From its distinctive design to enhancements in safety, power and entertainment, the Saturn Relay provides the comfort and convenience of a van with the exterior styling of a SUV. The Relay is an important product in Saturn’s current portfolio offering vehicles that fill the needs of diverse customers. For 2006, Saturn adds more power and safety features to its SUV-inspired, seven-passenger Relay. With seating for up to seven, the Relay broke new ground when it debuted last year as Saturn’s first vehicle to seat more than five. The Relay lineup continues in 2006 with front-wheel drive passenger models available in Relay 2 and Relay 3 trim levels, as well as the uplevel Relay 3 with all-wheel drive.
The Saturn Relay, built on the same platform as the Terazza with the same powertrain and available VersaTrak all-wheel-drive, will be the first Saturn vehicle to seat seven. The new entry will help Saturn meet the needs of existing Saturn owners with growing families and active lifestyles, said the company. "The Relay is the next logical step in Saturn’s growth," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn vice president for sales, service and marketing. "The Saturn brand promises of safety and value fit naturally with what customers are looking for in the mid-van segment. It will appeal particularly to those customers who need the versatility of a mid-van but have a strong preference for SUV styling."
The 2006 Saturn Relay provides more power and control needed to meet the demands of family utility vehicle customers, thanks to GM’s new 3.9L V-6 engine, available later in the year on the Relay 3 FWD. This sophisticated engine delivers 235 horsepower (175 kw) and 239 lb.-ft. (324 Nm) of torque, using variable valve timing and variable active intake technology to ensure optimal performance and economy. This new, larger-displacement engine also provides more usable power across the rpm range, with 90 percent of torque available from 1,800 rpm to 5,800 rpm.
From its inception, Saturn has been committed to the idea that safety isn�t just for customers who can afford a luxury vehicle. The Relay continues this tradition by providing continuous safety before, during and after a crash.
Crash avoidance was a priority in the design of the Relay. Large, four-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes are standard. On FWD models, GM’s sophisticated StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is optional. Traction control is standard on Relay 3 FWD models. StabiliTrak helps improve stability and control. It’s particularly beneficial on slick road surfaces or during emergency maneuvers. Sensors detect the direction the driver is steering by "reading" the steering wheel position and the vehicle’s response to steering wheel input. When the system determines that the vehicle is not responding adequately to steering commands, it works to help bring it on course by automatically reducing engine torque and applying precise amounts of pressure to front right or left brakes. These automatic brake and engine interventions help realign the vehicle�s actual path with that being steered by the driver.
The optional Versatrak all-wheel drive system is one of the most advanced approaches to all-wheel drive. If one or both front wheels lose grip, the Versatrak system automatically transfers torque from front to rear wheels and from side to side between the rear wheels � an ability not found in many competitive systems.
The Relay also was designed with crashworthiness and occupant protection in mind. It has achieved a five-star government safety rating for frontal crashes and a five-star rating for rear occupants in the government side-impact test, as well as a four-star rating for front-seat occupants. The Relay also earned the top "Good" rating for 40-mph frontal offset crash performance from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Relay features structural enhancements to create a crush zone that helps preserve occupant space while absorbing energy. Cross-rail reinforcements enhance stiffness and bolster crash protection.
Also new for ’06, seat-mounted side-impact air bags in the second row captain’s chairs help provide head and torso protection for second-row occupants. First-row side-impact air bags are already standard on Relay 3 and available on Relay 2; second-row air bags are available on both Relay 2 and Relay 3. Standard, frontal dual-stage air bags for both driver and front passenger are designed to help reduce the risk of air bag-induced injury. When the air bag system�s control unit detects an impact, it determines whether the crash is severe enough to trigger a deployment, and whether the primary amount of inflation is sufficient. The primary stage alone will deploy in most front impacts requiring the supplemental protection of an air bag, while a secondary stage is designed to deploy in more severe frontal collisions.
In addition, the Relay has GM’s Passenger Sensing System (PSS) for 2006. If the sensor system detects an unoccupied front passenger seat or the presence of a smaller occupant, the front passenger air bag is designed to automatically turn off so it would not deploy in the event of a frontal collision. (Even with this system, GM strongly recommends restraining child passengers in an appropriate child seat placed in the second or third row of the vehicle. Never install a rear-facing infant seat in front of an active air bag. GM also recommends that all children age 12 and under ride in the rear seat when possible.)
Safety belts remain the primary occupant restraint device, and all seven seating positions in the Relay have three-point safety belts. Retractors for front seating positions have built-in load limiters that allow a controlled amount of give in the belt, thereby reducing the peak load on the chest during a crash. The Relay also has pretensioners in the front safety belt system that deploy at the same time as the frontal air bags to take up slack in the safety belt webbing. Pretensioners also help reduce the amount of occupant movement in the event of a crash to help reduce the risk of injury.
The Relay is equipped with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system in all second-row seating positions. This system provides two lower anchors and a top tether anchor to be used to secure a child seat to the vehicle seat structure. A top tether is also provided in the center position of the third-row. These anchorages are designed to make it easier to properly install compatible child safety seats.
For post-crash assistance and other safety and security needs, OnStar is a segment exclusive and is standard in all Relay models. The Relay features OnStar Dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada. Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
The OnStar service standard on the 2006 Relay includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.