2006 Pontiac Solstice With Supercharged V8 Swap Is an Absolute Burnout Machine

2006 Pontiac Solstice With Supercharged V8 Swap Is an Absolute Burnout Machine photo
2006 Pontiac Solstice With Supercharged V8 Swap Is an Absolute Burnout Machine photo

It's almost unimaginable today that General Motors would try to chase down the Mazda Miata, but 15 years ago that's exactly what happened. The Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky were built just for that purpose. The duo still plays second fiddle to the aforementioned Japanese car, but that doesn't mean aftermarket companies aren't doing honest work with the help of GM's catalog of V8 drivetrains. This particular 2006 Solstice that's gone through a "Solbra" conversion is a prime example.

The company—unclear if it's still in business—is one of many that performs V8 conversions on the Kappa platform. These options include the LS3, LS7, LS9, and LSA. The Solstice for sale today on Cars and Bids is an LSA-powered example, which means 556 supercharged ponies going through a six-speed Tremec T56. This specific car has some visual mods that I could personally take or leave, but they did pay at least $42,000 for all the work to install the new drivetrain.

I used to have a Sky Redline—effectively a Solstice GXP—before I bought my C7, and stock they were one of the few roadsters of the era to actually be shipped from the factory with a more-than-adequate amount of power. While an NC Miata could only be had with 170 hp, the Sky and Solstice could both be optioned with 260 hp. A factory tune could also boost it to 290. The Kappas were considerably heavier, though, around 3,000 pounds as compared to the 2,500-pound Miata.


That's where the V8 swaps enter the picture, and there's plenty of room in a Kappa for a V8. The new engines do add weight, but only around 100-200 pounds, which is a fair price to pay for a huge amount more power. The only real weakness is the small tire size. There aren't a lot of good aftermarket wheels for these cars and it's hard to get a big tire on them without having it poke out past the fender. This Solstice looks to be on stock wheels, which means it's just not going to have enough traction to put all the power down. That's okay, though, because the Sky/Solstice has excellent rollover protection. Just kidding. They don't have any.

Imminent death aside, the Solbra conversions are well-done swaps. The interior doesn't get cut up, the factory gauges still work, heck, you can still plug an OBD reader into them and pass emissions. If you want a V8-swapped Solstice, this is the sort to get. Then again, a 2JZ basically bolts up to the factory transmission on these cars. An aftermarket tune can also net oodles of horsepower. Maybe just get any Sky or Solstice. Up to you.

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