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It’s not exactly the sort of news worthy of a celebration, but some cautious optimism is certainly appropriate as word comes that the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky might not suffer the same fate as almost every other fun vehicle under the General Motors umbrella.
Fritz Henderson, GM’s new CEO said that the company would be willing to part with the plant where the two sports cars are assembled. The Wilmington, Del. plant is also the location where GM manufactures the Opel GT – a European version of the car.
“If someone were to approach with a proposal that made good sense for our people, we’d be open to it,” Henderson said.
Both the Solstice and Sky were introduced in 2006 as front-engine, rear-wheel drive roadsters. The models come standard with a 173hp four-cylinder, with a turbocharged 260-hp four-cylinder optional.
General Motors is still intent on selling off the Saturn brand and scuttling the Pontiac nameplate, however, it won’t rule out selling the Wilmington facility as there is likely to be some interest in the niche-market vehicles.
Last year GM moved close to 20,000 units of the two American models, with the Solstice selling 10,739 units and the Sky 9,162 units.
The move is similar to the one made by Chrysler in regards to the Dodge Viper. Chrysler has yet to find a buyer for that iconic nameplate.
Mid-cycle, mid-year changes made to keep G6 Pontiac’s bestseller
Since its introduction in 2004, the G6 family has been a best seller for the Pontiac brand. In the hopes of keeping the car relevant, Pontiac has decided to give it a series of mid-cycle updates. Interestingly, the refresh also comes mid-year, so the updated G6’s will be classified as 2009.5 models.
The G6 Sedan, Coupe and Convertible will all get a redesigned front fascia inspired from the stunning G8. A new rear bumper is also a part of the package, as are redesigned headlights and taillights. An updated spoiler design will appear on all V-6 models and will continue to be an option on base models.
(The G6 GXP will remain unchanged).
NEW ENGINE OPTIONS
For 2009.5, the G6 Coupe will, for the first time, be available with the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. This move will make the Coupe more fuel efficient, as it will match the Sedan with a 33-mpg rating. The transmission will feature Pontiac’s TAPshift manual shift system with steering wheel mounted paddles.
Pontiac will also offer a 219hp FlexFuel version of the 3.5-liter V-6 engine at no extra charge on all body styles starting in 2009.5. The 222hp 3.9-liter V-6 and 252hp 3.6-liter V-6 (GXP) remain unchanged.
2009.5 Pontiac G6 Sedan
2009.5 Pontiac G6 Coupe
2009.5 Pontiac G6 Convertibe
Official release after the jump: