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Old 01-29-2001, 12:15 PM   #1
SCTT
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Default Opel Speedster (Maybe a Saturn?)

Saturn needs the Opel Speedster! It already has polymer panels like a Saturn. It is lightweight and quick like Saturns. It even has the 2.2L 4cylinder Saturn in the L's. The best part is that it can stay right with a 2001 Corvette. The future is not the Corvette with Big everything. It is smart lightweight faster, better handling, better braking small sports cars that weigh nothing! Saturn may get this car let's hope they do. It would do wonders as an image car. It would increase sales of all models. They are considering a turbocharged version which could spank Vipers, Turbo Porsches, and the top sports cars. Can you imagine the excitement! It looks great too. Tell GM to give to Saturn. They are considering it.

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Old 01-29-2001, 12:34 PM   #2
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0-60 in 5.2 seconds!

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Old 01-29-2001, 12:37 PM   #3
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They are looking into a turbcharged version. Which means 0-60 of under 4 seconds! 1/4 Mile of 12 seconds! All starting at only $28k without V8 insurance, V8 lack of handling, V8 lack of braking, V8 lack of price, and oh so much more.

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Old 01-29-2001, 01:04 PM   #4
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Although 5.2sec sound very interesting, I would highly doubt it will make it over the US because of strict emission regulations. Just as the Europeans enjoyed there higher powered BMW E36 M3s, the US got a puny, but still strong, version of M3 because of emission regulations. Another high powered car that can't make it into the US is the Nissan Skyline. It's basically the Corvette of Japan with much better handling. Again, the Nissan Skyline will never be exported to the US because of emission regulations. There's a small Canadian group that is exporting the Skyline, independantly, but only the puny version with modification just to past emission regulations in the US.

At 'only $28k', I don't think there'll be enough buyer for this kind of vehicle at this price point. You have a delima with this pricepoint and type of vehicle on Saturn's name. The pony car buyers would laugh at the i4 engine. The price would be too high for the pocket rocket buyers (Civic, Focus, SC2). And I don't think the Saturn name would appeal to the near luxo buyers.

I think a nice coupe would be nice to compliment the L, such that the Accord, Camry/Solara, and Stratus has, but price it equivilant to the sedan version. The coupe doesn't neccessary have to be faster, just a nicer looking, inside and out, midsize coupe.

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Old 01-29-2001, 01:41 PM   #5
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I'm just curious of what other think. Does this fit in the Saturn brand?

<img src="http://www.cardesignnews.com/events/geneva2000/gallery/images/opel-speedster257.jpg" border="0">
<img src="http://www.cardesignnews.com/events/geneva2000/gallery/images/opel-speedster274.jpg" border="0">

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Old 01-29-2001, 02:34 PM   #6
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As one who has been trying to follow the Opel Speedster ever since I heard the rumors about it maybe becoming a Saturn, I'm too wary now of getting my hopes up. I would love to see it, or some other similar vehicle, make it into the Saturn lineup, but the more rational side of me keeps convincing me that it's unlikely.

Last I heard, and that was a while back, was that between Pontiac and Saturn, Pontiac was the most likely to get the Speedster, if it ever were to happen. The logic of the polymer panels and the L-850 engine might get offset by the fact that Pontiac once had the Fiero (another 2 seater) and that Pontiac might have room in their line due to the future demise of the Sunfire, and possibly the Firebird.

It's also been pointed out that a lot of work would have to be done to the Speedster to make it marketable in the US. As I understand it, it doesn't even have air conditioning, and that might not sell too well in the states. And although it is true that it might not get hit with insurance costs associated with a big V-8 engine, it would likely get hit hard as a two-seater. This was, I understand, one significant factor in the failure of the Fiero.

Interesting pictures, though. I can see it as a Saturn, but I might be rare...

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Old 01-29-2001, 02:54 PM   #7
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I actually think the speedster would make a nice extension to the Saturn brand, and maybe help people think of Saturn as a make rather than a model of car (i.e. Honda vs. Civic). Though I guess the SUV should also help there. Regarding price point and fit versus the rest of the make, the same argument could've been made about Honda, but the S2000 speaks for itself.

From other reports I've read, Saturn was pretty insistent on changing the body styling of speedster if they imported it (they wanted redesigned body panels that were more rounded). Pontiac, on the other hand, was clamoring for it as is.

