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Old 07-26-2008, 10:53 AM   #1
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Default Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

A new story entry has been added:

Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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AutoWeek magazine reported via its website earlier this week that Saturn will indeed offer a new version of its critically acclaimed and increasingly popular Aura sedan. For awhile now, it has been widely believed that the next Aura would be a rebadged version of the GM Epsilon II-based Opel and Vauxhall Insignia, which was just unveiled at the London Motor Show.

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Old 07-26-2008, 12:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

It indeed would be a very smart move to give buyers choices of powertrains in the new Aura. People will be able to evaluate both costs and their driving patterns to configure the vehicle to best fit their budget and needs. I also hope they do make the Aura look different from the other GM versions of this vehicle. That would certainly reduce the frequent re-badging criticism often directed at GM.

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Old 07-26-2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

I can't imagine it takes 2-3 years to slap on some new fenders and grill on the Aura. In 2-3 years while Aura's competitors will have newer improved platforms, the Aura will just have a cheap makeover...

New engines may help, but the Aura's chassis is overweight. This reduces the gains of more efficient power plants.

Bob Lutz must realize that the Aura doesn't sell enough to warrant an updated chassis...

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Last edited by BobbyP; 07-26-2008 at 02:16 PM..

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Old 07-26-2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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New engines may help, but the Aura's chassis is overweight. This reduces the gains of more efficient power plants.
The XR is definitely on the high end. It does look like getting a 4 cylinder does save about 200 lbs


Dimensions: Exterior & Cargo

With this chart, you can easily see a model's exterior dimensions, turning circle, weight, and cargo capacity. To sort models by a specification, click on the top of that column.

Exterior & cargo | Seating capacity
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Make/Model Weight lb.
Mazda Mazda6 sedan 3,150
Nissan Altima sedan 2.5 S 4-cyl CVT 3,215
Honda Accord sedan LX-P 4-cyl 3,270
Toyota Camry LE 4-cyl 3,280
Ford Fusion Base 4-cyl 3,320
Mercury Milan Base 4-cyl 3,320
Volkswagen Jetta 3,330
Chrysler Sebring sedan Touring 4-cyl 3,335
Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4-cyl 3,340
Kia Optima EX 4-cyl 3,345
Mazda Mazda6 sedan s V6 3,355
Pontiac G6 sedan Base 4-cyl 3,365
Hyundai Sonata GLS 4-cyl 3,380
Kia Optima EX V6 3,430
Mitsubishi Galant ES 4-cyl 3,430
Nissan Altima sedan 3.5 SE V6 CVT 3,435
Chevrolet Malibu LT 4-cyl 3,460
Volkswagen Passat sedan 2.0T 4-cyl 3,465
Chrysler Sebring sedan Touring V6 1 3,480
Ford Fusion SEL V6 3,480
Mercury Milan SEL V6 3,480
Nissan Altima sedan Hybrid 4-cyl CVT 3,525
Toyota Camry XLE V6 3,530
Pontiac G6 sedan GT V6 3,540
Subaru Legacy sedan 2.5 GT Liited 4-cyl 3,540
Dodge Avenger 3,550
Honda Accord sedan EX-L V6 3,570
Saturn Aura XE V6 3,570
Chevrolet Malibu LTZ V6 3,600
Hyundai Sonata GLS V6 3,605
Volkswagen Passat sedan 3,615
Pontiac Grand Prix 3,630
Toyota Camry Hybrid 4-cyl CVT 3,650
Saturn Aura XR V6 3,670
Mitsubishi Galant GTS V6 3,715

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Old 07-26-2008, 03:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

What does the weight of the existing Aura have to do with a new model based on a new platform? Isn't it a reasonable assumption that with the increasing importance of fuel efficiency, designers and engineers will be seeking ways to reduce weight? I would think the Saturn/GM people would follow that trend for any new product line and a redesigned Aura would be no exception.

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Old 07-26-2008, 03:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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What does the weight of the existing Aura have to do with a new model based on a new platform? Isn't it a reasonable assumption that with the increasing importance of fuel efficiency, designers and engineers will be seeking ways to reduce weight? I would think the Saturn/GM people would follow that trend for any new product line and a redesigned Aura would be no exception.
Reducing weight is difficult if there are new safety regs and people who want cars that are silent on the inside while cruising at 85 MPH.

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Old 07-26-2008, 03:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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What does the weight of the existing Aura have to do with a new model based on a new platform? Isn't it a reasonable assumption that with the increasing importance of fuel efficiency, designers and engineers will be seeking ways to reduce weight? I would think the Saturn/GM people would follow that trend for any new product line and a redesigned Aura would be no exception.
Two major determining factors of a cars gas mileage is it's weight, and it's aerodynamics. The Aura and VUE are overweight in comparison to it's competitors. A new platform is the manufacturers opportunity to correct the weight problem. You have too much trust in Saturn/GM's decision making. Remember they they want to "weather out" the current problems and go back to business as usual...

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Old 07-26-2008, 05:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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A new platform is the manufacturers opportunity to correct the weight problem. You have too much trust in Saturn/GM's decision making. Remember they they want to "weather out" the current problems and go back to business as usual...
I'm not nearly as pessimistic about GM's chances as some people but my trust in Saturn/GM is largely irrelevant to the outcome. Most of the manufacturers are in a battle for their economic lives as they deal with the reality of increased costs of petroleum based fuel for their customers. No one is going to succeed by "weathering out" anything. They will adjust or die. New designs and technologies will be essential and every manufacturer including GM will have to deal with this. Manufacturers will have to quickly get the right (in terms of design and cost) new products to market and ultimately it will be the marketplace that determines the winners and losers.

