Pontiac, the performance-driven division of General Motors, promotes sport-tuned coupes, slick sedans and a pair of car-based sport-utility vehicles. For 2007, Pontiac adds more firepower to Solstice the open-top roadster, creates a new compact-class sports coupe called G5, and laces mid-size G6 cars with a new engine.
Pontiac's two-seat roadster looks swift with a long nose, mid-ship cockpit and stubby tail crowned by dual nacelle blisters trailing behind seatbacks. Built on GM's rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Kappa platform, the roadster has 50/50 weight distribution with independent suspension and Bilstein monotube shocks plus 18-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires. For a base engine, Solstice employs GM's Ecotec 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder netting 177 hp through a five-speed manual stick or five-speed automatic. New for 2007 is Solstice GXP featuring a twin-cam 2.0-liter Ecotec four-in-line with direct-injection turbo-charging and air-to-air inter-cooling. It soars to 260 hp.
Pontiac's mid-size cars, riding on a long FWD platform, conform as a sleek four-door sedan, sporty two-door coupe and cool hardtop convertible. The convertible has a rigid all-weather roof that folds into the rear deck for fresh-air motoring. Top-trim GTP for coupe and sedan scores a new aluminum 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing (VVT) for 252 hp. GT issues draw from a 3.5-liter V6 now making 224 hp through a four-speed automatic with manual shift mode. And the G6 sedan also has a base trim packing GM's 2.4-liter Ecotec four-in-line for 169 hp.
The new compact-class car from Pontiac conforms as a slickback two-door coupe. Its architecture -- GM's Delta platform -- is shared with Cobalt at Chevrolet and Saturn's Ion. G5 comes in two trims, each with a different Ecotec four-in-line engine. The base model uses a 2.2-liter plant rated at 148 hp. A dual-cam 2.4-liter VVT Ecotec worth 173 hp motivates the sporty GT edition. The tight-geared Getrag F23 manual five-speed transmission is standard for either plant, with a four-speed 4T45 automatic also available. Air conditioning and a load of power equipment apply even to the base G5.
Pontiac Grand Prix
Pontiac's mid-size sedan presents curvy styling on a four-door body and a big cabin with flexible flip-and-fold seats. For 2007 there are three trim designations and three different engines. Grand Prix the entry edition pulls from GM's 3.8-liter V6 racked to 200 hp. The GT goes further through supercharging to pump the action to 260 hp. And Grand Prix GXP packs a 5.3-liter aluminum V8 with GM's Active Fuel Management (AFM) technology to pare the number of cylinders engaged in the combustion process when boosted power is not needed. The V8 rips to 303 hp.
The mid-size Pontiac SUV runs large for the compact class with a broad track and extended wheelbase. Its platform forges a big passenger compartment with front bucket seats and a rear three-place bench that slides fore and aft by eight inches to vary legroom as well as space for the rear cargo bay. Torrent romps on the road, due to a 3.4-liter V6 engine which generates 185 hp with an automatic five-speed transmission. Two trims -- FWD (front-wheel-drive) and AWD (all-wheel-drive) -- pack safety equipment like an anti-lock brake system (ABS) and StabiliTrak skid controls.
This crossover wagon, charted for FWD traction, mixes spry road manners of a small sports sedan with the cargo capability of a SUV and the miserly fuel efficiency of an economy car. It's part sports car, part station wagon and part thrifty runabout that's practical to use but fun to drive. One model for 2007 totes a dual-cam 1.8-liter VVT four-cylinder engine that musters 126 hp with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic shifter. Vibe brings choices for audio/information systems, including XM satellite radio service and a new AM/FM stereo CD deck with MP3 playback.