Production of '09 Saturn Outlooks Start in June

Car and Driver reports that Saturn will changeover production of its eight-passenger Outlook crossover utility to new 2009 models in June. Among the changes is a new 3.6L V6 powerplant with direction injection (DI) that will reportedly deliver some terrific fuel economy figures. The new engine will generate about 15 more horsepower and is rumored to get a better EPA mileage rating than the non-DI 3.6L found in today's Outlooks. How much better? A recent story published in Business Week says that an upcoming Saturn print ad for the Outlook will tout that the vehicle's highway fuel mileage will jump to 27 miles per gallon.

We were confused when we learned the all-new 2009 Chevrolet Traverse would launch in September with GM's direct-injection 3.6-liter V6. After all, the Traverse is designed to be the high-volume, entry-level model in the midsize crossover architecture (Lambda) family. Yet its more expensive cousins, in ascending order of price: the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave are on the road without DI. Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager, clears it up for us. The Traverse, to be built at the Saturn Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, does not go on sale until September. In June, GM will launch the 2009 models of the other three with — you guessed it — direct injection. The current trio is built at the Delta Township plant near Lansing, Michigan.

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Saturn Teases with Aura Tidbits

In addition to announcing the name of Saturn's upcoming midsize sport-utility, Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak also confirmed that Saturn's 2007 midsize sedan, scheduled to enter production during summer 2006, will carry the name "Aura." The new sedan takes its name from the acclaimed concept car that also heavily influenced its interior and exterior design.