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Old 01-29-2001, 03:20 PM   #8
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I think it would be a great addition to the Saturn lineup. It is very unique (like Saturn) and would bring customers and notoriety to the dealerships and the Saturn brand. Plus, the service department and staff is already trained on the new four cylinder engine.

I wonder how Chevy would feel about having Saturn selling a two seater that sells for thousand less then a Vette and is just as fast/quicker then a Vette? I can't imagine them being too pleased.

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Old 01-29-2001, 03:38 PM   #9
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Yeah, but the difference between Honda releasing the S2000 and Saturn possibilities with the Speedster was that Honda already had fairly devoted following to its sport coupe, the Civic coupe, Prelude and Acura Integra. Honda designed the S2000 from the grounds up to show off it's technological marvels such as the greatest hp/liter available (240hp, 2.0L i4) motor complimented with with a six-speed gearbox and, still, ULEV certified in a compact roadster. I'm careful of Saturn suddenly releasing a fairly pricey sports car without a potential customer base yet. Don't you think from a $18k loaded SC2 to a $28k base Speedster there's something missing between those pricepoint? Say, a Saturn L coupe marketted against the Prelude and Accord coupe? I'm just afraid that it may be too big of a jump to convince people Saturn as a high end sports car and possible creating another marketing blunder.

Then again, if it was between Saturn and Pontiac getting the Speedster, my vote goes for Saturn. In it's as-is form, I think it looks goudy. There's too many sharp lines, the rear is a bit extreme and not in a good way, the side vents makes me think Mustang, and the bug eyed headlights looks like a mr2 spyder. Plus, I'm afraid that Pontiac would dump another 10 tons of plastic in the interior. Changes for the Speedster to be more 'Saturn-Like' would be more appealing.

Even as much as I like the Speedster to be marketed as a Saturn, I just don't see it 'fitting' as a Saturn line, yet, with the drastic jump from a small coupe ($12-18k) to a high end roadster ($28k+) without a midsize coupe for customers to 'upgrade from' such as the Honda line has. Unless GM wants to market this as a profit-losing image vehicle such that the Plymonth Prowler, but that'll be a very hard sell for Saturn to convince mothership-GM.

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Old 01-29-2001, 05:31 PM   #10
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According to the Opel Speedster site the top speed is 138, 0-60 5.9 and cost L22,900 (forgotten what the conversion from pounds to dollars is). The Chev Corvette Z06 is 0-60 4.31, didn't see the top speed, cost is $46,800. If you do get the turbo in it, the insurance will be corresondingly high...looks like one of the cladded Pontiacs.

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Old 01-29-2001, 06:13 PM   #11
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Default Don't hold your breath... (long)

As much fun as it might well be to have the Speedster over here - and really folks, who cares what name it carries... Saturn, Pontiac, whatever - it will never happen. The costs of supporting the micro-sales numbers the Speedster would generate are just not the stuff business cases are made of. This is what is called a "short shelf life" car. Once those of us who want one get one, which would happen in a matter of months, then there is NO market for them - at least not in the numbers it takes to rationalize things like advertising budgets or dealer service investments (equipment, parts supply, technician training, etc.). Take a look at the sales number curves for ANY vehicle like this which has been introduced in the last 10 years. Of course, some companies can make a buck at low production numbers, but GM isn't among these "boutique" marques. And a Porsche, the Speedster is NOT, even if they did rip off the name.

This vehicle is SMALL for the USA & is build on the "minimalist" concept, no A/C, etc. Emissions are NOT the problem, as somebody already pointed out, the L850 could care less what chassis it is in, it is a matter of calibrations. Crash might be another matter, as the world STILL can't seem to standardize the various barrier tests. (if anybody is looking for a crusadable point that would result in more fun for us, then PLEASE take up this one - it will save the industry BILLIONS of bucks).

Then there is the matter of insurance. Since the industry has computer models to predict losses, the Speedster would likely be REALLY premium to insure. Just think of the demographics of the likely purchasers & how skilled/mature/loss prone a group they likely are. No thanks... and the repair costs of a space frame??? Yeah, can you say F I E R O ?? That car died off for a lot of reasons (like... it was a totally crappy car until the last year or so, when it was only pretty crappy, even though good looking) not the least of which was the fact that a minor fender bender on one corner nearly always whacked out the entire space frame, causing a TOTAL loss of the unit. Not the stuff great insurance rates are made of.

