The Saturn Sky is a two-door roadster sports car produced from 2006 to 2009, sold as 2007 to 2010 model years.
Saturn Background and Sky Development
When the Saturn brand comes to mind, most people envision the pragmatic Saturn S-Series sedan or L-Series lineup with the sharp front nose featured prominently on economical platforms. But towards the end of the GM subsidiary's life, Saturn began branching out in new directions, including larger sedans, crossover SUVs, and the Saturn Sky roadster. Unlike past Saturns that shared few components with other GM models, the Sky was built also side the Pontiac Solstice in the Wilmington, Delaware facility on the Kappa platform. It was sold in select European markets as a Opel GT and for a short while in South Korea as the Daewoo G2X. Like many roadsters, it featured a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout to maximize its sporty drive and handling. The exterior shape of the Sky was designed by Fran Von Holzhausen, who later went on to work on Tesla models. The Sky is sleek, with an elongated hood and relatively small passenger cabin oriented toward the rear axle. It had a convertible top so drivers could let the air flow and enjoy sunny days in the Saturn Sky. Compared to many Saturn models, the Sky is an extreme outlier in looks, bringing in a significantly more stylish appeal.
Saturn Sky Engine and Performance
Under the hood of this roadster weighing in around 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) was a 2.4L LE5 inline-4 engine. It produced a respectable 177 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, providing more than enough power to get this little car up to speed. This base engine could be paired to a five-speed AR5 manual or five-speed 5L40-E automatic transmission. A special Saturn Sky Red Line variant was released in 2006 as well, first shown at the 2006 New York Auto Show. It utilized a smaller 2.0L Ecotec inline-4 engine, but added in forced induction through a turbocharger to ramp up power to a quite impressive 260 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. An optional turbo upgrade could increase power to 290 horsepower, a fairly high number for this size vehicle. The Red Line model could reach 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds with the manual transmission or 5.2 seconds with the automatic. The Red Line also included a limited-slip differential and StabiliTrak stability control system to ensure the extra power would be well-handled, and it also added in an improved sport suspension for more spirited driving sessions.
Available Features and Special Variants
While the base model Saturn Sky was relatively well-equipped, the interior was nothing overly luxurious. The dashboard was a basic layout with HVAC and stereo controls and a fairly small instrument cluster. The Red Line version added in a digital turbo boost gauge, dual exhausts, 18-inch wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls for the stereo. GM released several other special variants, including the Carbon Flash Special Edition Saturn Sky in 2008, featuring a Carbon Flash paint color and upgraded Monsoon stereo system. The interior also threw in some two-tone black on silver touches to the seating and steering wheel. In 2009, the Ruby Red and Hydro Blue special variants of the Saturn Sky were introduced, once again mostly featuring cosmetic changes showcasing the color indicated in the model name.
Looking Back on the Saturn Sky
Saturn had early success in the 1990s with its practical S-Series lineup, but as the brand expanded in the 21st century with badge-engineered models, it faltered and couldn't replicate its previous success. It's reported that each Saturn Sky produced resulted in a five-figure loss for the company, being one of many reasons that GM eventually discontinued the brand entirely in 2010. The Saturn Sky started off with some limited success, selling over 16,500 units as the 2007 models year, then rapidly declining down to just under 4,200 units in 2009 and wrapping things up with just eight units produced in 2010 before production stopped. The Sky and the Saturn brand of the time might not have been the most luxurious or wildly successful vehicle around, but it showed some real spirit from the otherwise drab offerings. The Red Line variant was particularly fun, with its available nearly 300-horsepower turbocharged engine and convertible roof providing endless entertainment for the people who owned it.