• Mar 19, 2007


The folks at Saturn have finally slapped a sticker on their 2007 Aura Green Line, and at $22,695 (with destination fee) it undercuts the price of every other hybrid on the market. If that wasn't enough incentive to woo would be fuel misers into the dealership, the Green Line also qualifies for the $1,300 federal tax credit.

As a refresher, the hybrid setup in the Aura combines a 2.4L engine to an electric motor/generator to produce 164 HP and 159 lb.-ft. of torque while returning current EPA mileage figures of 28 city/35 highway. The 30-percent increase in mileage over the base Aura is achieved by both shutting off the engine at idle and cutting fuel delivery during deceleration. The Aura GL is considered a "mild" hybrid since the electric motor doesn't move the vehicle on its own or assist the IC engine in acceleration at any time.

You can check Saturn's website for more information or read the press release after the jump.

[Source: GM]

PRESS RELEASE

Saturn Aura Green Line - the Lowest Priced Hybrid -Certified for $1,300 Tax Credit

New hybrid starts at $22,695; receives official EPA ratings of 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway

Detroit -- Saturn announced today that the new 2007 Aura Green Line hybrid's MSRP will start at $22,695 (including destination charge), making it the lowest-priced hybrid on the market for 2007.

In addition to its value-focused price, the Internal Revenue Service has certified that Aura Green Line buyers will qualify for a tax credit of $1,300.

"The Aura Green Line is a great value among the hybrids in the mid-size car segment," said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. "With a 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 Aura Green Line's EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway represents up to a 30 percent improvement in EPA combined fuel economy compared to the non-hybrid Aura XE model (depending on driving conditions).

The Aura is assembled at the General Motors Fairfax Plant in Kansas City , Kan. , and Green Line hybrid models are beginning to arrive at Saturn retail facilities.

The hybrid system in the Aura combines sophisticated controls with a precise electric motor/generator mated to a 2.4-liter engine. The system delivers fuel economy gains by providing electric power assist during acceleration, through early fuel cut-off during deceleration with torque smoothing and by shutting the engine off at idle. The system also captures electrical energy through regenerative braking. The vehicle's hybrid powertrain produces 164 horsepower (122 kW) at 6400 rpm and 159 lb.-ft. (215 Nm) of peak torque at 5000 rpm.

Saturn's new hybrid sedan is based on the all-new Aura midsize sedan, which garnered the 2007 North American Car of the Year award. The Green Line features the same comprehensive safety package that earned Aura a full five stars in government frontal and side-impact crash tests, placing it among the safest vehicles available. (Visit safercar.gov for details.) Key standard features include dual-stage front, side head-curtain and front-seat thorax protection air bags; StabiliTrak electronic stability control; four-wheel disc brakes with ABS; and GM's OnStar safety and security system.

The Aura Green Line is one of four hybrids that Saturn has announced. The 2007 Vue Green Line, which debuted last summer using the same hybrid technology as the Aura Green Line, provides the highest EPA estimated highway fuel economy of any SUV at 32 mpg.

In 2008, Saturn will offer the Vue Green Line with the first front-wheel-drive application of GM's new, 2-mode hybrid system that is expected to deliver up to a 45-percent improvement in combined city and highway fuel economy compared with the non-hybrid Vue.

A plug-in hybrid that has the potential to achieve double the fuel efficiency of any current SUV, is also in development for the Vue. This hybrid SUV will use a modified version of GM's 2-mode hybrid system and plug-in technology. A Lithium-ion battery pack, when ready, along with highly efficient electronics and powerful electric motors, will achieve even greater increases in fuel economy.

Complete information on the Aura Green Line and the rest of Saturn's lineup can be found on the Web at www.saturn.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      AFAIK, in any car, when you take your foot off the gas, that is the same as idling as far as fuel delivery is concerned. So cutting off the fuel entirely cuts that small amount of fuel that would otherwise be delivered to keep the car idling.
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK..... so what's my incentive here? I can get a 4 cyl Accord that gets 34 highway, makes more hp, and costs less.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "35-37 MPG? Big Deal! Optima, 3 HP less, I-4, normal gas engined car, gets 34MPG with their 5 speed, automanual. Cost is less, too.
      Edmunds, etc, IIRC,said 34 MPG, also, on their tests, so the EPA and others Agreed to the 34 hwy."

