Press Release :
With dynamic design and quick, agile performance, the Sky roadster delivers a bold message about the next generation of vehicles from Saturn. The Sky is the first Saturn to feature the brand’s new design language, which will carry forward to future products.
‘As we build on our reputation for great customer care, Saturn is introducing a bold new design and level of refinement with Sky,’ said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. ‘The Sky represents the future of the Saturn brand.’
The Sky is an all-new vehicle, and is an affordable performance roadster for driving enthusiasts. Built on GM’s new global rear-wheel drive compact performance platform, the Sky is fun to drive with a striking profile and sophisticated interior design.
With suggested prices starting well under $25,000, the Sky delivers on Saturn’s longstanding reputation of providing solid value against its key competition.
Bold, dynamic design
The Sky’s design was inspired by the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept, created in 2003 at GM’s Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham, England. A team of designers at GM’s studios in Warren, Mich. adopted some of the Lightning’s innovative styling and created the Sky to establish Saturn’s new design direction.
‘The Sky’s exterior conveys a sense of technical harmony, combining taut, controlled lines with fluid surfaces to create a dynamic feeling,’ said Ed Welburn, GM vice president for global design. ‘The vehicle’s strong front end is the new face of Saturn, with a pronounced fender peak and a bold, chrome bar that carries an integrated Saturn badge.’
With a commanding road presence and stance; aggressive, edgy and sharp lines; and clean, sleek surface, the Sky offers a distinctly European look. Decorative hood vents emphasize its dynamic performance character and accentuate its long dash-to-axle appearance.
Several of the vehicle’s key body panels are produced using sheetmetal hydroforming. Relatively new in the area of sheet metal fabrication, hydroforming has been used for years, primarily in the production of light-duty truck and SUV frame members. Sky’s large, sharply-creased clamshell hood, as well as its door inner and rear quarter outer panels, could not have been made with conventional stamping.
The interior is driver-focused with integrated controls and displays and premium materials. Creative use of contemporary, upscale black and chrome finishes combine with available leather seats and technical grains to emphasize richness and precision. Jeweled detailing on the HVAC and other controls is executed with tight fits, highlighting the attention to detail.
Roadster performance
The Sky also has the hardware to back up its bold styling. It is equipped with a 2.4L, 177-horsepower* DOHC Ecotec engine with variable valve timing and a five-speed Aisin manual transmission with a short-throw shifter. A five-speed automatic is available. It also features electronic throttle control (ETC) for remarkably precise engine control response.
‘The Sky’s performance pays off on its dynamic design,’ said Tom Wallace, vehicle line executive for GM performance cars. ‘We carefully selected the powertrain, suspension and handling components to provide agile, yet refined, performance.’
The Sky uses a hydroformed tube structure for an extremely strong and rigid chassis, especially for a convertible. With its purpose-built chassis, Sky looks the part of a true sports car and has all the stiffness and torsional rigidity necessary to make it a nimble, fun-to-drive roadster for the enthusiast driver.
The Sky’s suspension was engineered to optimize ride without compromising handling. Key design elements enabling the Sky’s impressive handling include a short-long arm suspension set-up featuring forged aluminum control arms, Bilstein monotube shocks and hollow stabilizer bars with ball joint sockets. The result is impressive handling with high lateral acceleration capability and minimum body roll.
The vehicle’s power rack-and-pinion hydraulic steering system provides the performance expected from a high-end roadster or sports sedan. The system exhibits excellent on-center feel and minimal lag, enabling the driver to feel closely connected to the road. The result is a vehicle that is precise, yet easy to drive.
The Sky’s standard four-wheel disc braking system is designed to provide optimal driver feedback. The power-assisted dual-diagonal brake system features 11.7-inch ventilated front and 10.9-inch solid rear discs. Working together, these components yield a responsive, solid and linear braking feel with minimal pedal travel.
In addition, Sky has a standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) with dynamic rear proportioning (DRP). DRP, or electronic brake distribution, provides superior braking stability by continuously optimizing front/rear brake balance to accommodate a variety of driving conditions, including deceleration, surface traction levels and vehicle loading conditions.
The vehicle features 18×8-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels, Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/45R18 96V and high-performance all-season tires that enhances the stance of the car. The combination offers excellent all-season performance, excellent longitudinal grip that contributes to best-in-class stopping distance (60-0 mph in 116 feet) and road gripping ability with a maximum lateral acceleration of approximately 0.90g. Five-spoke alloy wheels with chrome, painted and polished finishes are available.
The roadster’s manual fabric top is easy to operate. The rear hinged deck lid closes over the entire mechanism, hiding everything in a seamless flow of sheet metal; with no visible evidence the vehicle has a top neatly stowed in its rear compartment.
Sky has a host of safety features, including a supplemental restraint system (SRS) with dual-stage frontal air bags – one in the steering wheel and another in the instrument panel on the passenger side. A standard Passenger Sensing System (PSS) uses the latest sensing technology to turn the front passenger air bag on or off.
Other safety and security features include standard OnStar Communication System, remote keyless entry system including a panic alarm, and engine immobilizer with PASSKey III theft deterrent feature.
For 2007, OnStar-equipped Sky models will feature a new service called OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers’ vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle’s stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system’s GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. For more information about OnStar, see the OnStar Overview in the Product Information Guide Corporate Book.
Sky Red Line
The Red Line performance variant gets a power boost from an Ecotec turbocharged 2.0L engine, GM’s first direct injection offering in North America. It produces 260 horsepower** (194 kW) at 5300 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque** (353 Nm) from 2500 to 5200 rpm, making it GM’s highest specific output engine ever at 2.1 horsepower per cubic inch of displacement (130 hp / 97 kW per liter) and the most powerful production engine in the Ecotec family.
Gasoline direct injection technology helps the Ecotec engine produce more power while maintaining the lower fuel consumption of a small displacement port-injected engine.
With direct injection, fuel is delivered directly to the combustion chamber to create a more complete burn of the air/fuel mixture. Less fuel is required to produce the equivalent horsepower, especially at normal cruising speeds, than a conventional port-injection combustion system.
Direct injection technology works well with turbocharging and helps deliver a great balance of power and economy.
The Red Line builds on the strong chassis and equipment of the Sky, with additional hardware to increase the vehicle’s performance. Technical elements standard on the Sky Red Line includes:
Limited-slip differential
StabiliTrak electronic stability control
Performance-tuned suspension
The Red Line also features several unique interior and exterior differences compared to the Sky roadster, including dual polished aluminum exhaust outlets and 18-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels. The front lower fascia has unique styling elements, including functional brake cooling vents and a larger mesh pattern in the lower grille for improved air flow. Red Line headlamp appearance also is different, with black bezels replacing the Sky’s bright chrome.
The interior features a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, metallic sill plates, stainless steel pedal covers, Red Line-specific gauges and a digital boost gauge included in the Driver Information Center.
Sky safety features also found on the Red Line include dual-stage frontal air bags, GM’s Passenger Sensing System, four-wheel disc brakes with standard ABS, side-impact door beams, three-point safety belts with pretentioners and load-limiting retractors, and more.
All Sky models are built at GM’s Wilmington, Del., assembly plant using a modular assembly process and implementing the GMS lean manufacturing production system with a focus on quality.
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Source: Saturn Press Release

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