the LS2 sits so far back within the engine bay that you would be correct in calling the car a mid-engine vehicle.

    While the ice and snow prevented us from seriously exploring the limits of the car’s dexterity, we did get a sense of its power, which is more than enough to break the tires loose up to third gear. Indeed, putting the power down effectively and efficiently requires a judicious modulation of the throttle. Too much right pedal too quickly won’t holeshot anyone, but it may win a burnout contest.

    [​IMG]

    Get it right and the car is quick. So quick, in fact, the Mallett Solstice V8 will beat a C6 Corvette through the quarter-mile—just don’t tell that to Chevy.

    “Yeah, I’m still taking heat over that,” says Chuck Mallett, founder of Mallett Cars. “I’ve always worked with Chevy, and now I’m taking their premium engine and putting it in a Pontiac.”

    Mallett, the man, forged his reputation out of cranking ungodly amounts of performance from a whole slate of bow-tie-badged vehicles, finding power, speed and agility where most engineers don’t bother even looking.

    One might think cramming a small-block underhood would add a lot of mass to an otherwise svelt-ish Solstice (at 2860 pounds), but Mallett says its car weighs roughly 150 pounds more than the stock roadster.

    Drawing upon his family’s five-decade involvement in professional motorsports—including his own racing background—Mallett has developed cars for Chevrolet racing, for everything from Trans-Am to NASCAR to endurance racing. His best-known street car to date may be the twin-turbo Corvette ZR1 from 1996, which ran a top speed of 273 mph. Today the company spends much of its energy turning otherwise fast and mean cars into faster and meaner ones—not unlike a certain AutoWeek Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

    Despite the grumblings at Chevy, the folks in the excitement division are tickled to get their hands on a Mallett car. Dealers have been scrambling to get allotments. “I’ve got dealers interested in scooping up the whole run,” says Mallett, which, with just 100 cars slated for build through next October, will ensure the scrambling remains fierce.

    All that performance, however, doesn’t come cheaply. The standard package will set you back $18,000, but for that cash you not only get that meaty small-block, Mallett also augments the drivetrain using a Luk Gold clutch and short-throw shifter; throws on a set of Mallett-Penske non*adjustable shocks, high-performance brake pads and stainless-steel brake lines; and dresses the car with signature Mallett graphics, embroidered headrests and a serial number plaque.

    [​IMG]

    For the particularly speed hungry, Mallett offers a host of add-ons to pile on the performance, in an a la carte fashion or via additional options packages. The top-end supercharged conversion package, for example, includes a six-speed Tremac transmission with three gear-ratio options; 19-inch alloy wheels and tires; Mallett-Penske double adjustable shocks, coilovers and antiroll bars; transmission and differential coolers; a stainless-steel high-flow exhaust; a 3.73 limited-slip differential; heavy-duty four-core radiator; and a supercharger. That whole shebang turns the Solstice into a screaming 600-hp beast while adding a whopping $38,995 to the price tag of a standard Solstice, which itself starts at less than $20,000.

    That’s a lot of coin for such a little car, a full $14,000 more than a base C6 Corvette coupe. But 600 horses? That’s compelling stuff, no doubt.

    Want more? Mallett will also wedge a 402-cid “stroker” motor into your Solstice if you’ve got another spare $9,000 burning a hole in your pocket, or for the seriously speed-addicted, a supercharged 7.0-liter upgrade for another $18,761.

    The kicker: It all comes with a two-year, 24,000-mile warranty.

    [​IMG]

    2006 Mallett Pontiac Solstice V8
    On sale: Now
    Base price: $37,995 (including $19,995 for the Solstice)
    Powertrain: 6.0-liter, 400-hp, 395-lb-ft V8; rwd, five-speed manual
    Curb weight: 3010 lbs
    0 to 60 mph: 4.2 seconds
    Website: mallettcars.com


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2002
    Messages:
    88,612
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    hol-e-shit.


    I want one.

    :eek2:
     
  3. dew

    dew Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    47,656
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MIA
    uglyyyyyyyy
     
  4. Jake!

    Jake! Guest

  5. 1fastz28

    1fastz28 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    59,532
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    listening to vinyl, st.louis
    i saw my first solstice today on the roads :)
     
  6. zatar

    zatar New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Messages:
    17,129
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South of Graceland
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    LS7 + Solstice/Sky

    Someone will do it.
     
  8. N8

    N8 This fucking guy.

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    45,500
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
  9. dmora

    dmora Guest

    ORLY! :eek5:

    Now if i can just strap a 3s-GTE into the Elise id be happy. :hsd:
     
  10. herpes

    herpes OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    135,007
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    dfw
    His best-known street car to date may be the twin-turbo Corvette ZR1 from 1996, which ran a top speed of 273 mph.

    :ugh:

    what? link?
     
  11. bokhan

    bokhan i love you

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    105,871
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    frumunda cheese~!
    bargain for 40k :o
     
  12. Aviv

    Aviv OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    CLE
    no engine pics?
     
  13. KDubb

    KDubb everyday I'm hustlin'

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Messages:
    92,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    everywhere
    if it was a hardtop, I'd be alll over it.

    heads/cam/spray LS2 in that would be BADASS
     
  14. EdgeOfSanity

    EdgeOfSanity OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Messages:
    35,850
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    ugly and stupid idea.
     
  15. remike

    remike the second coming

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    37,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    still has a FISHER-PRICE interior
     
  16. Jake!

    Jake! Guest

    [​IMG]
     
  17. joeym43

    joeym43 All you'll ever see.

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Messages:
    4,513
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cali
    That looks hot and I still haven't seen a Solstice on the road yet :hs:.
     
  18. neight

    neight OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    70,588
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego
  19. TripleFive

    TripleFive Someone Sell Me A Porsche! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    9,721
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Carmel, IN

    What kind of import do you sackride? :mamoru:
     
  20. zatar

    zatar New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Messages:
    17,129
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South of Graceland
    I have seen 1. Looked good, but it was in passing so I didn't get a close up look.
     
  21. zatar

    zatar New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Messages:
    17,129
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South of Graceland
    :nuts:
     
  22. brackac

    brackac Fuck all of this. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Messages:
    105,361
    Likes Received:
    152
    I would rock a Saturn Sky with the Mallett package for 37K.
     
  23. Aviv

    Aviv OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    CLE
    eek
     
  24. brackac

    brackac Fuck all of this. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Messages:
    105,361
    Likes Received:
    152

    A lightweigth roadster with 400 hp and great handling capabilites is stupid? Either you drive a Civic or a Explorer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2005
  25. Noah

    Noah The things we know best are the things we haven't OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    23,730
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Earth
    :wtf: Warranty!??
     

Share This Page