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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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