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Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid to Offer 25% Fuel Economy Improvement Over Non-Hybrid

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Aura Green Line Hybrid sedan. Click to enlarge.

GM formally introduced the Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid at the Los Angeles International Auto Show (earlier post). Based on the same GM Hybrid system as the VUE Green Line Hybrid (earlier post), the Aura Green Line sedan will deliver at least a 25% fuel economy improvement over the non-hybrid Aura XE for a premium of less than $2,500, according to GM.

The non-hybrid 2007 Aura XE, fitted with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, carries a fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway.

The Aura Green Line’s base price is expected to start below $23,000, and will be available at Saturn retailers in spring 2007.

The GM Hybrid Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) system in the Aura Green Line combines an electric motor/generator with a 2.4L Ecotec VVT four-cylinder engine, Hydra-Matic 4T45 four-speed transmission and Cobasys 36V NiMH battery pack.

The Saturn Aura Green Line is the first of four hybrids GM will introduce in the 2007 calendar year, more than any other manufacturer. Equipped with GM’s 2.4L, four-cylinder Ecotec engine and the GM Hybrid system, the Aura Green Line will deliver spirited performance, as well as a significant improvement in overall fuel economy compared to the current Aura.

—Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Powertrain

Aura Green Line’s hybrid powertrain is rated at 164 hp (122 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 159 lb-ft (215 Nm) of peak torque at 5,000 rpm. The GM Hybrid system provides start-stop functionality, early fuel shut-off during deceleration, regenerative braking and intelligent battery charging.

The new GM Hybrid system also provides additional power when required during launch from the electric motor/generator. At wide-open throttle, such as during a passing maneuver, the system enhances acceleration by using the motor/generator to bolster the gasoline engine and achieve maximum power.

The GM Hybrid system also is designed to automatically maintain full accessory functionality when the vehicle is stopped, including climate control, so that hybrid operation is transparent to the driver and passengers. The Aura Green Line delivers an appropriate balance between fuel economy and cabin comfort with an air conditioning system with two selectable modes. The Hybrid A/C mode favors more fuel efficient performance by limiting the draw on the hybrid powertrain, while the normal mode provides maximum passenger comfort in hot climates and enhances defogging performance.

The Aura Green Line hybrid sedan is based on the all-new Aura midsize sedan. The Aura Green Line is one of 12 hybrid models GM has announced, providing customers with several levels of fuel economy savings across different brands at different price points on vehicles ranging from cars to full-size SUVs.

Comments

Jake

It is too bad the GM bashers can't get excited about a reasonably-priced American car that gets 28/35mpg. And frankly, if you haven't driven one, compare it to a Camry. You might be surprised.

Anthony

It is good idea to hybrid the aura. But I think the hp could be a little higher. Also the E85 is great idea.
Yet the car needs to get better gas mileage. Burn the fuel more efficient.

Stuart

I worked on electrical system schematics for the 2007 PHT (Parallel Hybrid Truck) pickup at GM. I thought of it as pretend hybrid and this looks very much the same. By contrast, I drive a 2005 Volvo V70 wagon, EPA rated 20/30 mpg. On a recent trip to Denver from my home near Phoenix, I measured 31.5 mpg for the 1700+ miles. That from a turbo 5 cylinder 2.5L engine cranking out more power and torque than the Saturn, with max torque starting at only 1500 RPM. The only real advantage the Saturn offers is about $15000 lower price. But it also does not provide the 70 cubic feet of cargo space that is in the Volvo wagon. I made good use of that when I moved here from Michigan.

It was my observation when I worked at GM for 10 years that too little, too late is the name of their game. Then they try to hide it under an advertising blitz pretending to offer something they don't really have. That is usually followed by hype for exciting things that "will be out a few years from now," but almost never are. The place always reminded me of Dilbert.

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