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Old 08-21-2001, 11:52 AM   #41
dmtsl2
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Amen regarding the polymer! I can't help but wonder whether the lack thereof in the proposed Saturn roadster is being floated as a precursor of things to come for other Saturns to cut costs further and pave the way for eventual rebadging, especially if such moves are transparent to other buyers. I hope not.

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Old 08-21-2001, 10:26 PM   #42
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I think you're getting hung up on the horsepower, and forgetting about the weight! I predict that this car, specs as announced, would run right with that pair - consider this:

Boxster S: 249 hp/225 lb-ft, 2,850lbs curb weight

11.45 lbs/hp
12.67 lbs/lb-ft torque

TT: 225 hp/207 lb-ft, 3,200 lbs curb weight

14.22 lbs/hp
15.46 lbs/lb-ft torque

Sky: 180 hp/190 lb-ft, 2,300 lbs curb weight

12.78 lbs/hp
12.11 lbs/lb-ft torque

I think this thing properly tuned can run with if not beat both of those cars! The power to weight ratio cetainly puts it right in the neighborhood!

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Old 08-22-2001, 07:57 AM   #43
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Not if it's FWD. The TT is AWD and the Boxster is RWD. This gives them a clear edge in handling, as well as 0-60 and 1/4 mile acceleration. Ask any Saab driver. They're FWD, and are really fast at the passing speeds, 30-50, 50-70, but in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile they lag behind competitors, even when they compare favorably in power/weight ratio. They're not slow, but not as fast as the competition. The Viggen for instance has 230hp and 258 lb-ft, but only does 0-60 in the mid 6's. And they cannot hang in the turns with their more sporting competitors.

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Old 08-22-2001, 01:16 PM   #44
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I'm back,
All I have to say is dang this car will smoke its competition. 2300lbs with 180HP and 190TQ! Our much beloved TurboSC2 (Paul's) with 192HP and 180TQ? gets a Boxster S and Audi TT stomping 14.1 on FWD. This car weighs 100lbs less than a late model SC2 and the added weight from the turbo and crap would make the weight difference even greater. This car should be able to get around 6.1 seconds and 13.9 in the quarter! We are talking hanging with V8 Mustangs, Firebirds, and Camaro's.
Hopefully the price will stay under $25k to sell like mad. Anyone see the new class groupings for the DOHC Saturn in SCCA. It's lightweight makes it even with 160+HP cars in it's class. My bet is on the sky in a stock car road race up against a heavy azz Boxster S or especially that ugly TT. We can add the Z3 to the list of slower roadsters.
Do we know that it will be FWD anyway?

Get rid of the stupid center console.
3rd door is fine.
Make it look aggressive like the coupes not like a pansy bubble car.
Make it in that bright blue, yellow, black, red, silver, orange, and surprise us with something really far out. This way we get old school and new school. Ala my Yellow Coupe.
Up the boost a hair to get a very reliable 200HP and 210TQ S2000 and pony car stomper!
Remember that this roadster sits 4 and weighs only 100 more than a MR2, 100 less than a Miata, and has way more power! These other cars could easily weight a 100+ more with the extra power alone and still only sit 2!

Dayle founder of SRC
Saturn Racing Club the tri-state club with some hard core members in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma in only just a couple months.

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Old 08-22-2001, 05:59 PM   #45
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I sort of laugh everytime I see those VW commercials where a guy tackles a shopping cart before it hits his car -- dont really have to worry about things hitting my car. Infact, i routinely rub off paint that people have chipped off their own cars when they try to ding my doors.

Even though the marketing campaigns have pretty much milked the plastic panel concept for all its worth, it would be funny if saturn mocked their stupid commercials :-) The guy could just sit back and smile as random car doors, shopping cars, etc. hit the side panels.

Quote:
dmtsl2 (08-21-2001 11:52 a.m.):
Amen regarding the polymer! I can't help but wonder whether the lack thereof in the proposed Saturn roadster is being floated as a precursor of things to come for other Saturns to cut costs further and pave the way for eventual rebadging, especially if such moves are transparent to other buyers. I hope not.

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Old 08-22-2001, 06:09 PM   #46
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Quote:
The guy could just sit back and smile as random car doors, shopping cars, etc. hit the side panels.
Until one of those shopping carts hits the steel rear quarter panels on his Saturn L and leaves a ding.

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Old 08-22-2001, 06:26 PM   #47
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Yes, that is true. Although statistically, the incoming object would more likely hit the plastic panels :-)

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Old 08-22-2001, 06:36 PM   #48
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True, but the steel panel is a little more than a quarter of the side profile. That's statiscally still about 25-30% chance of an object causing a ding.

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Old 08-22-2001, 07:45 PM   #49
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Good thing the most common cause of a ding is a door, hence the term, door ding. When cars are parked side by side, whether facing the same way or the opposite way, the doors are usually close to each other. It is pretty tough for a door opening to hit the rear quarter panel.

