Image credits: © Saturn. GM Corp
2003 Saturn L-Series news, pictures, and information
FRESH, REFINED STYLING AND HOST OF IMPROVEMENTS MAKE 2003 L-SERIES A SMART CHOICE IN MIDSIZE SEGMENTThe 2003 Saturn L-Series sedan and wagon offer customers a more attractive choice than ever, thanks to fresh, refined styling along wîth a host of evolutionary improvements. The exterior styling enhancements give increased personality to the L-Series, while the refreshed interior contributes to a more sophisticated environment.
Other improvements are the result of continuous upgrades to the L-Series sedan and wagon since their introduction as 2000 models. As a result, the L-Series is one of the few cars in its §egmènt wîth standard head-curtain air bags. It is also the first in its §egmènt to offer an integrated video entertainment system, which includes a console-mounted DVD system that plays video or audio discs and includes wireless headphones and remote. In addition, Saturn engineers have gone over every aspect of the L-Series structure, engine and passenger compartment in order to bring noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) to extremely low levels.
'The 2003 Saturn L-Series is a smart choice,' said Scott Horn, L-Series marketing manager. 'Its upscale content, extensive safety features and new styling make the L-Series worth a fresh look by customers seeking exceptional value in a midsize car.'
For 2003, the L-Series consists of the L200 and L300 sedans, and the LW200 and LW300 wagons. Saturn sold 94,034 L-Series cars in 2000, the first full calendar year for the midsize cars, and increased sales by 4.5 percent in 2001, to 98,227 cars. The L-Series continues to attract 'plus business' to General Motors, wîth three out of four buyers saying that they otherwise would have purchased a non-GM product.
Substantial and refined
The 2003 L-Series features a more commanding yet refined look, wîth jewel-like headlamps and taillamps and chrome touches that add an upscale feel. While basic dimensions remain the same, the exterior design changes help give a more substantial overall appearance. A change in spring heights, combined wîth the design changes, gives the new L-Series a more balanced attitude, as opposed to the wedge-shape of the original model. The car was raised 9mm in front, and lowered by 8mm in the rear.
The redesigned front end is marked by the large, expressive headlamps, a new grille and raised hood. The projector beam headlamps, which include visible optics and chrome trim, wrap around the corner of the car. The wrap-around headlamps, along wîth an increased flare to the front fenders, help give the front end a wider appearance. Optional fog lamps wîth chrome bezels are integrated in the new front fascia.
The hood has been redesigned and raised to give a higher stance to the front end and to make room for a new, larger grille. In addition to fresh styling, the larger grille provides increased airflow to the engine compartment. The grille also sports a revised, three-dimensional-appearing Saturn badge, featuring a chrome frame and richer red color compared to the previous red.
In addition to the distinctive taillamps, the back end of the L-Series sedan features a new, more substantial-lòòking fascia. Also on the sedan, a more elegant chrome strip wîth a new jewel-like Saturn badge has replaced the horizontal red appliqué across the rear of the deck lid.
Formerly black, rocker panels and the lower sections of front and rear fascias are now body-colored, helping to make the car look more solid and lower to the ground.
Sixteen-inch wheels help give the 2003 L-Series a sportier stance. On the L300 and LW300, a 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheel is standard and a 16-inch chrome clad wheel is optional. The 16-inch wheels are optional for L200 and LW200 buyers. The 16-inch chrome clad wheels debuted on special-edition 2002 L-Series sedans and wagons that were equipped wîth the DVD entertainment package.
Inside, the L-Series freshening has produced a more refined look and feel. Brushed nickel finish trim plates in the center console and instrument panel, silver faceplates in the instrument cluster and European-style seat upholstery help support the more upscale design thémé.
For cargo carrying, L-Series sedans offer a spacious 17.5-cubic-feet trunk. The wagon offers 79 cubic feet of room wîth the rear seats folded down - that's more than can be found in some SÚVs.
While the 2003 L-Series sports a fresh new appearance, it also derives huge benefits from Saturn's philosophy of continuous improvement. Since the debut of the first L-Series midsize cars in the 2000 model year, Saturn has implemented more than 380 upgrades, refinements and new features, substantially improving the L-Series sedan and wagon and providing customers even more value for their money.
'Continuous improvement has made an outstanding vehicle even better,' said Horn. 'A majority of the enhancements have been implemented as running changes, bringing immediate benefits to customers.'
Following are highlights of the evolutionary changes made to the L-Series since its introduction.
Safety and security
First introduced in the 2001 model year, Saturn's innovative head-curtain air-bag technology is designed to help reduce the severity of head and neck injuries in side-impact collisions. The bags drop like inflated curtains on both sides of the passenger compartment in certain side-impact collisions. The head-curtain air-bag system is standard on all L-Series models.
Even without taking into account the effect of the head-curtain air bags, Saturn has improved its side-impact crash testing performance by strengthening the body structure through foam injection at pillar joints. As a result, the Saturn L-Series received a 3-star/5-star (front/rear) rating, up from an original 2-star/4-star, in the Lateral Impact New Car Assessment Program (LINCAP), conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Other safety enhancements to the L-Series since its debut include the addition of automatic headlamps, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat restraint system, plus rear head restraints, a center rear three-point seatbelt and a trunk entrapment release for the sedan. (concept carz) If an incident causes any of the vehicle's air bags to deploy, the car's headlamps will continuously flash as a distress signal and the interior dome lamp will automatically come on to aid in exiting the vehicle. L-Series customers now have the option of OnStar, wîth its available array of safety, convenience and information features.
Ride and handling
The L-Series retains the European-type handling that customers in this §egmènt appreciate. However, the §teering system has been tuned to further enhance road feel at highway speeds, and also to better block out road harshness. Revisions to shock and strut valving also make the ride smoother over rough surfaces.
Ride and handling also are improved by the addition of 16-inch tires, which first debuted on special-edition 2002 models. The larger tires are standard on the 2003 L300 and LW300, and are optional on the L200 and LW200.
The optional DVD entertainment system - unique to the §egmènt - leads the list of available features added to the L-Series since its inception. Back-seat passengers can view a movie on a fold-down, 7-inch LCD screen. Equipped wîth remote control and dual wireless headphones, the rear passengers can listen to CDs or watch a movie. The front-seat passengers can either listen to the DVD program or to the car's regular audio system.
Other features added since the initial L-Series include optional automatic climate control and a six-disc in-dash CD changer wîth amplifier, sub-woofer and six premium speakers.
The Saturn L-Series continues to offer the choice of two advanced, dual-overhead camshaft engines. Standard on L200 and LW200 is GM's global Ecotec 2.2-liter inline 4, which delivers 135 hp at 5200 rpm and 142 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm. The four cylinder has been rated as having the best fuel economy in its §egmènt for a car equipped wîth automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) On the L300 and LW300, the 3.0-liter V6 provides 182 hp at 5600 rpm and 190 lb-ft of torque at 3600 rpm.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the L200. A computer-controlled four-speed automatic is available on the L200, and standard on the LW200, L300 and LW300. Four-wheel independent suspension wîth four-link rear suspension contributes to precise handling, wîth a high level of refinement.Source - Saturn
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