With the launch of the 2007 Sky this spring, Saturn kicks off its most extensive product revitalization to date. Next to market is the all-new 2007 Aura midsize sedan, unveiled today. Based on last year’s concept car of the same name, the Aura blends Saturn’s new European-influenced design and high levels of refinement with the brand’s customer-focused purchase and ownership experience.
The Aura’s driving character will match its refined design, with a host of technologically sophisticated powertrains and a premium sport-sedan setup. Uplevel models feature GM’s first application of a new six-speed automatic transmission mated with the 3.6L DOHC V-6, creating a powerful yet fuel-efficient package. Later in the 2007 model year, Saturn will offer the Aura Green Line, a 2.4L Ecotec-based hybrid that will use a powertrain system similar to the Vue Green Line. It marks the first application of a hybrid powertrain in a GM passenger car.
“The bold, sophisticated design of the Aura represents another step in Saturn’s revitalization,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. “This is a fun-to-drive sport sedan that will appeal both to current Saturn owners and to those who have never considered shopping at one of our retail stores.”
When it goes on sale late this summer, the Aura will be available in two trim levels: the entry XE model and uplevel XR. Each model is well-equipped, with premium features and interior materials among the best in its segment.
Bold new design
Based on the dramatic concept vehicle unveiled in 2005, the Aura sports sedan carries much of the concept’s bold design. Seen in other new Saturn models, such as the Sky roadster and Outlook crossover vehicle, these elements – including distinctive headlamps with jewel-like appearance and a chrome grille bar – establish a new design language for Saturn’s growing portfolio of vehicles.
“The design language of the Aura – and other new Saturn models – is technical and conveys a premium appearance,” said Clay Dean, GM design director for small and midsize cars. “From the detailed lighting elements to the edginess of the silhouette, the Aura demonstrates a revitalized emphasis on style and performance.”
Aura’s premium design cues include halogen headlamps covered in clear housings that wrap upward and around the corners of the vehicle. This expressive, jewel-like design feature shared among Saturn’s newest models adds a sense of motion to the vehicle, even when stationary. At the rear of the vehicle, LED tail lamps are employed to enhance Aura’s technical ethic while also providing an extra measure of safety. LED lamps illuminate more quickly than conventional incandescent bulbs, which can allow drivers behind the Aura to react sooner when they see the brake lamps.
Additional design details include a radio antenna integrated in the rear window, for a sleeker overall appearance, and a chrome appearance for the door handles on XR models. Standard 17-inch wheels and tires fill the wheel houses, enhancing the vehicle’s sporty, firmly planted stance. XR models come with 18-inch polished, 14-spoke cast aluminum wheels and performance tires.
Aura is available in nine exterior colors: Berry Red, Black Onyx, Bronzed Pewter, Cream White, Golden Cashmere, Midnight Blue, Ocean Mist, Silver Pearl and Techno Grey
A major focus of the Aura’s design is its refined interior, which sets a new standard for the Saturn brand. Premium materials with low-gloss appearance and tight tolerances throughout exhibit excellent fit and finish, while two-tone color combinations for the trim and upholstery exude contemporary style. The interior trim flows across the instrument panel and wraps around onto the door panels for a more integrated appearance. Select use of chrome trim also accents the interior.
The gauge cluster uses LED-lit analog instruments, with amber lighting and animation at startup. LEDs are also used for ambient light projected from the overhead lamp and door pocket lamps. Self-dimming theater lighting enhances the premium feel and provides added convenience at night.
Aura’s front reclining bucket seats are designed to provide firm support and comfort on long drives. Leather seating is available, including finely detailed embossed leather seat inserts with the XR’s optional Morocco Brown interior. Aura’s other interior features include:
- Automatic climate control
- Center console with dual-bin storage and automatic sliding tambour door covering front cupholders and storage area
- Driver information center
- Optional power-adjustable pedals
- Available eight-way power-adjustable driver seat
- Optional heated front seats, available in cloth or leather
- Universal home remote
- Power windows with driver express up and express down feature
- Steering wheel audio controls
- Four-panel sliding Panoramic roof
A diverse range of audio systems also is available, all from GM’s new family of premium radios that feature intuitive controls and flush mounting for enhanced refinement. A six-speaker radio system is standard and includes an auxiliary input jack for portable audio players. Saturn’s Advanced Audio System also is available. It includes an AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with eight-speaker sound, a 240-watt amplifier and rear-seat audio controls with two wireless headphones. XM Satellite Radio is available on all models.
Saturn offers two powertrains at launch that provide the Aura’s power and performance for a refined on-road feel. Standard on XE models is the 3.5L V-6 with variable valve timing (VVT). This powerplant, mated with the 4T45-E, four-speed automatic, generates 224 horsepower (167 kw) and 220 lb.-ft. of torque (298 Nm ).*
The 4T45-E is a four-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive transaxle with an electronically controlled torque converter clutch noted for its low noise, high durability and smooth shifting.
Uplevel XR models are equipped with the 3.6L DOHC V-6 with VVT, rated at 252 horsepower* (188 kw) and 251 lb.-ft. of torque (340 Nm).* This engine is mated with the all-new Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission, the first application of this important addition to the GM Powertrain portfolio. The transmission allows for strong performance combined with strong fuel efficiency.
In addition, the 6T70 – GM’s first application of a front-wheel drive six-speed automatic transmission – will provide the added benefit of Driver Shift Control (DSC), which enables the driver to manually shift through gears via steering wheel-positioned “paddles.”
The Aura is built on a stiff, robust chassis that serves as the foundation for a satisfying driving experience. The vehicle’s long wheelbase provides a smooth ride, while careful tuning of the suspension provides sharp and immediate response to driver input.
The Saturn Aura is designed for strong safety performance in all measurements. A safety cage construction built into the body structure is complemented with reinforced rocker sections, as well as a reinforced front body hinge pillar and roof pillars that were designed to improve impact protection. A magnesium cross-car beam unites the lower sections of the A-pillars. It helps protect passengers in side-impact crashes and also serves as the foundation of the instrument panel. High-strength steel was used in strategic areas to augment overall structural integrity.