Oldsmobile Aurora

2002 Oldsmobile Aurora (Second Generation: 2001-2003)

Oldsmobile's original intention for the second generation was to move the Aurora further upmarket, retaining its V8-only drivetrain and sharing a platform with the new Buick Riviera, as the original Aurora had done. This would have created more room within the Oldsmobile lineup for a four-door Eighty-Eight successor known as the Antares. However, Buick dropped its Riviera development plans and fiscal trouble found Oldsmobile, so Oldsmobile was forced to re-engineer the Antares into an acceptable Aurora in short time. Still using the G-body design, the re-engineered Aurora was the result, but retaining its 4.0 V8 Northstar still mounted to a 4T80-E.

Oldsmobile also offered a V6 engine in the Aurora for the first time. The V6 in question was the LX5, a cut-down relation of the DOHC Aurora V8, dubbed the "Shortstar." The V6-powered Aurora was produced for the 2001 and 2002 model years only, with production ceasing in mid-2002.

This Aurora, though still a competitive luxury sedan, did not attract the attention, nor sales that the original did. This can be blamed on several reasons. Most of all was that the new Aurora, as well as the new 2002 Bravada, was overshadowed by GM's announcement in December 2000 that the Oldsmobile marque was to be phased out over the next several years. Though still retaining its unique styling, it now shared design cues from other Oldsmobiles, as well many parts in common with other GM vehicles. This took away the "separateness" from other Oldsmobiles that the original had. It should also be noted, that the 2nd generation Aurora was over six inches shorter than was the 1st generation. Automobile magazine wrote that "The Aurora's new look is not quite as sensuous or elegant as that of the outgoing model," but the Auto Channel review said, "it was better in every respect."

The second generation Aurora went into production on November 1, 1999, and went on sale in February 2000 as a 2001 model. The last V6-powered Auroras rolled off the assembly line on June 21, 2002. The Final 500 Auroras ended production on March 28, 2003. These were all a special burgundy color (called "Dark Cherry Metallic"), had special chrome wheels, and Final 500 badging. The Orion, Michigan plant built a total of 71,722 second-generation Auroras (53,640 in 2001, 10,865 in 2002, 7,217 in 2003).

Source: Wikipedia, 2011

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