      My guess (hope) is that the Aura is less polluting though (i.e. greener than the Optima). Isn't an engine very inefficient at idle? reducing those emissions is a good thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      as far as i know, there are no automatics that cut fuel from the engine upon deceleration (sans the hybrids of course).

      the engine disengages from the torque converter but there is gas still going to the engine to keep it rotating.

      manuals on the other hand have the ability to lock the engine to the drivetrain such that the wheels rolling on the ground keep the engine rotating even when there is no gas being fed.

      nes pa?
      • 7 Years Ago
      A new 2.5L Altima with CVT is rated at 26/34, and has a few more hp... Just under $21k with the CVT. And 4-cyl Malibus and G6s are even less expensive, with a tad lower mpg ratings (24/34?).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Quote: How does this thing even pretend to compete with the 40mpg Camry Hybrid?

      Very easy. The Camry Hybrid represents ~$6,275 premium over the similarly equipped Camry LE. Driving 15k miles annually and assuming $3 per gallon for gasoline, the Camry Hybrid will consume $1,153.85 in fuel while the LE model consumes $1,578.95. The annual savings works out to $425.10 with the Hybrid. It would take 14.76 years to recoup the hybrid premium ($6,275/$425.10).

      Let's look at the Aura Green Line (GL) now. The GL represents a $1,700 premium over a comparable XE model. Using the assumptions from above, the GL will consume $1428.57 in fuel while the XE consumes $1,800. The annual savings are $371.43 for the Saturn. It would take 4.58 years to recoup the Saturn hybrid premium.

      Okay, okay. The above only really compares the Saturn to Saturn and Toyota to Toyota. To look at it another way that compares the REAL costs of the Saturn GL vs. Toyota Hybrid. It's really simple. The Saturn GL purchase price plus 5 years of fuel ($3 gal) to drive 15k miles annually would be $29,837.86. The Camry Hybrid purchase price plus fuel over the same period equals $32,589.23. That puts the Saturn $2,751.37 ahead after five years.

      Answer to question: The Saturn doesn't pretend to compete with the Camry Hybrid. Financially, it is clearly superior with a reasonable payback period and real world gains in fuel use.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The saturn 2 mode hybrid coming for 2008 will get 45% better mileage.....do the link for story......

      http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46678
      • 7 Years Ago
      "OK..... so what's my incentive here? I can get a 4 cyl Accord that gets 34 highway, makes more hp, and costs less."

      If you buy an Accord, you might have trouble picking yours out in a parking lot since there are so many of them out there. That's about the only downside I can think of.

      Here in California, the Aura Hybrid wouldn't even qualify for the carpool lane exemption stickers - the mileage is too low.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was a little unclear on the distinction of "mild" hybrids. This didn't help.

      Autoblog: "The Aura GL is considered a "mild" hybrid since the electric motor doesn't move the vehicle on its own or assist the IC engine in acceleration at any time."

      Press Release: "The system delivers fuel economy gains by providing electric power assist during acceleration..."

      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmm looks like you're wrong. Civic Hybrid comes out cheaper both invoice and final after rebate.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great news, it should be a big success.

      However, there's one thing that bothers me. I think GM will only save itself if it stops offering LESS for LESS. There's more profit to be made (at smaller volumes) and a better reputation to be earned by offering MORE for MORE. Try being the best, for once.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Considering that the (presumably identical) 2.4l Ecotec in a G6 is EPA'd at 23/34 (and a touch more HP and torque), and a good part of the extra city mileage probably comes from stoplight shutoff,"

      That is the point of this mild hybrid. No running on battery alone so the city gain is from the fuel shutoff. I don't think they state otherwise.


      "what has GM actually accomplished, really? Are they making more money from this than from a theoretical non-hybrid 4-banger Aura sold for less money?"

      If you drive in the city 5 mpg (if actually achieved) is a decent gain.


      Bottom line is this tecnology is probably 2002 Civic hybrid-like technology. This is because GM and others resisted hybrid development in autos trying to spend more on hydrogen (liquid and fuel cell) and possibly E-85. They are definitely playing catch up in small to mid-size car hybrid systems but will be placed just fine in larger vehicle (full mode) hybrid systems (Tahoe and soon VUE). Then when the two mode system is placed in cars they will be close in technology to anything forseeable. Toyota is moving in the direction of GM (with their full hybrid) in getting their electric motor smaller last I heard. As GM's can be placed in the transmission from what I have read.

      Of course Toyota wants to keep their top spot in hybrids so they are a moving target but I think the 10+ years "ahead" Toyota was with the 1997 (Japan only) Prius will not be near 10 years "ahead" very soon IMO. We'll have to see.

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