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Article 1

2007 Sky could be a wonder car for Saturn
NEW VEHICLE REVIEWS
By Connie Keane
(credit www.washingtontimes.com)

MOTOR MATTERS

June 9, 2006



The Saturn Sky is turning heads. The 2007 roadster is so well-styled people are incredulously stopping and asking, "Is that a Saturn?" I was asked that question countless times during my week with the Sky. Saturn is out to make a strong statement about its new design direction for its entire brand. Company executives want the European look and they've come right out and said so: The Sky signals a new European-influenced design language for Saturn. "The European influence is integral in Saturn's design," says Clay Dean, company design director. As soon as I saw the Sky I noticed its remarkable likeness to the BMW Z roadster. My neighbor drives a Z, so I pulled the Sky alongside it to make visual comparisons. The Saturn has a more American muscle-car look working for it. The front end is bold and the shoulders are huge with flared wheel wells. The Saturn Sky has a base price of $23,115 and features a 16-valve, 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic transmission is available as an option. The test car had $2,460 in optional equipment and a $575 destination charge, bringing the as-tested price to $26,150. The options made the Sky look like a performance sports car with its black performance sports car with its black and red leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, stainless-steel clutch, brake and gas pedals, and 18-inch chrome-plated aluminum wheels. The Sky is a rear-wheel-drive two-seater that generates 177 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 166 foot-pounds of torque. The roadster is rated to achieve 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway. The subcompact Sky has a short wheelbase of 98 inches and stands just 50 inches high. You have to love being close to the road if you're going to spend much time behind the wheel of the Sky. I suspect the low-to-the-ground Sky will be a second or third vehicle in the garage of its owners. It's a great fair-weather weekend day-trip car. It won't carry your luggage. With the top down, there is no cargo space. With the top up, there's very little cargo room. The flip-top is operated manually. It's not as simple as tossing the top back as with the Mazda Miata, but there's nothing difficult about using the Sky's top. It was very simple for me to handle. I popped the trunk release on the key fob to disengage the soft top's two latches from the rear deck lid, released the center-mounted top latch above the rearview mirror, then stepped out of the vehicle to fold the soft top, tuck it away in the trunk and close the rear lid. The top is neatly hidden away leaving a clean flow of sheet metal. I think some drivers are awaiting the autumn arrival of the high-performance Sky. One man stopped me outside the grocery store to admire the Sky and said, "I hear they're coming out with a real fast one." He was referring to the upcoming turbocharged Sky Red Line. This roadster will have red-hot performance to match its hot-looking exterior styling. The 2007 Sky Red Line has a preliminary horsepower rating of 260 at 5,300 rpm and 260 foot-pounds of torque at just 2,500 rpm and a performance-tuned suspension. The Sky Red Line will have unique exterior differences that will set it apart as a performance version of the roadster. Standard safety equipment on the Sky includes OnStar, dual-front air bags and anti-lock brakes. And when it debuts this fall, the Sky Red Line will come equipped with StabiliTrak electronic stability control.
 

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Article 2

Saturn kept price of Sky reasonable
WASHINGTON TIMES
By Russ Heaps
(credit www.washingtontimes.com)