Soooo. If y'all want to drive a Speedster, then hop a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt & see what you can work out. Only about $400 these days, at least for a few more weeks.

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Old 01-29-2001, 09:10 PM   #12
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the fiero is one of the most misunderstood cars ever produced and perhaps the most flexible platform for customization ever. its amazing what can be done with those cars. though I agree it was a car that has some problems, especially with the 2M4 models
the speedster would certainly be an interesting image builder for saturn and hopefully well see something like it in a few years(maybe after the 2nd SUV?).
remember that saturn already distributed a great handling, lightning quick, smooth companct sports car with out of this world styling. it was called Ev1

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Old 01-29-2001, 09:40 PM   #13
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<blockquote><hr><font size="1">Original Post:</font><!--1-->
According to the Opel Speedster site the top speed is 138, 0-60 5.9 and cost L22,900 (forgotten what the conversion from pounds to dollars is). The Chev Corvette Z06 is 0-60 4.31, didn't see the top speed, cost is $46,800. If you do get the turbo in it, the insurance will be corresondingly high...looks like one of the cladded Pontiacs.<hr></blockquote>

That would be around $35,000, substanially out of the Pontiac and Saturn product lines. I would guess Cadillac maybe? They are going for the performance thing with their new commercials..

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Old 01-30-2001, 12:49 AM   #14
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Yeah, I can definitely see this as a Caddy. It's sharp lines does mimic some of the new styling techniques that Caddy is producing, and an $30k i4 roadster is in the target to compete with the Mercedes SLK, BMW z3, and Porshe. I still definitely don't see it as a Saturn.

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Old 01-30-2001, 09:59 AM   #15
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I would kill to get my hands on a Saturn marketed speedster but the insurance would be astronomical. I read the British automotive press and as the afficiondos here might know the speedster is built on the same aluminium extruded chassis pioneered by Lotus in the Elise. In fact it's built in Hethel England right along side the Elise. Originally when the Elise came out it was quite reasonable to insure based on it's relatively cheap price for a high performance car and low power (it has a 145 hp Rover engine). The insurance losses were incredible on the car for 2 unfortuante reasons: 1) the mid/rear engine handling produced strong oversteer (very hard to control) in wet weather resulting in many single car accidents, and 2) virtually every Elise that gets in an accident is a total writeoff because the extruded aluminium chassis gets severely bent and the cost of repair is prohibitive. The cost of insuring one in England has gone through the roof. Finally I regret to add that, despite my love for Lotus cars, their pushing the envelope design has resulted in the following joke in England- that Lotus stands for: L-lots, O-of, T-trouble, U-usually, S-serious -- and if the Lotus listserve is any indication the Elise (and most certainly the speedster) would be no exception. I think all told the Saturn speester will most probably remain a fantasy.

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Old 01-30-2001, 11:25 AM   #16
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I think this car is exactly where Saturn needs to go if it ever wants respect, imean ou got to start somewhere, so you might as well start with a bang. But i myself think when, not it. it comes over it will begiven to Pontiac, which is a shame, cause i would rather buy another brand than something labled as Pontiac. Though aslo if so i woudl show that Pontiac would be amkeing a step towrds sports cars and away from muscle, Also a step towrsds quality. On a side note since someone mentioned above that the Sunfire is being discontinied and opening a spot in their lineup. I would have to dissagree, there line up i think i getting fuller, they will still ahve the sunfire, it will be in the form of the Opel Vectra, and what I am understanding is that this is a bad ass little car and if so pontiac will gain much respect from me where is there has been little. Again a latger stop towards qulity on GM's side. Also filling in their linup will be the Vide, described as soemthing like a CRX this will be pretty muchbe a Toyota with the whole range of Celica Engines. Meaning w/ Pontiac taking in quality from these other car makers, they are turning them selves around, which also probubly makesit more Lickely that the Speedster will go to Pontiac, cause it apears they dont make there own junk anymore they are going to buy others good stuff. Lets Hope the dont take art a nd turn it in to garbage.

