'For Saturn, the Sky is not the limit. It's only the beginning' according to Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. The 2-seat convertible Sky indeed was a bold new product for Saturn that would share the message regarding the new generation of vehicles about to be delivered from Saturn. It featured a dynamic design with nimble performance. The only roadster produced by the Saturn marque, the Sky was introduced during the first part of 2006 as a 2007 model. The sky uses the Kappa automobile platform that was shared with the Pontiac Solstice and the Opel GT and boasted classic Roadster styling. The Sky concept originally debuted at the 2005 North American International Auto and the production version followed closely at the 2006 show. The Sky was built at GM's Wilmington, Delaware plant alongside the Solstice and the Opel GT.
The Saturn Sky was designed by Franz von Holzhausen and was inspired by the design of the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept. The Sky was created at GM's Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham, England, which signaled the adoption of an international design language for the marque. It featured more than ample interior space, fun and sporty top-down driving fun and a smooth ride. According to Ed Welburn, the vice president of Design for GM North America, the Sky's 'strong front end' was the 'new face of Saturn, with a pronounced fender peak and a bold, chrome bar that carries an integrated Saturn badge.' The convertible top neatly folds completely into the rear compartment while the clamshell hood reinforces the sports car persona. The outside of the car showcases a sophisticated visage with projector halogen low beams and reflector optic halogen high beam headlamps.
It was available in various European markets as the Opel GT. It featured 18-inch wheels and a 2.4 L Ecotec LE5 straight-4 engine that produced 177 hp, a new straight-4 2.0 L turbocharged direct injected engine that produced 260 hp. A dealer-installed turbo upgrade kit on the Sky produced 290 hp. Five-speed manual and automatic transmissions were both available. Luxury features of the Sky included keyless entry, power accessories and cruise control, all with an affordable price tag.
In 2006 a rebadged version named the Daewoo G2X was unveiled as a concept car destined for the South Korean market. In September of 2007 the production version was released. Until 2008 the Sky, the Solstice, the GT and the G2X were built in Delaware. The exterior styling of the Sky was highly praised by enthusiasts as a welcome departure from the old Saturn styling. On the inside of the Sky though was a tight, small interior that was incredibly driver-focused with unified controls and displays. Original piano black and chrome finishes completed the interior with available leather seats and technical grains that further emphasized the meticulous care that went into the design. The HVAC and lighting controls featured jewel-like detailing.
In April of 2006 a Red Line model of the Saturn Sky was introduced at the New York Auto Show. The Red Line used the same standard 5-speed Aisin manual transmission with an automatic transmission optional. The model used the same 260 hp turbocharged Ecotec engine as the Solstice GXP and Opel GT. It featured standard StabiliTrak stability control, a standard torque-sensing limited-slip differential and an enhanced sport suspension that the standard Sky didn't have.
On the outside the Red Line came with dual exhausts, a specific front fascia made exclusively for the Red Line and 18-inch wheels. The interior of the Red Line came with special embroidery on the seats and floor mats, a unique leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, metallic doorsill covers, stainless steel pedals, special tachometer and gauges and a digital boost gauge in the Driver Information Center. During the fall of 2006 the Red Line model began shipping at a starting price of $29,795.
For 2007 a total of 16,576 Saturn Sky models were produced. For 2008 the numbers dropped slightly to 13,662, before dropping substantially in 2009 to 4,178. In 2010 only models were produced, making the total production number 34,415 for the Saturn Sky.
For 2009 the Sky sports car featured Bluetooth through OnStar. An updated special-edition trim was introduced that featured Hydro Blue and Ruby Red paint colors and 18-inch split-spoke wheels. The base model came with 2.4L four-cylinder engine that produced 173 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. The improved Sky Red Line featured a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced 260 hp and 260 lb/ft of torque. The base Sky model could hit 0-60 mph in just 7.5 seconds, while the Red Line did it in 5.8 seconds. Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, passenger-sensing airbag operation and stability control. Buyers could add OnStar turn-by-turn navigation as an option on both the base and Red Line trims.
An entirely modified Sky model built by Autosport Dynamics competes in the Formula D drifting series. The racing model is sponsored by Faulken Tires and produces 800 hp and features an impressive aluminum turbocharged V8 with a displacement of 6.7 liters.
In July of 2009 the Wilmington Assembly plant was closed which ended production as both the Saturn and Pontiac nameplates were retired.
By Jessica Donaldson