Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Saturn: No Replacement Set For Ion

Saturn Ion Red Line

Autoweek reports that Saturn has killed the planned replacement for the Ion entry-level sedan and coupe, creating a scenario where dealers aren't going to have a starter model for a number of months after the Ion goes to the junkyard in the sky.

Given that the Ion is one of the ugliest cars ever produced by General Motors, I doubt many people will lament its departure. Since GM is going to have to swallow this bitter pill no matter what, they may as well get the replacement car right. AW is saying that Opel Astra speculation has already begun. This should be a no-brainer.

Saturn Ion Sedan

Saturn GM Jill Lajdziak is being noncommital, saying only that Saturn is looking for "a collaboration." At NYIAS last week, Bob Lutz confirmed what was quickly becoming obvious when he said that product-wise, Saturn and Opel are effectively joined at the hip going forward.

The Astra makes complete sense, then.

It's good-looking and is available as a 3-door, 5-door, station wagon and hardtop coupe/convertible (known as the TwinTop). The 3-door Astra GTC could provide Saturn with a hot hatch that would do just fine in Red Line trim.

Red Line, anyone? Opel Astra GTC

This is an opportunity that GM cannot afford to screw up. Bring the Astra here as the Ion replacement. It'll be worth the extra few months wait.

For more, check out Autoblog's post (and ensuing comment thread) on this topic.

Opel Astra TwinTop

Opel Astra Station Wagon

Official Sites:

Source: Autoweek
Photos: GM