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Old 01-30-2001, 12:51 PM   #17
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Laugh, it wouldn't bother me if Pontiac fell on their face. They probably will if they don't listen to us. Look at the Fiero, Firebird, and Sunfire. All history now or soon. The same will go for the Aztek. GM is as backward. There shouldn't be a performance division. They should scrap Pontiac! If not then make it like every other division, not just performance. It doesn't work. You need divisions like Saturn with an image car like the Speedster. As for emissions, Hah! It already passes. Don't you guys get it. It isn't bare bones minimalist. It is the future. It is a real real real sports car. Not some pampered POS rice grinder. It doesn't need V8 or even V6 power. It can take almost everyone one with a 4cyl. Why pay for big pig power when you can pay less for better quality! Look at the post for best engines. No dam V6 V8 Pontiac engine. As for 0-60 I got that from Motor Trend or Car & Driver. Another thing if it's a European Site it is 0-62 or 0-100 kph. Another thing is that what the company publishes is often wrong for political reasons and other cars like it's dam corvette. Don't want to post a time too close, God forbid. They should scrap that outdated pushrod can't keep up with a Viper over priced high insurance piece o crap! 4cyl's and cheaper performance are the future. How can you compare 50k Z06 with a $$$$$$$$$28kkkkkkkkkkkk PRICE! LOOK IT UP AGAIN! For pansies that need A/C than buy one and put it in! This is a huge chance for Saturn! Saturn will recruit a more varied audience. It can be marketed as high quality speed! Everyone is buying Hyundai's because of the dam warranty thinking they are better than they are. Why pay double for a slower worse looking Boxster S. You are all hypnotized by the Press and Culture. Why don't you think for yourself instead of being hearded like sheep. Because that is what you complainers with no ideas are! This is a Saturn inside and out regardless of who badges it. Saturn performance comes from lightweight! Why are the British the only ones who understand lightweight performance cars.



5 speed shifter go karts weigh 400 pounds! They only have 40HP! They don't have V8's! Yet they will kick the holy crap outta Pony Cars and Turbo Rice Grinders! Not to mention brake and handle way better! Not to mention cheaper! Do you see a trend? They can be made just as safe too! I want Saturn to be the first in the US to take advantage of it! They deserve it! I only hope GM gets outta they way cause Saturn is coming through!

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Old 01-30-2001, 01:28 PM   #18
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<blockquote><hr>For pansies that need A/C<hr></blockquote>

Wow...! Did he just insulted the majority of us? <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle">

<blockquote><hr>Why are the British the only ones who understand lightweight performance cars.<hr></blockquote>

Uhmmm...Acura Type-R, and japan/europe-only Civic Type-R and Accord Type-R? All non-turbos by the way.

Anyways, even though the Opel may be a good image car for Saturn, it just doesn't make sense financially or marketably. Just imaging another marketing blundler, except this time costing millions more for yet-waiting-to-be-profitable Saturn. Look at the Prowler now. How much do you hear about it after it's first two years of production? Car's like this that don't fit into the autoline's focus, is like a fad. There's no staying power for it. I think it'll hurt Saturn more than it'll help in the long run, and in turn, will trinkle the loss of the mistake down to the rest of the models.

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Old 01-30-2001, 11:02 PM   #19
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Instead of rebadging the opel. I think it would be better to use the L-series 4cyl in the next S-series coupe with a turbo performance model option. Since it will be a compact class car hopefully with polymer panels it should be a lightwieght strong car with a backseat . It would be a Saturn off of the main S series model so it could really work and be a fast fun car. The turbo that everyone has been waiting for well not everyone but those who have been pushing for a SC2 turbo. It would be based on a mass produced car so it could be affordable, all the options we have now available, the saftey equipment already in place ect. It seems the best way to get high performance sports coupe. at least in my opinion. So you could have the engine in the opel in a compact sports coupe that would be much like every other S-series except the turbo. In other words "it could actually be done"

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Old 01-31-2001, 12:51 PM   #20
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I agree that a turbo SC2 would be more likely and easier. I think I would rather have a turbo sc2. All I do know is that the mags will help push sales of Speedster. They think it is great! While they never show Saturns because they have something against them. A turbo sc2 might not even get a mention, but then again how could it not with that kind of performance!
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