The bumpers of the L reach around underneath the quarterpanels so from behind the rear wheels back, the first thing to hit is the bumper, not the panel. The only area of real bad luck would be to hit right above the rear wheels, but this area is only about 15% of the size of the side. The large cargo capacity of the L is one of its competitive edges and making the quarter panel out of plastic would have meant a much smaller trunk or a much weaker car in rear end collisions.

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Old 08-22-2001, 07:55 PM   #50
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Quote:
The large cargo capacity of the L is one of its competitive edges and making the quarter panel out of plastic would have meant a much smaller trunk or a much weaker car in rear end collisions.
How is it that GM managed to have plastic panels all the way around on its first generation minivans? Was there a significant interior room penalty?

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Old 08-22-2001, 08:28 PM   #51
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The lack of polymer rear panels is more likely because the L uses the Opel Vectra's frame than anything with trunkspace.

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Old 08-22-2001, 09:34 PM   #52
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01SC2&91SCDRAGRACE,

the reason it will "supposedly" weigh less than the miata is because the miata has a driveshaft running from the front to back. I would take any Miata over this SKY on a track anyday and feel fairly confident. Why dont they dig up some parts and make it RWD? Give us the catera with polymer panels and then I will praise Saturn! (only problem with the catera is weight, which the polymer would hopefully solve) Why is Saturn so behind all the time? First they were last with their SUV now their considering the convertibles? Maybe I'm wrong but I think even a wagon version of the catera would sell better than this SKY. Also, whoever loves the t-bird better not live on an icy road or a place where it rains often. That car is a mammoth by todays standards and I doubt any tires could hold it to the road. Also, if your going to get an incredibly heavy car why wouldn't you want a sedan? Ford's coming out with that Mercrury Merauder or whatever and I think thats a little more realistic than the t-bird for regular driving. Also, anyone remember the early 90's t-birds? I heard the guys who designed that car all got demoted. Why? because it weighed more than a house, only had two doors, and despite a V8 it couldn't get out of it's own way. I would hope that considering everything I've mentioned, it would click in a designers head that a lightweight RWD sedan or wagon that costs less than the Beemer is needed. I'll restate my advice to GM, give Saturn the Catera with polymer panels in a sedan and wagon form. Drop the L Series, replace it with this new Catera for the same, or slightly higher, price. Possibly around $24k or $25k for the base model?


Kerry

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Old 08-22-2001, 10:24 PM   #53
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Jeff:

Two comments: First, if you check the C&D review of the Viggen, you'll see part of the reason for the slow acceleration times was a balky shifter, which has nothing to do with FWD or RWD or AWD, just a lousy shifter! You're not going to get snappy acceleration runs with a crappy shifter, regardless of power or drivetrain. Second, the 6.5 is still better than the TT by about 1/2 second (6.9-7.2 according to C&D), so it sits about dead center between the Boxster and TT on acceleration runs.

Another comment: 180 hp isn't excessive for FWD, I've got 182 hp through my FWD! The Viggen's power to weight ratio is a bit worse than the SKY, too...

Oh, and Saturn was given accolades for the much better than Saab shifter in the LS1 5 Speed reviewed by C&D, so we probably won't have that problem in the SKY! 8-)

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Old 08-23-2001, 12:53 AM   #54
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How about giving the L-series the 5-speed automatics that GM ships to BMW for the 5-series? And Getrag for sticks?

Wishful thinking...

If handling neutrality is a concern, how about making it a mid-engine RWD? It would probably destroy Saturn's reputation for cars that are easy to work on, but hey...anybody who can appreciate the fine handling should also be able to appreciate the elbow grease. Nobody buys a Boxster for the sake of it being easy to work on.

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Old 08-23-2001, 03:30 AM   #55
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[quote][
If handling neutrality is a concern, how about making it a mid-engine RWD?

JUST USE THE EXISTING OPEL SPEEDSTER!!!

Quote:
[
It would probably destroy Saturn's reputation for cars that are easy to work on, but hey...anybody who can appreciate the fine handling should also be able to appreciate the elbow grease. Nobody buys a Boxster for the sake of it being easy to work on.
If it were a four cylinder, it would be easy to work on. I used to own a Fiero, and aside from accessing the clutch/tranny combo(which BTW, is no easier on any FWD car) the car was a breeze to work on...not that I needed to much. That car got a bad rap from the media if you ask me. It never left me hanging, got good mileage, handled well, and you couldn't dent it. Styling was great...engine performance...well, that sucked. 2.5 Liters and only 95Hp. Pathetic. And they did eat up rear tires rather quickly, then again, I imagine most rear engine cars chew tires faster.

The engine choice was another case of GM stupidity. Instead of putting in the high reving quad four in its 190HP form, they use the overwieght, mediocre 2.8L V6 as the "performance" engine.

There are times I wish the Corvette would get killed. Its stymied every other divisions attemps at making serious performance cars. Not everone can swing 45K for a new Vette, but think how much performance a 220HP SC could deliver....at 22K, you'd probably twice as many SC's as you do Vettes. And the same people who buy the Vette still would. The same faulty logic will sabotage the SKY, if it should even get built. It end up being an even duller looking convertible version of the standard Delta coupe, with a lousy 110HP engine, and enough "friendly" styling(read "weak") and useless interior dodads to drive away everyone...GM will then say, see, there's NO market for a "performance Saturn Roadster"...now go back to making the same four doors that only fools who care bout safety and friendly dealers.

