Saturn Aura Green Line, the Lowest Hybrid Available

By: Noah Scott

Saturn has recently announced that the new 2007 Aura Green Line hybrid will be available at a starting price of $22,695 inclusive of the destination charge, making it as the lowest-priced hybrid on the market. Aside from its value-focused price, the Internal Revenue Service has also certified the Aura Green Line buyers to a tax credit of $1,300.

Saturn General Manager, Jill Lajdziak said, "The Aura Green Line is a great value among the hybrids in the mid-size car segment. With starting sticker price over $2,000 less than any mid-sized hybrid sedan and a $1,300 tax credit, it makes true hybrid fuel savings available to more people than ever before."

The Saturn Aura Green Line receives an official EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg for city driving and 35 mpg for highway driving which represents up to 30 percent improvement in EPA combined fuel economy compared to the non-hybrid Aura XE model depending on the driving conditions.

The Saturn Aura Green Line is assembled at the Fairfax Plant of General Motors in Kansas City, Kan and is now ready to hit various Saturn Retail facilities.

What makes the Saturn Aura Green Line different from the other hybrid out there? The hybrid system used in the Aura combines sophisticated controls with a precise electric motor/generator mated to a 2.4 liter engine. The system offers a fuel economy gains by providing electric power assist during acceleration and an early fuel cut-off during deceleration with torque leveling and by shutting the engine off at idle. The hybrid system of Aura also captures electrical energy through regenerative braking.

Regenerative braking according to Wikipedia is system that reduces the vehicle's speed by converting its kinetic energy into electrical energy. This electrical energy is stored for future use or fed back into a power system for use by other vehicles.

Aura Green's hybrid powertrain delivers 164 horsepower or 122 kW at 6400 rpm and 159 lb-ft or 215 Nm of peak torque at 5000 rpm. The concept for the Saturn's new hybrid sedan is based on the all-new Aura midsize sedan which won the 2007 North American Car of the Year award. The Green Line features the same list of comprehensive package that earned Aura full five stars in government side-impact and frontal crash tests making it as one of the safest vehicles available. Some of the standard features included in the Aura Green are as follows: dual-stage front, side head-curtain and front seat thorax protection air bags, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, and GM's OnStar safety and security system. The Aura Green will also be equipped with original GM parts that are renowned for quality and durability like which disperse or absorb energy and in the process prevents the uncontrollable movements of the vehicle especially when driving on uneven road surfaces.

The Aura Green is just one of the four hybrids that Saturn has previously announced together with the 2007 Vue Green Line which was launched last summer. The Vue Green Line employs the same hybrid technology used on the Aura Green and provides an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 32 mpg.

Saturn for 2008 will offer the Vue Green Line with the first front-wheel-drive application of GM's new, 2-mode hybrid system and plug-in technology. Its Lithium-ion battery pack, which hopefully will be ready soon, along with some powerful electric motors plus highly efficient electronics, will help the Vue to obtain a much higher fuel economy.

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