Saturn Aura

From Saturn press: The Aura blends Saturn's new European-influenced design and high levels of refinement with the brand's customer-focused purchase and ownership experience.

"The bold, sophisticated design of the Aura represents another step in Saturn's revitalization," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. "This is a fun-to-drive sport sedan that will appeal both to current Saturn owners and to those who have never considered shopping at one of our retail stores."

Based on the dramatic concept vehicle unveiled in 2005, the Aura sports sedan carries much of the concept's bold design. Seen in other new Saturn models, such as the Sky roadster and Outlook crossover vehicle, these elements - including distinctive headlamps with jewel-like appearance and a chrome grille bar - establish a new design language for Saturn's growing portfolio of vehicles.

"The design language of the Aura - and other new Saturn models - is technical and conveys a premium appearance," said Clay Dean, GM design director for small and midsize cars. "From the detailed lighting elements to the edginess of the silhouette, the Aura demonstrates a revitalized emphasis on style and performance."

Aura's premium design cues include halogen headlamps covered in clear housings that wrap upward and around the corners of the vehicle. This expressive, jewel-like design feature shared among Saturn's newest models adds a sense of motion to the vehicle, even when stationary. At the rear of the vehicle, LED tail lamps are employed to enhance Aura's technical ethic while also providing an extra measure of safety. LED lamps illuminate more quickly than conventional incandescent bulbs, which can allow drivers behind the Aura to react sooner when they see the brake lamps.

Additional design details include a radio antenna integrated in the rear window, for a sleeker overall appearance, and a chrome appearance for the door handles on XR models. Standard 17-inch wheels and tires fill the wheel houses, enhancing the vehicle's sporty, firmly planted stance. XR models come with 18-inch polished, 14-spoke cast aluminum wheels and performance tires.

Saturn offers two powertrains at launch that provide the Aura's power and performance for a refined on-road feel. Standard on XE models is the 3.5L V-6 with variable valve timing (VVT). This powerplant, mated with the 4T45-E, four-speed automatic, generates 224 horsepower (167 kw) and 220 lb.-ft. of torque (298 Nm).

The 4T45-E is a four-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive transaxle with an electronically controlled torque converter clutch noted for its low noise, high durability and smooth shifting.

Uplevel XR models are equipped with the 3.6L DOHC V-6 with VVT, rated at 252 horsepower (188 kw) and 251 lb.-ft. of torque (340 Nm). This engine is mated with the all-new Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission, the first application of this important addition to the GM Powertrain portfolio. The transmission allows for strong performance combined with strong fuel efficiency.

Gallery: Saturn Aura