Time was when the automaker Saturn was just owned by General Motors. This wholly-owned set-up seems to have changed its course and today, it's a regular division and there is a lot of hype going around about its latest offering which will hit the road next year, that is in the spring of 2007. Towards the end of the last century, a series of cars began to roll out of this plant at Tennessee. The name was unusual and the cars that rolled out were quite unlike the usual GM offerings. This was a wholly-owned company but somehow managed to have an identity of its own, very different from its parent company's Detroit culture.
Their "S" series of cars began to roll out of their showrooms pretty fast thanks to their pricing which made people want to go and buy. The cars were available in sedan, coupe and wagon models and they were compact, well-engineered and low-priced. They were primarily meant to stand up to the Japanese cars and the way they were taking over markets all over the world. With time, the "S" series was phased out and in came the ION series as well as the "L" series. The ION series was compact while the "L" series was a larger car which was based on an Opel model and was later replaced by the RELAY, a crossover vehicle which was a 7-seater.
Saturn also brought in the VUE which was an SUV which they still roll out today. However, it did not add up to enough to pose any competition worth its while to the other cars in the market. Up till now.
Today they have a car on the anvil that is already generating excitement though it is poised for roll-out only next spring. Why this hype? The car will be a two-seater roadster. Very much like the Honda S2000 Roadster, both in looks and size, Saturn Sky will come with a soft top that can be manually operated, 18" alloy wheels, leather bucket seats, a clamshell hood with a reverse opening and 4-wheel anti-locking brakes.
The engine will be a 2.4 170hp I4 and it will come in both the 5-speed automatic transmission or manual options. The price? It is expected to be high as it is a high-end product, with an up market target audience in mind. It is expected that around 12,000 will roll out a year and the price would be in the region of $25,000. Is this the beginning of a new road for Saturn? Till now, the image was that of a company that was low-priced, safe and possibly staid.
New models seem to be on the anvil if reports are to be believed. All we can say is that the company seems to have jumped tracks somewhere along the way and seems to be heading into a new world with a new brand image to guide it along. In today's world, it could only be a harbinger of great things to come!.
More information about the Saturn Sky