June 9, 2006


Sounding too much like what a set of hippie parents would have named their flower-child daughter in the free-love 1970s, Sky is the newest entry from Saturn. Saturn, the youngest of General Motors' car-building divisions -- if you don't count Hummer that was adopted rather than conceived -- remains the most independent of all GM brands. It offers a unique buyer experience with a passive sales approach and a one-price strategy. Right out of the gate it earned high marks for customer service and continues to be praised in that regard by its loyal owner base -- this in the face of GM's neglect of the brand during its early years. Something akin to learning to swim by being rowed out into the middle of a lake and tossed overboard, Saturn made due with dated, unrefined cars during its infancy. It survived and has been rewarded with contemporary product as illustrated by the appealing Sky. Saturn chose not to confuse the issue and has restricted Sky to a single trim level. Priced at $23,690 with freight, it arrives with a five-speed manual transmission. Plunking down an additional $850 will qualify you for the five-speed automatic. This is a tad more expensive than its cousin, the Solstice, but some of the Pontiac's options -- like the sound insulation layer in the convertible top -- are Sky standard features. Sky could have been more expensive. In addition to borrowing from Solstice, Saturn sorted through the GM parts bin for other bits and pieces. For example, the inside door latches are from Chevrolet Colbalt, the interior vents come from Daewoo and the seat underpinnings are courtesy of the Opel Corsa Where the Solstice is all soft and round, the Sky is sharp corners and angles. The two roadsters have no exterior sheetmetal in common. The Sky's technology-influenced styling takes advantage of some new advancements in sheetmetal hydroforming. Several exterior components, as well as the door inner panels, were fabricated this way. All hunkered down on 18-inch alloy wheels and rubber, the Sky is a head-turner. Sky's basic DNA is shared with Solstice. That is, most of what you don't see is common. Technology such as the hydroformed frame rails extending the length of the car, the four-wheel independent suspension that includes coil-over gas-filled Bilstein monotube shocks at each wheel, the 177-horsepower 2.4-liter four, the rear-wheel-drive architecture, as well as both the manual and optional automatic transmissions are shared. While it won't have you hysterically laughing for joy as you pull into your driveway, the busy little Ecotec four provides sufficient velocity to make the drive interesting. Rowing the transmission yourself adds to the enjoyment and the five-speed manual operates efficiently. The automatic transmission tempers the driving experience, but works smoothly enough; however, there is no driver-shiftable mode. Purists won't find that a big loss. Fuel economy is a little disappointing for a four-banger. The Environmental Protection Agency rates manual-equipped versions at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. With the automatic, in-town driving improves by 2 mpg, but loses 2 mpg on highway cruises. Saturn has built on the shoulders of the Solstice suspension. While basically the same architecture, the Sky's version is bit tauter. It has more rear suspension travel and there are jounce bumpers at every wheel designed to gradually stiffen as they are compressed. The overall affect is very composed and balanced handling. An antilock brake system controlling discs on all four wheels is standard. Curiously, neither traction control nor stability control is available. Glancing into Sky's cockpit, there is little in common to be found with Solstice. The center stack with its three-knob ventilation system controls and Saturn-brand audio controls make this easily identifiable as a proud member of the Saturn family. A twin-tube gauge pod sits directly in front of the driver. The dashboard gently wraps around the front of the cabin. Passenger room is healthy with enough front legroom to let 6-foot-plus drivers slide behind the wheel. The seats are wonderfully supportive with meaty side bolsters. There is enough room in the pencil box-sized trunk for your sack lunch and a ball glove, but little else. Two cubic feet of trunk space is all you get with the top down. Manually operated, the top is not as easy to raise and lower as some competitors. Both exercises require the driver to exit the car. It's not difficult or particularly time-consuming, but does require more driver participation than usual. When lowered, the top is totally hidden. In its raised position, the top is remarkably effective defending against road noise. A full range of power accessories is standard along with cruise control, air conditioning and keyless remote entry. Upgrades such as leather seating, redundant steering wheel-mounted audio controls, XM satellite radio and a better audio system are also available. Miata owners probably won't be trading in their Mazdas for the Sky -- yet. However, when the 260-horsepower Red Line turbocharged version arrives early next year, it may be a different story. It won't be difficult to wait, either, because the Sky production run is sold out until the end of 2006. So if you want either version, best get in line now.
 

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I liked what they had to say, but those were two of the most poorly written newspaper articles I've ever read. Wow!
 

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reedred said:
I liked what they had to say, but those were two of the most poorly written newspaper articles I've ever read. Wow!
The article seems pretty accurate, so it may be thier unfamiliarity with the truth that made it difficult to write! :D
 

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reedred said:
I liked what they had to say, but those were two of the most poorly written newspaper articles I've ever read. Wow!
HAHAHA! Yeah no kidding.

Hey hey hey... this is the washington times... they have been beat up by the post since forever and I don't think they are stealing away any breakout journalists. Sure it reads like a Highlights magazine, but at least they liked the car.
 

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1994SC2 said:
HAHAHA! Yeah no kidding.

Hey hey hey... this is the washington times... they have been beat up by the post since forever and I don't think they are stealing away any breakout journalists. Sure it reads like a Highlights magazine, but at least they liked the car.
I was trying to figure out why that didn't seem like the right name for the paper in DC! It's because I've only ever read the Post. I'm glad you posted this- I was about to call and mock Mother for subscribing!
 

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The Washington Times has a history of telling the truth...

The Washington Post makes it all up, and gets Pulitzers for doing it.
 

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I liked what they had to say, but those were two of the most poorly written newspaper articles I've ever read. Wow!
That's about as preposterous an opinion as I've heard in a while. The articles
were not poorly written, as if you could tell.
 

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GMguy said:
That's about as preposterous an opinion as I've heard in a while.
I loved that line- had to steal it for my signature. As for the quality of the writing, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but people who write professonally and don't know the difference between 'affect' and 'effect' really frighten me. I make no claim to greatness, but do think that the media have a responsibility to use the English language correctly, as they are in a great position to influence and educate the masses.
 

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jdigiant said:
The Washington Times has a history of telling the truth...

The Washington Post makes it all up, and gets Pulitzers for doing it.
I must of got mixed up between the two, I was thinking about all the bull the Post wrote about WMD's in Iraq when I wrote that.
 
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