Saturn's Future, Opel's Shoulders
We’ve applauded GM’s decision to transform Saturn from a brand associated with basic transportation to one exhibiting European style.; If you’re of the same mindset, you’ll like what’s in store for the brand.; We’re told to expect more badge-engineered Opels straight from the Continent, and here’s but a taste of what’s in the pipeline.
By this point, Saturn’s Aura – the sedan whose design helped spark the brand’s rejuvenation – will be five years old.; Hoping to keep the car from getting too long in the tooth, we’re told designers will freshen the car for the 2010 model year.; Don’t expect anything too grandiose; a new Aura will arrive by 2012.
Saturn’s only been importing the Opel Astra for a year, but the Astra itself was last redesigned in 2004.; An all-new Astra, sharing the new global Delta platform with the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt, will arrive in the U.S. in 2011.; In a move to cut costs and actually make money on the car, expect the new Saturn Astra to be built in Mexico, not Belgium.
Automotive News claims another Opel product should debut in the same year.; Bolstered by the success of the Mazda 5 in the U.S. market, the next iteration of Opel’s Zafira – also a “mini-minivan” – will cross the pond with Saturn badges.; Also sharing the Astra’s Delta platform, the Zafira (should the name remain the same) will seat approximately six or seven, albeit third-row seating will be extremely tight.
The refreshed Aura will last but two years, falling away in favor of an all-new car based off the shapely Opel Insignia, which arrives in European showrooms in late 2008.; Expect the Saturn form to arrive only in sedan form, abandoning the attractive wagon form introduced at the 2008 London motor show.
A possible arrival is a crossover slotting in below the Vue SUV.; Should it be approved, the vehicle would ride on GM’s new Gamma platform, which will also support the next Opel Corsa.
Speaking of that car, there’s some buzz about the Corsa arriving in Saturn’s lineup.; Although Saturn executives are reportedly “on the fence” about importing the subcompact Opel Corsa, sources at GM tell us that the Gamma platform is a hot topic within the design studios.; If deemed worthy for our shores, the Corsa wouldn’t debut until 2013.
Source: Automotive News