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SATURN AURA SHOWCASES STYLING DIRECTION FOR FUTURE SATURN VEHICLES

 

DETROIT -With its European-influenced exterior and fun-to-drive character, the Saturn Aura concept provides a clear preview of how the Saturn design element can be applied to a sporty medium sedan.

 

"The Aura is a sneak peak at a new generation of emotionally compelling Saturn vehicles," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. "It's the kind of vehicle that perfectly supports Saturn's firm commitment to provide great customer service combined with equally outstanding vehicles."

 

The new face of Saturn

The exterior styling of the Saturn Aura is fluid, muscular and powerful, with European design cues and a sense of technical harmony.

 

"As is the case with the Saturn Sky, Aura features sculpted surfaces and flowing horizontal lines, creating a dynamic feel -a sense of power about to be unleashed," said Clay Dean, GM director of vehicle design.

 

Up front, the sedan features bold projector-beam trapezoidal headlamps flanked by a new rendition of the Saturn chrome bar, which features the division's logo displayed more prominently. The front fascia has a distinctive mesh grille and circular fog lamps. Horizontal hood extractors punctuate the concept's styling up front, while also helping to cool the engine compartment.

 

The Saturn Aura's profile is also muscular and powerful, with 19-inch, polished alloy wheels pushed to the corners, resulting in short overhangs. Accenting the wheels and low-profile Z-rated tires are muscular wheel flares, along with side rockers with rearward-swept feature lines and a high belt line. Side markers reflect the vehicle's European influence.

 

At the rear of the vehicle, the jewel-like LED taillamps contribute to the vehicle's four-corner lighting design. Other key styling elements include the rear fascia, with a trapezoidal central exhaust, chrome bar and rear spoiler.

 

"The Saturn Aura epitomizes GM's global design approach to brand revitalization. Seven GM Design studios from around the world used technology that allowed them to contribute to product designs that will make up Saturn's new portfolio. The result is seamless connectivity between the exterior and interior," Dean added.

 

Inviting, comfortable and spacious interior

"The interior of the Saturn Aura reflects our vision of future Saturn vehicles, combining sophisticated elegance with plenty of passenger comfort. The highly refined details in this concept convey a sense of craftsmanship and affluence," said Dave Rand, GM executive director of interiors.

 

The Saturn Aura features a long wheelbase that -in addition to providing a comfortable, smooth ride -delivers a great deal of passenger room, especially in the rear seat. The vehicle's interior roominess is heightened by the large windshield -a result of the steeply raked A-pillar -and the panoramic roof, which features four sliding glass panels to create a convertible-style open-air driving experience.

 

Rustica leather seats provide firm and supportive comfort and are designed to resemble expensive furniture. To further accentuate its upscale character and enhance tactile feel, the door insert, seat insert, shift knob and steering wheel are all suffused in the same Rustica leather.

 

The Saturn logo medallion on the steering wheel, the instrument cluster, the center vent and the window and door switches are all backlit. This concept vehicle also features theater dimming, ambient overhead lighting and illuminated door handles.

 

Metal to the pedals

"The Saturn Aura is a modern interpretation of luxury," Rand said. "For the interior, we made extensive use of metallic accents that complement the leather to enhance the upscale feel of the environment."

 

Chrome sill plates with the Saturn logo, light titanium-finished knobs and buttons for the heating and cooling system, radio and on the door panels convey a sense of luxurious precision. A metallic overlay is also incorporated into the brake and accelerator pedals.

 

Further accentuating this vehicle's modern character is the instrument panel center stack, which features an orange cluster ring that encircles all three gauges.

 

Sporty character

Backing up the sporty appearance of this vehicle is a 250-horsepower 3.6L DOHC V-6 engine with variable valve timing. It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual tap up/tap down shift controls. Safety performance is provided by roof rail-mounted head curtain side-impact air bags, side-impact thorax air bags, four-wheel ABS with traction control and StabiliTrak, GM's electronic stability control system.

 

The Aura also features OnStar's Gen 6.1 system. With 3 million subscribers, OnStar is the nation's leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technologies. With Gen 6.1, GM OnStar subscribers can interact with OnStar's voice recognition system in Spanish, French or English. With the push of a button an OnStar advisor can change the system to allow the subscriber to interact with the system in their preferred language. Other core OnStar services are stolen vehicle location assistance, remote door unlock, roadside assistance, emergency services and automatic crash notification.

