While it may be spartan on the inside, the stylish Solstice GXP achieves its mission, bringing some all-American competition to the Japanese-dominated roadster segment.
For those intrepid souls who want an unadulterated driving experience, the Solstice GXP has options to disable traction control and both traction and stability control. The latter configuration is known as Competitive Mode.
The headlights on the Solstice GXP have a very Porsche-like look to them.
The Solstice GXP features a split honeycomb grille, giving it a very distinctive front profile.
The driver is faced with three basic chrome-trimmed dials, which are illuminated by a red backlight at night.
For an extra $275, Solstice GXP drivers can add a rear spoiler to give their ride some extra style.
To close the roof from the driver's seat Solstice GXP owners must perform the following sequence of tasks: pop the trunk using key fob to release the deck lid; get out of the car, open the deck lid, pull out the folding cloth top and lean it on the windshield; get back in the car and fasten the clasp joining the top to the frame; get back out of the car, slam (and I mean slam) the cover shut, and snap the two rear fasteners into place; then get back into the car and drive away.
The most impressive thing about the stereo in the Solstice GXP is its extremely user-friendly interface, which, despite its single-line dot-matrix display, must rank among the most intuitive OEM systems we have ever seen. It also comes with optional XM Satellite Radio and a generic auxiliary input jack for playback of iPods and other portable music players.
The Solstice GXP's automatic transmission does not offer drivers a means of influencing shift timing. Despite being beholden to the car's own shifting agenda, we found the Solstice GXP to be more than equal to the demands of spirited driving.
When playing compressed digital audio discs such as MP3s, the stereo displays full ID3 tag information for folder, song name, album name, and artist; these can be cycled through using the very helpful i button to the top left of the display.
The Solstice GXP's soft-top can be stowed away under the rear deck lid, but the process for raising and lowering the roof is extremely cumbersome.
A display built into the tachometer can be configured to show the amount of boost (in psi) that is currently being drawn from the turbo charger.
With the top finally stowed, however, the Solstice GXP has a very attractive profile. With its flared wheel arches and front fenders, gleaming 18-inch alloy wheels, and curvaceous sheet metal, the two-seater is one of the most eye-catching cars ever to leave a GM production line.
With the top in the trunk (rendering the latter unusable for anything larger than an umbrella) Solstice GXP must rank as the production car with the least storage space in the world, and on a par with some Formula 1 models for interior space.