The new Saturn Aura Green Line hybrids are now rolling off the assembly line at the General Motors Kansas City assembly plant and should start showing up in dealerships shortly, and with any luck in the AutoblogGreen garage as well. As tax day approaches the IRS has certified that the Aura is eligible for a tax credit of $1,300 which buyers this year will be able to take off on their tax return next year.
In addition to the tax credit, the hybrid Aura gets the lowest base price of any hybrid available on the US market this year, starting at $22,695. The EPA has also given the Aura an mileage rating of 28/35mpg city/highway. The Aura gets the same mild hybrid power-train as the Vue hybrid and the upcoming 2008 Malibu hybrid. The 2.4L four cylinder has a belt-driven starter alternator, start-stop capability when the vehicle is stopped and regenerative braking. The GM press release is after the jump.
[Source: General Motors]
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.
General Motors' Saturn brand markets vehicles in the U.S. and Canada through a network of about 500 retailers, with a focus on providing innovative products with solid value and excellent customer service. In 2006, Saturn undertook a major revitalization of its portfolio with four new vehicles: the Sky roadster, the Aura midsize sedan, the Vue Green Line hybrid and the larger Outlook crossover. Saturn continues its aggressive growth plans in 2007, with the all-new 2008 Vue compact crossover (Spring 2007) and the new 2008 Astra small car (Fall 2007).