The Sky From Saturn

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The revitalized Saturn lineup features vehicles designed in cooperation with German automaker Opel. One of the vehicles in Saturn's lineup with European styling is the Saturn Sky, the roadster based on the Opel GT.

Convertibles have always been favored by car buyers for their good looks. These cars are fun to drive especially with the top down. Sporty handling is also a mark of a successful convertible and the Sky has that aside from its reasonable price and manageable top.

The Sky is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The presence of the turbocharger gives the four-cylinder gasoline engine an output of 260 horsepower, enough to power the light vehicle adequately.

The engine is coupled to a five-speed manual transmission. According to General Motors, the combination of the turbocharged engine and the automatic transmission can propel the roadster from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in just six seconds.

The Sky is the first-ever convertible for the Saturn brand and collaboration with Opel has resulted to a vehicle which has the potential of being a force to reckon with in its segment. It made its debut as an early 2007 model year car and is priced more than the Pontiac Solstice but it makes up for it with more standard features.

The Sky shares its platform with the Solstice. As such, the Sky has a rear wheel drive configuration. With the front wheels used for steering the car and the rear wheels used to drive the Sky, it can reach the 60-mile mark in six seconds. With Opel having a hand in the designing of the Sky, it is not a surprise that the Sky and the Solstice for that matter look like 1960s European roadsters.

That of course is a strong selling point for the Sky, after all, that era gave birth to nimble cars with simplistic design. Although not shouting for recognition, the Sky's design is simple yet manages to catch the attention of onlookers. The headlight configuration gave it an aggressive look which does not diminish its captivating aura.

As for the handling, the Sky is designed with independent suspensions which complement the . Good handling is expected with the independents suspension setting for both front and rear end of the Sky. Stopping power for the Sky is provided by four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system.

Aside from its ABS, the Sky is also equipped with General Motors' Electronic Stability Control System called the StabiliTrak. This system uses sensors integrated into the vehicle to determine the input of the driver on the steering wheel and the response of the drive wheels. When the system senses that the driver is running the risk of loosing control of the vehicle, it takes actions to correct the vehicle. The system does this by either providing more power to a particular wheel or activating the brakes on a certain wheel.

The interior of the car is not surprisingly luxurious. The Sky is moving the Saturn brand upscale with the high quality of materials used in the interior of the roadster. It is of course expected since it is designed by a European carmaker.

According to Saturn, the Sky will usher in a new era for the carmaker. "Saturn is introducing a bold new design and level or refinement with Sky," says Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. "The Sky represents the future of the Saturn brand."

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