Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Does the MX5 realy need to fear the Solstice?

I'm not so sure that Mazda should worry about the Solstice. The Miata gave a new birth to sports cars when it was introduced 15 years ago. The MG for the 90's only reliable was what journalists were saying. The Miata has grown in size and power since it's humble beginings, never a beast in terms of power, it's excellent handling and relatively low weight have made it a favorite in autocross since it first came to these shores. It was such a sucess that the germans copied it with the BMW Z3 and now Z4 and the Porsche Boxter were direct responses to the Miata. Now the competition all have more power than the MX5, but they all have higher price tags as well. Along comes GM in a surprise move with the Pontiac Soltice/Saturn Sky, on paper a real fierce competitor for Mazda.
Now it's fair to say that I'm biased against GM, but the Solstice (and to a lesser degree the Sky) is a good looking car. and on paper sounds impressive. But GM has had a history of promising models that went nowhere. Remember the Fiero? The Reata? The Alante? Some very promising models that GM rushed to production and made improvements on, just in time to cancel them. I've heard that the Solstice is selling out even before it arrives on dealer lots.

That's fine, but GM will screw it up for sure and Mazda will be there with a much improved MX5 to scoop up those buyers.


Shawn said...

...I think the Solstice is strong competition for the MX5. It is the first vehicle to be priced around the same level and offers more power.

I like the looks of the solstice...but you know what is so distracting for me...maybe someone can answer this for me: Where do you put the front license plate?

It will definitely eat away at the MX5 sales...but from what I heard, the Solstice quality (fit & finish) isn't that great. Time will tell if MX5 needs to boost power.

Dotty Gale said...

I got to sit in ( but not start or drive ) a Solstice recently, my biggest problem with it was the cup holder. It's located under your armpit. Other than that "what were they thinking" moment, I liked it.

bob said...

Oh, you crazy, biased SOB! :) Let's all test the thing before we trash it!

The MX5 is #1 right now but there's a potentially great competitor coming up in the Solstice. We should be thankful there's at least an attempt from GM so that it keeps Mazda on its toes.

The Alante was a pretty sweet car but I read that GM built the frame here, sent it to Italy for the body and then back here for the rest. Talk about $$.

Anyway, I'm pro bashing every manufacturer or model when it's deserving it. But the Solstice is too new to get crapped on. Yet :)

I wonder where the front license plate is supposed to go on the Solstice...

Big Ford Fan said...

Shawn, you're right, the Solstice will be healthy competition for the MX5, but reports that I've read saying Mazda is counting on loosing numbers in the US seem a little premature. The MX5 absolutley needs more power, the mild increases over the years leave it out powered by many lesser cars.

Dotty, thanks for letting us know about the "what were they thinking" placement of the cup holder. You at least have sat in one. Many will not get the chance, the way they're flying out of dealer lots.

Bob, you got me, I said I was biased at the begining of the post. But just remember how GM has fouled up in the past. I'm counting on them to ruin a great car.

Funny thing, you and Shawn both want to know about the front plate. Don't worry, your dealer will install this big ugly box in the front, something that will really screw up those lines. See? GM screwed the pooch already.

Shawn said...

Joe, by the way, Autoweek has a story about a hardtop covertible MX5 in 2007. From what I read of it, it is supposed to intergrate into the body panels to take up less space. I think it is a good move to separate itself from Solstice with a hardtop covertible option.

Big Ford Fan said...

Shawn, thanks for the heads up, I'll have to look for that.