After a surprisingly strong 1990 beginning fueled partly by innovative dealership operations, the popularity of Saturn's passenger cars has stagnated, and the Vue sport utility vehicle hasn't fared much better. Expectations are higher for the company's recently released Relay minivan, but Saturn needs a dramatic new model to spark greater interest in the brand.
That's the role of the Sky, which goes on sale in 2006 as a 2007 model. At the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ed Welburn, General Motors vice president of global design, described the Sky as an "authentic roadster in both form and function" that is ready to demonstrate "the new face of Saturn."
The rear-wheel-drive Sky's base list price is expected to start at less than $25,000. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is installed.
The Sky's styling establishes a new design theme for Saturn. Inspired by the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept, the Sky has a wide stance and short overhangs. Overall, the car displays a blend of sharp edges and flowing curves, with pronounced fender peaks and a clamshell hood.
The bold front end features a slim upper grille with a chrome bar bearing an integrated Saturn badge. Auxiliary openings flank a large lower air intake, and large concave depressions extend from the front fenders through the doors. The convertible top folds completely into the rear compartment.
Aluminum 18-inch wheels are installed. Equipped with coil-over Bilstein monotube shock absorbers, the Sky has a four-wheel-independent suspension. Riding a 95.1-inch wheelbase, the two-seater is 161.1 inches long overall and stands 49.8 inches tall. Front-to-rear weight distribution is close to 50/50, and the Sky weighs approximately 2,860 pounds.
The Sky's driver-focused, two-seat interior features a blend of piano black and chrome finishes. Leather upholstery is available. GM's OnStar communication system will be offered.
Under the Hood
The Sky's 2.4-liter four-cylinder delivers an estimated 170 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and a projected 162 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. An Aisin five-speed-manual gearbox with a short-throw shifter is standard, and a five-speed-automatic transmission is optional.
All-disc antilock brakes are standard.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Joe Wiesenfelder||Cars.com National||June 20, 2006|
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|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||March 4, 2007|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||December 15, 2006|
|Mark Glover||The Sacramento Bee||September 22, 2006|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||August 5, 2006|
|Dan Neil||Los Angeles Times||August 2, 2006|
|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||July 5, 2006|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||June 15, 2006|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||June 4, 2006|
|Anita Lienert||The Detroit Newspapers||May 31, 2006|
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