Sorry, that's how I feel about Saturn and GM lately. The BRAND marketing is sooooo crude, simplistic, unsophisticated, its almost on a dumbed down "shapes and colors" level. Saturn got soooo screwed.

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Old 08-23-2001, 07:40 AM   #56
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re. FWD vs. AWD & RWD Don't forget that when a car lauches, the weight shifts towards the back (notice how the nose lifts when you accelerate), so you lose a lot of your traction at the front wheels. And if you're sending 190 lb-ft of turbo torque to those wheels at 2,000 rpm, they're not going to find much in the way of grip. A RWD or AWD car is much less likely to encounter a situation like this. In fact the Viggen's computer limits the amount of boost the turbo produces in 1st and 2nd gears because of this, if all that power was delivered in 1st and 2nd, the wheel spin and torque steer would be more pronounced than they already are.

I'm not saying a FWD car can't be fast, or that 180hp is "too much". Clearly they can be, but if we're talking performance, including handling, braking, and acceleration, then undeniably RWD or AWD cars have an inherent advantage.

And for all this talk about the Sky being so lightweight, I for one do not see how a production 4 seater convertible, even a small one, could possibly weigh only 2300 lbs. My '92 SC is the lightest of all Saturns, and I think it's about 2200. The Miata's only a tiny two seater and it weighs close to 2400. And the Sky is 10" longer than the Miata.

I guess we'll all just have to wait and see what happens. Odds are this thing won't ever see the showroom

Jeff

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Old 08-23-2001, 07:48 AM   #57
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Quote:
KerryrreK (08-22-2001 11:59 p.m.):

I'll restate my advice to GM, give Saturn the Catera with polymer panels in a sedan and wagon form. Drop the L Series, replace it with this new Catera for the same, or slightly higher, price. Possibly around $24k or $25k for the base model?
Kerry
I'm OK with the Catera suggestion, Kerry but your idea of using it to replace the L is not practical. For many people $5,000 is a lot of money. $19 to $20,000 buys a nicely equipped L200. A car with a base price of $25,000 takes you into a very different market. A Saturn Catera clone would be mostly targeted at a very different buyer than the average L owner.

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Old 08-23-2001, 09:45 AM   #58
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Unless the car is rear engined, I don't want to drive a RWD ever again. Having little or no weight over the drive wheels doesn't make any sense. RWD is good if you are driving a hauling/towing vehicle which puts the weight back there. Sure, there are some pros to having the steering wheels separate from the drive wheels but not enough to outweight the cons when there is no weight over the drivers, IMO. Racing FE/RWD cars have HUGE wings on the back to try to get some traction out of the <blah> things and they still wreck them like they're a dime a dozen (sad to see a brand new Firebird or Vette slam into the concrete wall but most people cheer when they see it). The reason there are fewer sand boxes on the side of the road these winters is because of the good idea of putting most of the weight over the drive wheels.

Most front-engined AWD cars send at most 20-30% of the power to the back wheels and rightly so with so little weight over them. For those of us that only drive in deep snow on the odd day that we're out before the plows, AWD seems like an unnecessarily heavy and expensive thing to have for the rest of the year (I probably would have got a Subaru wagon instead of my LW200 if I'd thought otherwise). True, in a performance roadster where fast starts will spin the front wheels in a FWD car, it makes sense to put some power to the back but if Saturn wants this roadster to be an affordable car for youth, then a good AWD system is probably not in the picture.

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Old 08-23-2001, 10:03 AM   #59
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Every real, all-around performance car in existence is RWD or AWD. This is the optimum setup for performance. A FWD car will have more weight over the drive wheels, the only thing this is good for is low speed, poor weather traction. That's it. 50-50 front to back balance is ideal for handling, and no FWD car comes close to that. They're all usually in the 65/35 range. For dry pavement performance there's no comparison. And saying that racing cars have big wings to keep them under control isn't a relevant point when talking about passenger cars. They only wreck them "like they're a dime a dozen" because they're pushing them to the outer limits of their performance envelope, which is already way ahead of any FWD cars. Fact is, a FWD car couldn't even come close to the performance of those race cars. It's apples to oranges.

In general, if you have a similarly sized and powered FWD vs. RWD cars, the FWD'r simply will not be able to hang on the track with the RWD car. It will be spinning out of control long before the RWD car. For instance a Saab 9-3 (which I love and may buy) vs. a BMW 325. The Saab just couldn't keep up, and test after test confirms this.

All that said, if I'm buying a family sedan, FWD is just fine. But if we're talking about making a real performance coupe, convertible, or sports sedan, then it's gotta be AWD or RWD. Think about the best examples that are currently available. The budget roadsters Miata and MR2, the poor man's supercar Corvette Z06, the poor man's Corvette, the Camaro and Firebird, the sport sedans of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. All RWD or AWD.

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Old 08-23-2001, 10:51 AM   #60
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Begs the question then, Jeff: why would you buy a Saab 9-3 instead of a BMW 325?

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