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Old 02-12-2000, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default Future Models

I really don't know what kind of market exists for the following vehicles, but these seem like they might be cool variants of Saturn's cars:

A performance version of the LS2 (similar to the Taurus SHO) with a 5 speed available!

An AWD version of the wagons similar to the Subaru Outback.

A Saturn SC2 with more than 124 hp! (I realize that any hp increase will probably have to wait for the Delta platform and maybe a turbo version of the L850.)

An L series coupe? I've seen a decent number of Accord and Camry Solara coupes out there, but I don't know how well they sell.

I hope the SUV has something to distinguish it from the crowd, since Saturn is making a late entry into an extremely crowded market.

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Old 02-21-2000, 11:03 PM   #2
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You've hit on a great point. It's hard to be different when you're 10th out the door with a mid-size sedan, a minivan or an SUV.

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Old 02-22-2000, 12:39 AM   #3
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Yes, very true. Regarding my suggestion of a performance version of the LS2: It seems that the current V-6 performs quite well, so all I think they need to do is make a 5 speed available with the V-6 for those who want it.

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Old 02-22-2000, 12:45 AM   #4
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Since it is indeed more difficult to be "different" when introducing a new product to an already crowded market, isn't it that much more important to be BETTER than the competition. I'd be very surprised if GM lacked the engineering prowess to design and build a car with the refinement and reliability of the best import competitors.

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Old 03-10-2000, 08:28 PM   #5
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Probably zero chance of this happening, but I'd like a light utility vehicle, e.g. sort of having pickup capability, but also serving as a small van.

Conceptually, this would be a small van/wagon with the capability of removing the back seats and the back 2/3rds and upper 2/3rds of the van body to convert to an open bed hauler - much like you can remove a pickup topper from a pickup.

Sell the product on ease of maintenance, durability (with the plastic body panels), utility, longevity.

But please make the box wide enough to put a 4 foot wide sheet of plywood in between the back wheel wells. You could make it front wheel drive if you wish - that could mean many of the current major assemblies could be reused w/ minimal reengineering.

The engineering challenges of this vehicle are truly phenomenal, but you'd certainly have a unique machine in a unique market.

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Old 03-24-2000, 07:23 PM   #6
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Ok, I'll beat my dead horse and say again that I think it is important to
try and get people hooked on Saturn as early as possible, so some sort of
model with ultra appeal to teenagers (and their parents) is important.

Sell the kids on cuteness or coolness, and the parents on safety, economy,
and good insurance rates. Although I don't advocate any too close copy,
some role models could be the Civic 3-door hatchback or the VW New Beetle.
Of course, aspects of the current rage, the PT Cruiser should be considered
as well. I think the current group of Ford Focus models are not overly
attractive, but the 3 door hatch does seem to have many of the good attributes
for a teen-mobile. Maximum afforability would be great too, hopefully even
undercutting the base SL in price.

To be different I'd love to see something along the lines of a three-door,
_three pasenger_ coupe. It'd have the appeal of a two-seater, but hopefully
would avoid the adverse insurance implications. If it looked like the
1979 Chevy Tandem concept car, it wouldn't hurt, although I don't know if
that one's doors would do.
See: http://www.comclin.net/humphrey/bunny/tandem.htm

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Old 03-24-2000, 07:25 PM   #7
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Oh, and based on my discussions with those that have had glimpses inside
Saturn facilities, a 5-speed LS2 and a 4WD or AWD LW2 are not out of the
question.

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Old 03-29-2000, 01:55 PM   #8
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Man, Id love a LS coupe V6 5-spd.

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Old 03-29-2000, 11:58 PM   #9
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How many V6 sedans can you get in a manual transmission? Hmmmm, there's the Maxima... I know you CAN'T on an Accord, Camry, Impala, or Malibu. Saturn, let's be different! Go with the 5sp V6. There's not a large market, but there isn't much choice!

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Old 03-30-2000, 08:27 PM   #10
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I think there is a version of the Accord V-6 with a 5 speed.
And even more to the point, I think the Saab 9-5, which uses a
turbo-charged version of the 3.0L V-6 can be had with a manual
as well.

I believe Olds is going to do another 5 speed with the Alero, but I
don't know if that is for a V-6.

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Old 03-31-2000, 12:09 AM   #11
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Humpman, you're correct on all 3 accounts, however, the V6 accord with a manual tranny is not sold in the US. The saab 9-5 3.o V6 turbo is sold with a 5 speed, however my opinion is that it is to costly a tranny for saturn or that GM doesn't want a cheaper saturn 9-5. Also the alero is offered with a 5 speed, however only on the 4 cylinders.

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Old 03-31-2000, 03:25 PM   #12
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Hmm, Autoweek, in the sidebar on their LS review, quoted Accord V-6 5 speed
times, so I figured they must have tested one in the U.S.

I read something about the Alero recently that gave me the impression that
they were going to eventually make good on a pledge to put a 5spd V-6 model
in their lineup. But I don't remember where that was.

I've also had a report from somebody who has seen a 5spd LS2 in a Saturn
facility up in Michigan, so I have high hopes...

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Old 04-01-2000, 01:09 AM   #13
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Great!! I'd love to see a 5 speed V6, I'd trade my LS2 in a heartbeat for one of those. But if they are having a hard time trying to find a manual tranny, and not going to use the Saab 9-5's, ect.. maybe they should try the Opel Vectra 2.5 V6 5 speed. I don't know if it could handle the power, but it has to be able to handle more than the current manual tranny offered on the LS1.

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Old 05-03-2000, 11:40 PM   #14
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I'm not sure if this is true, but I read one article saying that the 5 speed in the Saab 9-5 is the same transmission in the 4cyl Saturn L's. If this is true it should be no work at all offering it with the same V-6 it's mated to in the Saab, albeit without a turbo.

As for new vehicle ideas, I bet that whatever you call a PT Cruiser will become a popular platform. In a way its similar the the Focus wagon-a tall, vertically seated vehicle with a small foot-print, only more so. I think Saturn would be best to develop something in this new catagory than be the last entrant into the SUV fad (esp considering higher gas prices).

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