• Jul 18, 2007
click above image for more views of this Opel Vectra mule testing in the U.S.

Though they look similar, the current Saturn Aura and its European cousin, the Opel Vectra, do not share the exact same platform as many mistakenly believe. General Motors will correct this when the next-generation of each car arrives, and we've already seen a number of spy shots showing a new Opel Vectra being tested in disguise.

These spy shots we bring you today are no different, except instead of being taken in some far off land, they were taken in Death Valley, U.S.A. This is the first time we've seen the new Vectra being tested in the U.S., and for that matter, with so little covering. It's easy to see through the camo to the Vectra's new styling, which is heavily derivative of the Opel GTC Concept that debuted in Geneva last March. That's fine with us, as the GTC is a stunning coupe concept and adding two more doors has hardly lessened the design's appeal. We particularly like the swoop that starts where the A-pillar meets the base of the windshield and then carves a nice line into the front door. It reminds us of a similar swoop on the rear doors of the Toyota Camry, though with a more subtle and tasteful execution. The size of the front and rear overhand is a little alarming, as we think the design would be served better by pushing the wheels out to the corners, but overall the proportions are right on. The car looks neither heavy nor insubstantial, and it appears wider than the current models, as well.

The next-generation Opel Vectra will debut first, and then around 2010 we'll get our version in the form of a new Saturn Aura. It shouldn't be difficult at all to extrapolate what the next Aura will look like from these pics, as we expect a different grille to be the biggest difference.

[Photos: KGP Photography]



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  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's going to be an amazing looking car. The proportion seems to be perfect from front to rear to side. Kudos to the designers.
        • 7 Years Ago
        if you went to the Nissan dealer today you could pick it up. this car looks like a copy cat of the Altima (in looks),

        but I bet the 3.5L from Nissan will outgun the 3.6L expected on this car
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chris Bangle continues to be vindicated...

      This car doesn't have any rear head room (or the centre point is too tall). I'll hit my head on the roof trying to get into the back seat. Not much boot/trunk space either. I suppose the designers are more concerned with looks than function. Apart from that it looks good.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't understand why Saturn did not keep the name Vectra for the car. That way it could better improve the new direction of Saturn which is to basically be an American Opel. The next small Saturn will be named the Astra as the Opel already is. After the Vectra (Aura), Saturn should have brought in the Omega (similar to Pontiac G8) and allow Saturn to steal sales from the Toyota Avalon. Heck, they should also bring the Corsa and compete with the Honda Fit which dealers can't keep it in stock, as sales skyrocket. I don't get it. The market wants an Astra and Corsa. GM already build them. Why not spend a little to federalize it and bring it here? No wonder Toyota is killing GM.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Im fairly sure I read somewhere that the Corsa is supposed to be brought over by 2010.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The forward half and grille of this look a lot like the Insignia concept a few years back. I'd say that Sir Bob has the General rolling again!

      http://www.gmeurope.com/frankfurt2003/thumbnail_opel_concept_i.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is that a Bangle butt I see?
      • 7 Years Ago

      I think the next generation Malibu will also be built on the same platform.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Saturn is hitting some home runs lately. I hope they keep it up.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does this mean no Red Line version of the current Aura? 2010 is only 2 my's away.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The grill looks slightly Audi-ish.

      Should be a sweet looking GM vehicle when it comes along. I just hope its quality after 5 years closely resembles its initial quality.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Very nice looking. I agree that the proportions are spot on from every angle; even the rear, which is NOT a bangle-butt.
        • 7 Years Ago
        How is it not a Bangle butt?
      • 7 Years Ago
      While not yet in the market for a new vehicle, I do like the looks of the current Aura. It's a car I'd consider and have to test drive were I to get a new car. Based on these pictures, I think I'll like the next Aura even more.

      I currently drive a manual trans American made sedan. I have owned and driven manual trans cars for the past 17 years. Would most like a fuel efficient diesel in an upcoming car purchase. And, while I've never yet owned a station wagon, I'd be more likely to choose one than an SUV or a CUV.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This thing is littered with toyota and lexus design cues.
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