Saturn's 2009 Sky Roadster Remains a Head-Turner, Not a Money Burner

2009 Saturn Sky

Saturn's popular Sky roadster, the first Saturn model in the brand's aggressive product renaissance, emphasizes a bold, European-inspired look and fun, responsive driving. The affordable performance roadster enters its third model year of wooing enthusiasts who want a sports car that doesn't break the bank. Built on GM's global rear-wheel-drive compact performance platform, the Sky features a striking profile and sophisticated interior design. For 2009, Saturn adds three new colors, a new wheel and enhanced OnStar technology with Bluetooth hands-free telephone connectivity. Two new promotional packages also are added.


The Sky has the muscle to back up its bold styling. It is equipped with a 2.4L DOHC Ecotec engine with variable valve timing, producing 173 horsepower and 167 lb.-ft. of torque. It also features electronic throttle control (ETC) for remarkably precise engine control and response. Powering the Red Line performance model is an Ecotec turbocharged 2.0L engine, the most powerful production engine in the Ecotec family. It produces 260 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 to 5,250 rpm, making it GM's highest specific output engine ever at 2.1 horsepower per cubic inch of displacement (130 hp).


Both Sky and Sky Red Line are equipped with a five-speed Aisin manual transmission with a short-throw shifter. A five-speed automatic is available. Sky models equipped with the five-speed manual transmission have a torque beam to reduce noise, vibration and harshness by isolating noise associated with abrupt torque transfer away from the passenger compartment.

Bold, Dynamic Exterior

With a commanding road presence and stance; sharp lines; and a clean, sleek surface, the Sky offers a distinctly European look. Decorative hood vents emphasize its dynamic performance character and accentuate its long dash-to-axle appearance. The Sky's design was inspired by the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept, created at GM's Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham, England. Sky was the first revitalized Saturn model to wear the brand's new face, a pronounced fender peak and a bold, chrome bar that carries an integrated Saturn badge.

For 2009, Sky gets new, 18-inch by 8-inch five-spoke painted aluminum alloy wheels (polished or carryover wheels with chrome finish are available). Sky Red Line gets a polished aluminum alloy wheel with an optional chrome wheel (interim '09 model year). Also for 2009, Evening Blue, Ruby Red and a promotional color in limited availability, Hydro Blue, replace Midnight Blue, Bluestone and Carbon Flash as exterior color choices.

Two new promotional packages, the Ruby Red Limited Edition and the Hydro Blue Limited Edition, include a new 18-inch split-spoke aluminum alloy wheel.

Driver-Focused Interior

Premium materials and integrated controls and displays create an upscale feel. Creative use of contemporary, upscale black and chrome finishes combines with available leather seats and technical grains to emphasize richness and precision. Customers can personalize the Sky with their choice of unique interior/exterior color combinations, instead of the prescribed factory combinations. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on all Sky models, and a leather shift knob is included with the premium trim package on the manual-equipped 2.4L model. It remains standard on the manual-equipped Sky Red Line.

Audio System and Bluetooth Connectivity

The standard audio system in the Sky features a six-speaker AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 capability, as well as speed-compensated volume, automatic tone control, TheftLock and Radio Data System. A Monsoon 225-watt, seven-speaker system is available. An interim '09 model year enhancement includes an available new radio that includes a USB port on the face plate that can interface with an iPod or other mass storage device.

The OnStar system on 2009 Saturn Sky models includes Bluetooth hands-free telephone connectivity. It's standard on Sky Red Line and available on the roadster when the Premium Trim Package is ordered.

Ride and Handling

Sky uses a hydroformed tube structure for an extremely strong and rigid chassis, especially for a convertible. With its purpose-built chassis, Sky looks the part of a true sports car and has all the stiffness and torsional rigidity necessary to make it a nimble, fun-to-drive roadster for the enthusiast driver.

Sky's suspension was engineered to optimize ride without compromising handling. Key design elements enabling the Sky's impressive handling include a short-long arm suspension featuring forged aluminum control arms, Bilstein monotube shocks and hollow stabilizer bars with ball joint sockets. The result is impressive handling with high lateral acceleration capability and minimum body roll.

The vehicle's power rack-and-pinion hydraulic steering system provides the performance expected from a high-end roadster or sports sedan. The system exhibits excellent on-center feel and minimal lag, enabling the driver to feel closely connected to the road. The result is a vehicle that is precise, yet easy to drive.

Brakes and Wheels

The Sky's standard four-wheel disc braking system is designed to provide optimal driver feedback. The power-assisted dual-diagonal brake system features 11.7-inch ventilated front and 10.9-inch solid rear discs. Working together, these components yield a responsive, solid and linear braking feel with minimal pedal travel. In addition, Sky has a standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) with dynamic rear proportioning (DRP). DRP, or electronic brake distribution, provides superior braking stability by continuously optimizing front/rear brake balance to accommodate a variety of driving conditions, including deceleration, surface traction levels and vehicle loading conditions.

For maximum road grip, the Sky's new 18-inch alloy wheels are shod with Goodyear Eagle high-performance all-season tires that enhance the stance of the car. The combination offers excellent all-season performance, excellent longitudinal grip that contributes to best-in-class stopping distance (60-0 mph in 116 feet) and road-gripping ability with a maximum lateral acceleration of approximately 0.9g.

Continuous Safety

Safety features on the Saturn Sky are designed to provide protection before, during and after a crash. GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability control and a limited-slip differential are standard on all Sky models. Sky also offers dual-stage frontal air bags – one in the steering wheel and another in the instrument panel on the passenger side. A standard passenger sensing system (PSS) uses the latest sensing technology to turn the front passenger air bag on or off depending on the size and position of the front-seat passenger.

Other safety and security features include standard OnStar safety and security system; a standard tire pressure monitoring (TPM) system; and a remote keyless entry system including a panic alarm, and engine immobilizer with PASSKey III theft deterrent feature. The OnStar service on all Sky models features available OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers' vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle's stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system's GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Sky Red Line

The Red Line performance model features an Ecotec turbocharged 2.0L engine, GM's first direct-injection offering in North America. It produces 260 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 to 5,250 rpm.

Direct injection technology helps the Ecotec engine produce more power while maintaining the lower fuel consumption of a small displacement port-injected engine. With direct injection, fuel is delivered directly to the combustion chamber to create a more complete burn of the air/fuel mixture. Less fuel is required to produce the equivalent horsepower, especially at normal cruising speeds, than a conventional port-injection combustion system.

The Red Line builds on the strong chassis and equipment of the Sky, with additional hardware – such as a performance-tuned suspension – to increase performance.

The Red Line also features several unique interior and exterior differences compared to the Sky roadster, including dual polished aluminum exhaust outlets and 18-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels. The front lower fascia has unique styling elements, including functional brake cooling vents and a larger mesh pattern in the lower grille for improved air flow. The Red Line's headlamp appearance also is different, with black bezels replacing the Sky's bright finish. The interior features a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, metallic sill plates, leather shift knob, stainless steel pedal covers, Red Line-specific gauges and a digital boost gauge included in the Driver Information Center.

Source: Saturn

Random Article from the Archives

Movie Trailer: Megan Fox Behind the Wheel of a Saturn Astra in the Upcoming "Transformers" Sequel

If you haven't already seen the latest trailer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, you can watch it below. But pay close attention. In addition to the fleet of GM-inspired AutoBots vehicles featured in the movie, there's also a silver 5-door Saturn Astra that plays an unknown role in the film.