 

GM is the only automotive manufacturer committed to offering a full range of vehicles with safety protection before, during and after a collision. All OnStar-equipped vehicles come with Automatic Crash Notification. If air bags deploy, the system sends a signal to a highly trained OnStar Emergency Advisor, who contacts the vehicle to see if help is needed, and can contact an emergency responder to send for help. In many cases the occupants are severely injured and cannot speak for themselves. OnStar's GPS unit allows Advisors to tell emergency responders the vehicle's location. OnStar responds to at least one air bag deployment in the US or Canada every hour.

 

Additionally, the Aura features the GM-exclusive Advanced Automatic Crash Notification system. The AACN system detects collisions, even rollovers, regardless of whether air bags deploy. AACN also transmits other crash data, such as the direction of impact force, the number of and which air bags deployed and the maximum change of impact velocity, so that emergency responders are more prepared with this critical information before they arrive at the accident scene. 

 

"From their introduction, Saturn vehicles have garnered a reputation for being fun to drive, as well as being safe to drive," said Lajdziak. "The Saturn Aura takes the qualities Saturn is known for up a few notches and combines them in a sophisticated, great-looking package."

 

SATURN AURA HIGHLIGHTS:

Powertrain/Performance

-           3.6L DOHC V-6 Engine with 250 hp

-           6-speed automatic transmission

-           Electric power steering

-           4-wheel disc brakes

 

Exterior

-         19-inch polished alloy wheels

-         Goodyear Eagle P245/40ZR19 tires

-         Panoramic roof

-         Four-corner lighting with jewel-like LED taillamps

-         Projector beam headlamps

-         Front fascia

-         Rear fascia with central exhaust

-         Side rockers with rearward swept feature line

-         Rear spoiler

 

Interior

-         Instrument panel center stack

  • Orange cluster ring encircling all three gauges
  • Light titanium appliqué
  • Light titanium knobs/buttons (HVAC, radio, door panel)
  • Backlit display on center vent

-         Leather-trimmed seats

  • Rustica leather on etched door insert, seat insert, shift knob, steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • 8-way driver's seat

-         Chrome sill plates (front and rear) with Saturn logo insert

-         Metallic overlay pedal design

-         Backlit center logo/medallion on steering wheel

 

Safety

-         Roof rail-mounted head curtain side-impact air bags

-         Side-impact thorax airbags

-         Dual frontal air bags

-         ABS with traction control

-         StabiliTrak

 

 

SATURN UNVEILS SKY ROADSTER

Two-seat convertible signals new design direction

 

DETROIT -With its dynamic design and quick and agile performance, the Sky roadster delivers a bold message about the next generation of vehicles from Saturn.

 

The Sky, introduced at the North American International Auto Show and slated for production in 2006, is the first vehicle to feature a new look that will influence Saturn's entire future product lineup. The roadster will be followed by a new midsize sedan and a large crossover SUV as Saturn's product portfolio doubles during the next 24 months.

 

"Building on its accomplishments in customer sales and service satisfaction, Saturn is introducing a bold new product design to our vehicles," said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. "For Saturn, the Sky is not the limit. It's only the beginning."

 

Starting price for the Sky is expected to be less than $25,000. It will be built at GM's Wilmington, Del., assembly facility.

 

Technical harmony

The Sky roadster was inspired by the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept -created at GM's Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham, England -signaling the adoption of an international design language for Saturn.

 

"The Sky's exterior conveys a sense of technical harmony, combining taut, controlled lines with fluid surfaces to create a dynamic feeling," said Ed Welburn, vice president of Design for GM North America. "The vehicle's strong front end is the new face of Saturn, with a pronounced fender peak and a bold, chrome bar that carries an integrated Saturn badge."

 

The Sky's design also features a wide stance with short overhangs and 18-inch wheels pushed to the corners. The convertible top folds completely into the rear compartment and the clamshell hood provides excellent accessibility and reinforces the sports car aura. Projector halogen low beams and reflector optic halogen high beam headlamps extend the exterior's sophisticated look.

 

The design philosophy is carried through to the interior, which is driver-focused with integrated controls and displays. Creative use of piano black and chrome finishes combine with available leather seats and technical grains to emphasize richness and precision. Jewel-like detailing on the HVAC and lighting controls is executed with tight fits, highlighting the attention to detail.

