Aura Expected to be More Powerful than Comparable Accord, Camry

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A draft version of this story was posted for a few hours in the middle of the night earlier today; it was immediately pulled when I woke up this morning. It contained some bits of erroneous powertrain information that should have not been included in the article; Saturn had previously announced the Aura's powertrain options last summer. The original story should have never been moved to public view on this site, and I apologize for any confusion that it might have caused.

SaturnFans.com has learned that the 2007 Saturn Aura midsize sedan, which is planned to be unveiled next week at the New York International Auto Show, will initially be offered in two trim levels: XE and XR. This nomenclature is consistent with a teaser photo that was released last summer for the upcoming Outlook sport-utility. In the picture, beneath the left rear taillight was an emblem that read "Outlook XE."

While all this is speculative at this time, multiple sources say that both Aura models will feature V6 powerplants. The Aura XE will reportedly get a 230hp 3.5 High Value V6 with variable valve timing, while the XR variant will be motivated by 250+hp 3.6 L VVT High Feature V6 mated to a 6-speed transmission. Incidentally, the latter engine may end up offering more horsepower than either of the V6s available in the Honda Accord or the all-new Toyota Camry. A 4-cylinder hybrid-electric Aura Green Line version is rumored for 2008. The Aura will feature "Euro-inspired precision-tuned hydraulic steering," according to Saturn General Manager, Jill Ladjziak.

Pricing for the 6-cylinder XE model is said to be competitive with 4-cylinder Accords and Camrys. Those who have seen the production version of the car say it looks stunning. The interior is very similar to the concept; both leather and cloth seating arrangements will be offered. The exterior of the production Aura supposedly receives a few minor – very minor – changes, most notably in the front-end. It is believed that Saturn is saving some of the styling flair featured on Aura concept for the rumored upcoming Red Line model.

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