Saturn - Sky
Most concept vehicles are designed to test public reaction. The Saturn SKY concept, an open-air roadster, does just the opposite.
"It's a response to what young people told us they wanted," said Dave Smith, Saturn's brand character chief designer. "They said they were looking for open air and room for their friends and their stuff, balanced with a sense of responsibility. We just know this is a concept worth exploring."
The Saturn SKY is a four-season vehicle spacious enough to move people and cargo comfortably through traffic without abandoning the coziness of a classic roadster. The compact convertible combines a hip, energetic design that speaks to an individual sense of style with supreme functionality for people on the go, according to Smith.
A versatile seating package allows the SKY to convert easily from two-place to four-place seating. The extra seats in the rear stow away underneath the tonneau cover when not in use.
The Saturn SKY also provides easy entry and exit. On this concept, Saturn continues with a unique feature to the brand - a rear access door on the driver's side. This application is borrowed from today's Saturn coupe, the only vehicle in the market that has this innovation.
The concept vehicle features an Ecotec 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine with a low-boost supercharger, mated to a five-speed manual transmission, generating 180 horsepower.
Saturn's design philosophy is honest, optimistic and expressive, according to Smith. The "honest" design comes through in that the vehicle clearly communicates its intended use and functionality.
Saturn's signature upswept lines define the exterior, creating an inviting and expressive look. A continuous upswept line follows the hood cutline embraces the headlamps, and a wide, low front air intake is positioned underneath.
SKY features a simple fabric roof that is lightweight and easy to use. The collapsible roof stows in the rear of the vehicle.
Distinctive lighting treatments on the Saturn SKY add appeal to the front and rear of the concept. The long low-profile fog lights glow softly with the striking appearance of arctic ice.
The taillights are powered by LED technology to give the SKY concept a distinctive lighting signature to the rear of the vehicle. The light from the LED lamps is directed in a way that provides a smooth, even glow. SKY's rear lighting provides the benefits of lightning-quick illumination, lower voltage consumption and lightweight packaging.
Inside, Saturn designers continued with the upswept character line on the steering wheel center and the door panels. The instrumentation is mounted in the center of the console, instead of the traditional location behind the steering column. This has several benefits. It keeps the driver's eyes closer to the horizon, eliminates obscuration of gauges by the steering wheel and allows for a smaller steering wheel for a sporty feel.
The gear shifter on the five-speed manual transmission can be folded into the center console when the vehicle is parked for unobstructed pass-through.
"Here's a roadster done the Saturn way,'" said Jill Lajdziak, vice president of Saturn Sales, Service and Marketing. "We've been offering a different kind of car since our creation and now we are showing off a car the world has never seen - a stirring, open-air roadster that is an equal mix of fun and function. People can take their friends along and easily talk as they go."
"This concept vehicle is extremely important for Saturn," Smith added. "We want to infuse Saturn design with even more daring and verve, continuing some of the brand's signature cues."
With its dynamic design and quick and agile performance, the Sky roadster delivers a bold message about the next generation of vehicles from Saturn.
The Sky, introduced at the North American International Auto Show and slated for production in 2006, is the first vehicle to feature a new look that will influence Saturn's entire future product lineup. The roadster will be followed by a new midsize sedan and a large crossover SUV as Saturn's product portfolio doubles during the next 24 months.
'Building on its accomplishments in customer sales and service satisfaction, Saturn is introducing a bold new product design to our vehicles,' said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. 'For Saturn, the Sky is not the limit. It's only the beginning.'
Starting price for the Sky is expected to be less than $25,000. It will be built at GM's Wilmington , Del. , assembly facility.
The Sky roadster was inspired by the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept - created at GM's Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham , England - signaling the adoption of an international design language for Saturn.
'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, vice president of Design for GM North America . '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.'
The Sky's design also features a wide stance with short overhangs and 18-inch wheels pushed to the corners. The convertible top folds completely into the rear compartment and the clamshell hood provides excellent accessibility and reinforces the sports car aura. Projector halogen low beams and reflector optic halogen high beam headlamps extend the exterior's sophisticated look.
The design philosophy is carried through to the interior, which is driver-focused with integrated controls and displays. Creative use of piano black and chrome finishes combine with available leather seats and technical grains to emphasize richness and precision. Jewel-like detailing on the HVAC and lighting controls is executed with tight fits, highlighting the attention to detail.
The Sky also has the hardware to back up its bold styling. It is equipped with a 2.4L, 170-horsepower Ecotec engine with variable valve timing and a five-speed Aisin manual transmission with a short throw shifter. A five-speed automatic will be optional.
'The Sky's performance matches its impressive styling,' said Lori Queen, vehicle line executive for GM's small cars. 'Powertrain, suspension and handling components were carefully selected to provide quick and agile performance.'
Other technical highlights include:
• Four-wheel independent short/long arm suspension for optimal handling and stability
• Coil-over Bilstein monotube shocks for excellent wheel control and road isolation
• Hydraulically assisted rack- and-pinion power steering for quick, responsive vehicle control
• Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS for excellent stopping performance
• Wide track width for excellent stability and superior handling
• Near 50/50 weight distribution for balanced handling feel
• Structural tunnel design and hydroformed longitudinal rails for a stiff body that results in greater vehicle responsiveness and better overall feel
• Hydraulic engine mounts for a smoother engine feel
With 3 million subscribers, OnStar is the nation's leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technologies. The 2006 Sky will offer OnStar. Sky owners can interact with OnStar's voice recognition system in Spanish, French or English. With the push of a button an OnStar advisor can change the system to allow the subscriber to interact with the system in their preferred language. Other core OnStar services are stolen vehicle location assistance, remote door unlock, roadside assistance, emergency services and automatic crash notification.
GM is the only automotive manufacturer committed to offering a full range of vehicles with safety protection before, during and after a collision. All OnStar-equipped vehicles come with Automatic Crash Notification. If air bags deploy, the system sends a signal to a highly trained OnStar Emergency Advisor, who contacts the vehicle to see if help is needed, and can contact an emergency responder to send for help. In many cases the occupants are severely injured and cannot speak for themselves. OnStar's GPS unit allows Advisors to tell emergency responders the vehicle's location. OnStar responds to at least one air bag deployment in the US or Canada every hour.
Additionally, the Sky will offer the GM-exclusive Advanced Automatic Crash Notification system. The AACN system detects collisions, even rollovers, regardless of whether air bags deploy. AACN also transmits other crash data, such as the direction of impact force, the number of and which air bags deployed and the maximum change of impact velocity, so that emergency responders are more prepared with this critical information before they arrive at the accident scene.
Drive: AWD WB: 113” (2871 mm)
Engine: 2.2L 16V L4 (ULEV) OAL: 177” (4496 mm)