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Axel: At least they qualify all their complaints with the statement at the end that "There are other issues I’ve probably forgotten, but I’ve already said that all complaints beyond the engine amount to inconsequential carping."
:thumbs::thumbs: HELLO RED LINE !!

2007 Saturn Sky: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star



NY Times
By JEFF SABATINI
Published: August 13, 2006

THE cheery people at the dealership still clap and sing and take your picture when you buy a new Saturn, though I wonder how they have mustered their enthusiasm for the last 10 years.

Saturn has long suffered as General Motors’ most pathetic brand, with neither the sales nor products to truly justify its continued existence. Those pumped-up salespeople were about all Saturn had going for it.

But now they have something real to validate their shiny, happy attitude: the Sky, the first Saturn worthy of all those Polaroids.

The Sky is an undeniably gorgeous car, the sort of design that resonates with pretty much anyone with a pulse. This is one two-seat roadster that will not be saddled with the “chick car” stigma. Sure, its chrome jewelry is as abundant as it is pretty, but the sharp fenders evoke the most muscular of sports cars past (think 1970’s Corvettes). Men, women and children swoon.

I am so enamored of the car that I won’t think too deeply about whether it made sense for G.M. to give it a Saturn badge. I am sure it did not, but I cannot argue that the people stopping in to look at the Sky were probably not otherwise headed to their local Saturn dealer. While I doubt anyone is buying an Ion or that mistake of a minivan to tide them over for six months while they wait for the back-ordered Sky, at least they might enjoy some free doughnuts and come away with a positive impression.

I might recount some more Saturn history in support of the idea that the Sky is an odd fit, but that’s pretty much a moot point, as the brand is in the midst of a thorough revamping. Corporate G.M. has rendered Saturn just another of its many parts, all of which are in a desperate search for new customers. If the Sky is its new best face, then that is a good enough reason that the car is not a Chevy.

Regardless of which badge is stuck on the Sky, underneath it’s all Pontiac Solstice. The Sky shares the same rear-wheel-drive platform and is powered by an identical 177-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine.

While the suspension and brakes are willing performers, the unfortunate weak link in G.M.’s would-be sports car package is the engine — it builds revs with all the alacrity of Katrina reconstruction. Power output occurs at a high engine speed, as maximum torque of 166 pound-feet is created at 4,800 r.p.m. With big tires on 18-inch wheels fitted as standard equipment, any fantasies of burning rubber are merely delusional.

A remedy for this power deficit will be offered in the Sky Red Line (and its twin, the Solstice GXP), which will employ a turbocharged 260-horsepower 2-liter version of the same engine. This more performance-oriented Sky goes on sale late next month.

As much as the Sky is crying for a more thrashable power plant, this is the car’s only serious shortcoming.

Yes, the Sky still suffers from a long list of trivial faults similar to those of the Solstice. But the difference is that the Sky feels finished — an improved version of the Pontiac. Imperfect, yes, but complete. The car hangs together in ways that the Solstice does not, as if the people who designed it were more capable of realizing their vision in what they had to work with. Ultimately, the Sky is the better car.

I actually prefer the smooth lines of the Solstice, but then again, I’m a minimalist sports car type of guy. And that’s the biggest problem with the Pontiac — the engine is such a disappointment that the Solstice pretty much falls on its face as a sports car.

The Sky, on the other hand, is trying to be less a sports car than a budget boulevardier. And it is that: a really nicely appointed, sharp-looking roadster that you wouldn’t be ashamed to park next to something that cost twice as much. If I were a valet, I’d leave this one up front.


G.M. has nailed the Sky, with excellent fit and finish and a lot of eye candy.


The Sky’s ability to look expensive when it is not (the base price is $24,195 plus delivery) is downright amazing given G.M.’s usual attention to detail (or lack thereof). But the company has nailed the Sky, with excellent fit and finish and a lot of eye candy.

A stylized exhaust tip and trapezoidal parking light set into the lower bumper skirt are both clever and classy. Ditto the fake hood vents and front fender openings. Inside, the blob of dull plastic that passed for a dashboard in the Solstice has actually been shaped into something rather attractive. Patches of glossy lacquer-look black plastic are used throughout the interior, but with enough restraint that they actually look good.

