Thursday, March 30, 2006

GM To Debut Saturn Sky Red Line, More At NYIAS

2007 Saturn Sky Red Line

Big noise from GM today, as they announce the list of NY passenger car debuts headed for next month's NY Int'l Auto Show. Bob Lutz is pumped, and with good reason.

Headlining the roster is the Saturn Sky Red Line, which shares the 260-horsepower 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder that made its debut in the Pontiac Solstice GXP. I made my feelings about the Saturn Sky clear last week after seeing one on the road, so the introduction of the Red Line variant is excellent news.

For enthusiasts, GM now has two very compelling reasons (Sky and Solstice) to leave the excellent Mazda MX-5 Miata on the dealer lot, particularly if buying American is a factor in the purchasing decision. What a huge win for consumers looking for a true roadster experience. In the space of a year, we have seen the market add two stylish, desirable, and above all, affordable American entrants.

2007 Saturn Aura and Saturn Outlook

New York will also see the unveiling of the production version of the Saturn Aura sedan and the all-new Outlook SUV (a teaser image of which was released by GM a while back.)

The Opel Vectra-based Aura brings a healthy dose of style to Saturn, showing that GM didn't use it all up on the Sky.

The Outlook SUV slots above the existing Vue, and presumably continues the trend of bringing some panache to the Saturn brand. Really, the only problem GM has now with Saturn will be getting consumers to (Yoda voice) "unlearn what they have learned" when it comes to the brand.

Saturn had kinda become synonymous with bland (the defunct SL cars) and ugly (the horrific Ion). All that looks like it's over now--so much so that I'm actually looking forward to seeing the eventual Ion and Vue ('08) replacements.

Pontiac G6 GXP Concept

GM's performance division will show a concept version of the Pontiac G6 coupe that is powered by a 3.9L 270-horsepower V6. The G6 GXP is also lower and generally more agressive than the standard G6. GM will use the G6 GXP concept to gauge the public's interest in such a car. No decision has been made yet on whether or not to bring it into production.

Considering that I have yet to see a G6 Coupe on the road, I don't exactly have high hopes for a production GXP coupe. Stick the GXP package on the attractive sedan instead, or better yet, give it to the hardtop convertible instead of the regular coupe.

Saab Aero X American Debut

Finally, GM confirmed that the astounding Saab Aero X concept will make its North American debut at New York.

Press Release

All photos courtesy of General Motors