 

Roadster performance

The Sky also has the hardware to back up its bold styling. It is equipped with a 2.4L, 170-horsepower Ecotec engine with variable valve timing and a five-speed Aisin manual transmission with a short throw shifter. A five-speed automatic will be optional.

 

"The Sky's performance matches its impressive styling," said Lori Queen, vehicle line executive for GM's small cars. "Powertrain, suspension and handling components were carefully selected to provide quick and agile performance."

 

Other technical highlights include:

 

-         Four-wheel independent short/long arm suspension for optimal handling and stability

  • Coil-over Bilstein monotube shocks for excellent wheel control and road isolation
  • Hydraulically assisted rack- and-pinion power steering for quick, responsive vehicle control
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS for excellent stopping performance
  • Wide track width for excellent stability and superior handling
  • Near 50/50 weight distribution for balanced handling feel
  • Structural tunnel design and hydroformed longitudinal rails for a stiff body that results in greater vehicle responsiveness and better overall feel
  • Hydraulic engine mounts for a smoother engine feel

 

OnStar

With 3 million subscribers, OnStar is the nation's leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technologies. The 2006 Sky will offer OnStar. Sky owners can interact with OnStar's voice recognition system in Spanish, French or English. With the push of a button an OnStar advisor can change the system to allow the subscriber to interact with the system in their preferred language. Other core OnStar services are stolen vehicle location assistance, remote door unlock, roadside assistance, emergency services and automatic crash notification.

 

GM is the only automotive manufacturer committed to offering a full range of vehicles with safety protection before, during and after a collision. All OnStar-equipped vehicles come with Automatic Crash Notification. If air bags deploy, the system sends a signal to a highly trained OnStar Emergency Advisor, who contacts the vehicle to see if help is needed, and can contact an emergency responder to send for help. In many cases the occupants are severely injured and cannot speak for themselves. OnStar's GPS unit allows Advisors to tell emergency responders the vehicle's location. OnStar responds to at least one air bag deployment in the US or Canada every hour.

 

Additionally, the Sky will offer the GM-exclusive Advanced Automatic Crash Notification system. The AACN system detects collisions, even rollovers, regardless of whether air bags deploy. AACN also transmits other crash data, such as the direction of impact force, the number of and which air bags deployed and the maximum change of impact velocity, so that emergency responders are more prepared with this critical information before they arrive at the accident scene. 

 

 

Saturn lineup

The expansion of the Saturn product lineup began this year with the introduction of the Relay family utility vehicle. The Relay combines SUV-like exterior styling, a rich interior and the functionality of a mid-van.

 

The Saturn Ion is significantly refined for 2005, with the sedan receiving improved interior and exterior appearances and more responsive and refined performance. The Vue's clean styling, numerous safety features and vast array of accessory choices continue to make it a popular choice among customers with active lifestyles. Saturn's 2005 lineup also includes two performance variants, the 205-horsepower Ion Red Line and the 250-horsepower, performance-tuned Vue Red Line.

 

SATURN SKY PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

                                      

General

 

Body/chassis structure:

integral hydroformed tube and stamped steel structure

Body materials:

hydroformed stamped steel, conventional stamped steel, sheet molding compound

Chassis material:

aluminum/steel

Suspension

 

Front:

SLA w/coil-over, monotube shock

Rear:

SLA w/coil-over, monotube shock

Wheels (in):

18 x 8 aluminum

Tires

 

Front:

Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/45R18 96V

Rear:

Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/45R18 96V

Brakes:

4-wheel disc w/ ABS

Steering:

rack and pinion with hydraulic assist

Dimensions

 

Height (in / mm):

49.8 / 1274

Length (in / mm):

161.1 / 4091

Width (in / mm):

71.4 / 1813

Wheelbase (in / mm):

95.1 / 2415

Track (in / mm)

 

Front:

60.7 / 1543

Rear:

61.44 / 1561

Weight (lb / kg):

2860  / 1300  (estimated)

Powertrain

 

Powertrain Configuration:

front engine, rwd

Engine:

2.4L DOHC I-4 Ecotec (LE5)

Displacement (cu in / cc):

145 / 2400

Horsepower (hp / kw) @ rpm:

170 / 127  @ 6400 (estimated)

Torque (lb-ft / Nm) @ rpm:

162 / 220 @ 4800 (estimated)

Transmission:

Aisin 5-speed manual (standard)

5-speed automatic (optional)

 

 

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