Even the Solstice’s much-maligned convertible top makes better sense on the Sky. For the uninitiated, this fabric top is manually operated, but requires first pivoting the car’s clamshell decklid backward. Then the top can be folded and stored out of sight inside the trunk. To put the top up, the process is reversed, except it becomes necessary to circle the car and snap down two “flying buttresses” — extensions to the convertible top that anchor it to the closed decklid.

While some find the buttresses annoying, I think they are a cool design element, reminiscent of the Ferrari Mondial cabriolet and perfectly fitting the Sky’s image as a budget exotic. That you must walk around the car to fasten them down only means that you will be spending that much more time curbside, showing off your car to jealous onlookers. Who needs to make a quick getaway when you look this good?


This is one two-seat roadster that will not be saddled with the “chick car” stigma.


While the Sky is an improvement over the Solstice, if mostly for aesthetic reasons, I only hope that G.M. continues to improve the platform and fix the car’s remaining problems. Anyone who buys a roadster should have already tossed concepts like everyday practicality and packaging efficiency over their shoulder at speed, but there’s no reason not to try to move the Sky a little further up the usability scale. As it is, it’s fairly near the bottom.

First and foremost is that if you actually want to drive the car on vacation, you should be considering a holiday at a nudist colony. With the gas tank intruding into the trunk from below and the top eating up what little space is left over, you will learn to pack lightly — perhaps using poster tubes for luggage.

And forget about bringing much along in the cockpit. The glove box is only big enough for, say, a pair of gloves; the owner’s manual won’t even lay flat in it. While there is another small storage compartment on the rear bulkhead between the seats, that’s it; there are no cubbyholes or bins anywhere else.

Things like cellphones or iPods can be shoved into pockets on the front of the seats, but the seats themselves are an issue. They don’t seem to actually fit in the car, and once you are seated there is no room on the side to reach the seatback recliner. The range of adjustment is somewhat limited, and I just could not get the driver’s seat where I wanted it.

I’d swear I was thoroughly uncomfortable in the Sky, yet after an entire day behind the wheel I was neither sore nor tired. I suspect the seat was actually forcing me to sit with better posture than I usually would, but it felt awkward.

The Sky suffers from typical convertible problems like road noise at highway speed and an occasional poor fit around the windows. There are other issues I’ve probably forgotten, but I’ve already said that all complaints beyond the engine amount to inconsequential carping.

After all, the Sky is a fashion statement. For anything that makes you look this good for this little money, what’s a little sacrifice?
 

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great article

some of his lines had me cracking up.... good review, totally nails this car.

you cant believe the stares i got today while i was working in Beverly Hills today.... hundreds of benz, bmw, lexus etc but not one kappa car....cool.
 

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"Anyone who buys a roadster should have already tossed concepts like everyday practicality and packaging efficiency over their shoulder at speed, but there’s no reason not to try to move the Sky a little further up the usability scale. As it is, it’s fairly near the bottom."


I definately think the Redline version of this car, with all the standard upgrades, puts it well up from the bottom of the "Roadster" scale. :thumbs:
 

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Don't ya'll think it gets a little bit faster with the CAI and the dual exhaust?
 

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I am happy with the power that the 2.4L puts out and think it has potential for more. I am happy for all the RL guys that are waiting for there cars to come and hope it is everything that you are looking for but I really don't think that the non-RL is a slow pig by any means. And at $230 bucks a tire I for one am not looking to BURN the rubber off any tires any time soon but if you are looking to from what I see all you need is a ECU flash and your Good To Go. All 4 bangers have turned in to tuner cars for the most part anyway.
 

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The Sky is an undeniably gorgeous car, the sort of design that resonates with pretty much anyone with a pulse. This is one two-seat roadster that will not be saddled with the “chick car” stigma. Sure, its chrome jewelry is as abundant as it is pretty, but the sharp fenders evoke the most muscular of sports cars past (think 1970’s Corvettes). Men, women and children swoon.

Thank God!!!

As much as the Sky is crying for a more thrashable power plant, this is the car’s only serious shortcoming.

One other point...IMO the car has plenty of pep and handles great.
 
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