VIDEO: LS3-Powered “Sleeper” Solstice

The Pontiac Solstice and its Kappa-chassis Saturn cousin, the Sky, offered sports car fans of the 2000s a fun, affordable and rather economical way of spending their weekends through the curvy canyon roads of America. Equipped with the base, 177 hp 2.4L or optional, 260 hp turbocharged 2.0L Ecotec engine, the lightweight pocket rockets were quite fast, too.

But what if the 13-second capable 2.0L turbo wasn’t fast enough for you, despite the sub-3,000 pound curb weight of the car in question? Many Solstice/Sky owners were faced with this dilemma at one time or another, and while some chose to crank the boost up in their Ecotec, many others have decided to ditch the 4-banger altogether for something a bit more radical.

As with everything else these days, the Kappa twins are susceptible to LS V8 power. Even during the official unveiling of the Solstice back in 2006, Bob Lutz made it a point to announce that a modern (read, LS) V8 will fit perfectly between the fenders and clamshell hood. Evidently, car builders took this hint to heart and almost immediately, LS-powered Kappas emerged from tuning shops and onto the streets of America.

We’ve recently run across this example on YouTube that’s available through a secondhand car dealer. Although it appears subtle in its execution, the end result is truly impressive and astounding. When you combine a 6.2L 430 hp V8 in a car that’s roughly the same size and weight as a Mazda Miata, only epic things can happen. Oddly, siting behind the alloy eight-cylinder is a 5-speed manual, rather than the usual T-56 transmission.

As the sales description states, it captures the essence of the old Shelby Cobra roadsters of the ’60s, with the heart of a Corvette. We would have to agree, although it’s not really intended for the dragstrip nor would it make for a completely balanced road racer, at least on an amateur level, we’ll take it!



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