Very rare GXP coupe. One of 102 pre-production cars, one of 330 with a 5-speed. 22,000 original miles, all options, portable soft top, chrome wheels. Heavily documented. GM’s best performance car this side of the Corvette.
Code 41U Mysterious Black was the most popular color and it’s easy to understand why—this is one sinister sports car. It isn’t soft and friendly like the regular Solstice, not a light-duty version of a British sports car like the Miata, it’s got a bad attitude. The sloping fastback roof removes all the Solstice’s soft surfaces and gives it an edge, and with a lift-off targa top it’s not too far from a convertible anyway. There are a few minor signs of use but overall it shines up beautifully and finish quality on the Kappa cars was better than average for General Motors. It’s rather amazing that GM ponied up for all these unique body parts on a car they knew they were going to kill—it probably shouldn’t exist at all.
Black leather covers a pair of comfortable and supportive bucket seats and they obviously were aiming to make the GXP a serious driver’s car. The gauges are set into two deep chrome-rimmed pods in the silver-toned instrument panel, there’s a fat leather-wrapped wheel, and the 5-speed uses one of the most direct shifters you’ve ever experienced. There’s almost zero wear on any of the seating surfaces, with only light stretching on the lower seat cushion. New sill plates were recently installed (the originals had a tendency to warp) and obviously everything works, including ice cold A/C and a killer Monsoon stereo system. The lift-off roof is easy to remove with three latches, but since it’s too large to store in the trunk, this car also includes a portable cloth top just in case.
It was easy to dismiss the standard Solstice as just a cute little convertible, but the GXP is all business. The 2.0 liter DOHC turbocharged engine is a serious over-achiever making 260 horsepower and a rather surprising 260 pounds of torque. There’s almost zero turbo lag and that big wall of torque launches the lightweight GXP coupe like a slingshot. It has also proven itself to be durable and reliable and service is still easy at your local GM dealership. This one remains totally stock, right down to the air filter and exhaust system, and that means it’s easy to drive and bulletproof. Fuel injection means it fires up instantly, idles perfectly, and has great manners no matter what the circumstances. Treat it gently and it’ll even knock down nearly 30 MPG on the highway. Nice, right?
Underneath, it’s like a 3/4-scale Corvette, including an all-independent suspension with aluminum control arms, rack-and-pinion steering, and four giant disc brakes to haul it down time after time. Everything is enhanced with the GXP upgrades—bigger sway bars, firmer shocks and springs, a reduced ride height, and oversized brakes so it’s insanely competent under almost any circumstances. The exhaust note has just the right amount of aggression, but quiets down on the open road. Clutch action is light and the gears are well-chosen to keep the engine on boil between shifts—get it right and there’s an endless flow of torque that makes the GXP more than a match for a lot of other performance cars. It has obviously never seen winter weather and remains extremely clean throughout. Factory chrome alloys add a bit of flash to the otherwise monochromatic bodywork, and they carry 245/45/18 Goodyear radials.
Documentation on this particular GXP coupe is extensive. As a pre-production car, it includes a lot of GM internal paperwork showing production schedules, figures, and other internal GM data. It also comes with a full set of factory owner’s manuals, promotional literature, brochures, and other factory literature. It also includes the aforementioned folding soft top and a fresh set of GXP floor mats that have never been used.
We’ve always liked the Solstice/Sky twins and the Solstice GXP coupe is perhaps the purest distillation of sports car GM has ever built, and that includes the Corvette. Light weight, great power, comfortable ergonomics, it gets everything right. It’s a great deal of fun to drive but remains a bit practical. And the cool thing is that it just shouldn’t exist—passionate GM engineers got it done in the face of overwhelming odds. That’s just cool. If it’s your kind of cool, give us a call today!
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