Turbo Four-Cylinder to be Offered in Future Aura?

Late last month Leftlane News published spy photos of the next-generation Buick LaCrosse, which will be built on the same GM global midsize architecture as the 2010 Saturn Aura. What made the camouflaged photos unique was not necessarily the photos themselves, but the powertrain reportedly being tested under the hood of the car: the Saturn Sky Red Line's 260hp 2.0L turbocharged I4. General Motors and Saturn are actively looking into ways of boosting vehicle fuel economy in the face of higher gas prices without sacrificing much performance. Smaller turbocharged powerplants in larger vehicles are expected to become more and more prevalent in the near future.

GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told Leftlane that such a model was under development at the 2008 New York Auto Show, and these photos appear to be confirmation. According to the car's wrap sheet, it's powered by a 260 horsepower engine and weighs about 300 pounds less than the Pontiac G8 GT. Despite the engine being in a car that is "seemingly way too big," Lutz says the engine "[feels] just great." The combination of the smaller displacement engine — which is a third of the size of the Pontiac GT's 6.0L V8 — and lighter curb weight could see the these sedans post fuel economy numbers in the low 30s.

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