The Maserati Solstice V8

some maintenance required - didn't I say it was like a Maserati?I don’t know why, but I can’t shake the feeling that a Pontiac Solstice with an LS V8 is like the baby Maserati that we never got. 


you get the most smoke on the bankingI remember so many rumors  in the mid-late 2000s that there’d be a little Maser built on the GranTurismo platform. That car never materialized, but we did get a reasonably handsome roadster/coupe from Pontiac.

sitting in the pits

The Solstice wasn’t really a good car. The rubber trim wore out like crazy, it had a woefully bad five-speed auto very much from Old GM, the interior wasn’t anything to long for, and the handling was anything other than predictable.(1)

running tandem out of the hairpin

But if you rework the suspension, if you give it more power than it should ever need, if you make it into something like this V8-swapped drift car that runs at Englishtown, New Jersey, then you have what could be the Italianate sports car you’d dreamed of.

I trust that this is a well-built car, actually, given that it’s run by Irish pro drifting champion Eric O’Sullivan, who campaigned a LS-swapped Solstice in Formula Drift back in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

[UPDATE] Eric actually popped in (here’s his comment) to say that this car is not, in fact, a V8. It just runs a 350hp tuned Ecotec four. My thoughts on a V8 Solstice remain the same, and Eric does indeed hope to cram an LS3 under this yellow hood.

exiting the hairpin at E-TownSources:

1. Hardigree, Matt. “2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP: Last Drive,” 2009.

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2 Responses to The Maserati Solstice V8

  1. Eric O Sullivan says:

    That car is actually powered by a mildly tuned Ecotec 4cyl Turbo and is quite a stock car apart from the suspension changes. The solstice chassis is easily the most impressive I have ever worked with in the drift world, I think that when used prices drop you will see many more of these platforms being used in grass roots motorsport. Thanks for the kind words, some day I do hope to fit an LS3 in there but for now it does just fine with about 350hp !.

    • Raphael Orlove says:

      Howdy Eric, thanks for dropping by. I was sure it was a V8! Crazy that it’s just a tuned Ecotec, I’d always heard those engines had a lot of power in them.

      Hope to see you around E-Town this year

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