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Old 07-26-2008, 11:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

I'm worried about the comments about a new mid-sized product from Saturn. This is making me think the AURA is getting the axe. I sure hope not.

Also, we should cool it on the redesign idea for now.. The car is still a fairly new design, give it some time, and redesign the interior.

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Old 07-27-2008, 12:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

I fear with the budgets getting cut that the current Aura's slow start put it well down the list. It seems that they are going to put a push on Buick's midsize products (along with Chevy) and let Saturn trundle along with the same vehicles that are, in the words of Lutz, not selling up to expectations. Even Mercury is getting some new cars next year but it looks like the Aura will be around in present form for many years to come.

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Old 07-27-2008, 01:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

Hmm. Much of this sounds familiar.

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Old 07-27-2008, 11:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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Hmm. Much of this sounds familiar.
Yup, looks like Saturn's rebirth may just be a re-do of it's birth after all. Give it a bit of attention, then let it stagnate for 10 years while only evolving current product.

I looked at the Opel website and omg the Insignia is a fantastic looking car. If it drives on par with its European competition, then it would be a much nicer car than the current Aura or Malibu (which I really like). The G6 cousin isn't even close (but I do like the looks of the G6 coupe!).

IMHO (shared by MANY over at GM Inside News), this is a tragic mistake, not "re-badging" the Opel Insignia as a Saturn Aura gen2.

BOB, ARE YOU LISTENING??? Why waste all that money and TIME re-engineering a beautiful, amazing-looking car that American buyers LIKE almost universally, to introduce who-knows-what in 3 years????

GM will never survive at this rate, and it really makes me sad.

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Old 07-28-2008, 02:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

If GM keeps going in this direction, I think the stock holders (not me) will demand a higher ROI. That will likely mean GM kills off another brand.
Most likely candidates for getting axed would be
(1) Saturn, (2) Buick, (3) Pontiac (4) GMC (5) Hummer ?
Your pick___________ Other brand? _____________
Why ____________

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Old 07-28-2008, 03:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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If GM keeps going in this direction, I think the stock holders (not me) will demand a higher ROI. That will likely mean GM kills off another brand.
Most likely candidates for getting axed would be
(1) Saturn, (2) Buick, (3) Pontiac (4) GMC (5) Hummer ?
Your pick___________ Other brand? _____________
Why ____________
I'd actually put Hummer first, then GMC, Pontiac and Buick. I've said many times, GM may be down to Chevy and Cadillac by 2020, with perhaps Saturn as the 'global' division selling Opel subcompact, compact and mid-size cars with high fuel economy. The combining of B-P-G is a start, as is the rumor of Saturn possibly being combined with B-P-G. Hide and watch.

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Old 07-29-2008, 02:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

Wow, the Aura is overweight for it's class??? Now, let's look at the FACTS:

(Note - equivilant mid-size 4 door models with V6 and Auto Trans, similarly equiped, stats courtesy of MSN Autos and Edmunds)

Saturn Aura XE - 3529 lbs 18/29 mpg (22/34 best in class 2.4L for 2009)
Honda Accord - 3600 lbs 19/29 mpg
Toyota Camry - 3516 lbs 22/31 mpg
Ford Fusion - 3280 lbs 18/26 mpg
Nissan Altima - 3417 lbs 19/26 mpg
Chrysler Sebring - 3576 lbs 16/26 mpg

Gee, looks like the Aura is world class to me. And styling on the Aura is #1, as we all know. One reason the Euro models weigh less is that they do not have to comply with US Safety standards that add weight. Also, from experience, Euro versions of US-sold models are often not as well sound insulated and have less plush interiors that save weight.

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Old 07-29-2008, 05:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

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Originally Posted by sixsigma View Post
I fear with the budgets getting cut that the current Aura's slow start put it well down the list. It seems that they are going to put a push on Buick's midsize products (along with Chevy) and let Saturn trundle along with the same vehicles that are, in the words of Lutz, not selling up to expectations. Even Mercury is getting some new cars next year but it looks like the Aura will be around in present form for many years to come.
Much like they have since the '08 Malibu came out...

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Old 07-30-2008, 08:44 AM   #17
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Default Re: Development of an All-New (and Unique!) Saturn Aura Underway

The 'Spin Doctors' are playing with your heads.

The reality is, however much we all love and respect our Saturns, that to GM, it is just a brand and, with regard to market share it does very little, at the moment. GM is in a financial crisis, so, whatever plans it had before for promoting and improving the brand, have now gone out of the window.

In a recent article in the Toronto Star, the prospect of a GM bankruptcy was discussed. it noted that nearly all GM brands except Chevrolet had very little market share and that a lot of the GM brands could easily go the way of Oldsmobile, simply because there were too many brands to finance and keep alive. As an example Chevrolet was quoted at 12.9% market share, compared to Saturns 1.4%. Which do you think GM would prefer to keep?

It is my opinion that the spin doctors want you to believe that there is a new Aura coming, but in reality they are buying time time to see how the industry will pan out over the next couple of years before they make any more business decisions on which brand will live and which will die. In some cases, that decision will likely already have been made as I have no doubt we will see over the next few months.

Hit the 'link' for the article:

www.wheels.ca/article/301059

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