Saturn Van, Convertible to be Unveiled in '04 has learned that Saturn is planning two major vehicle debuts during the upcoming 2004 auto show season. While the exact timing of the unveilings has yet to be determined, sources indicate that it's more a matter of when, not if the debuts will occur. The latest rumors suggest that the 2005 Relay crossover sport van (CSV) will be unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in January, followed by an all-new Saturn convertible concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Relay, which is expected to go on sale in the fall of 2004, will be Saturn's first entry into the highly competitive minivan market. Incidentally, it will also test the public's acceptance of a steel-bodied Saturn. The Relay will not only be the first Saturn built without polymer body-side panels, but it will also be manufactured along side GM's other minivans from Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Buick. The front of the so-called CSVs are said to resemble SUVs with sliding driver- and passenger-side rear doors.

Even bigger news is a Saturn convertible concept that is expected to be shown at the Detroit auto show. Rumored to be dubbed "Signal," the rear-wheel-drive sports car will reportedly be based on GM's upcoming Kappa architecture. The Signal will build upon the success of Saturn's Sky concept, while leveraging the engineering and development that GM has already invested in the Pontiac Solstice. Not coincidentally, GM is expected to announce production of a new generation of rear-wheel-drive sports cars at the Detroit show. In addition to Pontiac and Saturn variants, the Chicago Tribune reports that GM's "new RWD lineup, reportedly off the new Kappa platform, will [also] include Chevrolet performance models, such as Chevelle."

Source: Chicago Tribune, Detroit News

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