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|04-12-2006, 02:39 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
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2007 Saturn Aura
Press release 4-11-2006
Dynamic new sedan features fuel-saving six-speed auto; hybrid model coming
NEW YORK – With the launch of the 2007 Sky this spring, Saturn kicks off its most extensive product revitalization to date. Next to market is the all-new 2007 Aura midsize sedan, unveiled today. Based on last year’s concept car of the same name, the Aura blends Saturn’s new European-influenced design and high levels of refinement with the brand’s customer-focused purchase and ownership experience.
The Aura’s driving character will match its refined design, with a host of technologically sophisticated powertrains and a premium sport-sedan setup. Uplevel models feature GM’s first application of a new six-speed automatic transmission mated with the 3.6L DOHC V-6, creating a powerful yet fuel-efficient package. Later in the 2007 model year, Saturn will offer the Aura Green Line, a 2.4L Ecotec-based hybrid that will use a powertrain system similar to the Vue Green Line. It marks the first application of a hybrid powertrain in a GM passenger car.
“The bold, sophisticated design of the Aura represents another step in Saturn’s revitalization,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. “This is a fun-to-drive sport sedan that will appeal both to current Saturn owners and to those who have never considered shopping at one of our retail stores.”
When it goes on sale late this summer, the Aura will be available in two trim levels: the entry XE model and uplevel XR. Each model is well-equipped, with premium features and interior materials among the best in its segment.
Bold new design
Based on the dramatic concept vehicle unveiled in 2005, the Aura sports sedan carries much of the concept’s bold design. Seen in other new Saturn models, such as the Sky roadster and Outlook crossover vehicle, these elements – including distinctive headlamps with jewel-like appearance and a chrome grille bar – establish a new design language for Saturn’s growing portfolio of vehicles.
“The design language of the Aura – and other new Saturn models – is technical and conveys a premium appearance,” said Clay Dean, GM design director for small and midsize cars. “From the detailed lighting elements to the edginess of the silhouette, the Aura demonstrates a revitalized emphasis on style and performance.”
Aura’s premium design cues include halogen headlamps covered in clear housings that wrap upward and around the corners of the vehicle. This expressive, jewel-like design feature shared among Saturn’s newest models adds a sense of motion to the vehicle, even when stationary. At the rear of the vehicle, LED tail lamps are employed to enhance Aura’s technical ethic while also providing an extra measure of safety. LED lamps illuminate more quickly than conventional incandescent bulbs, which can allow drivers behind the Aura to react sooner when they see the brake lamps.
Additional design details include a radio antenna integrated in the rear window, for a sleeker overall appearance, and a chrome appearance for the door handles on XR models. Standard 17-inch wheels and tires fill the wheel houses, enhancing the vehicle’s sporty, firmly planted stance. XR models come with 18-inch polished, 14-spoke cast aluminum wheels and performance tires.
Aura is available in nine exterior colors: Berry Red, Black Onyx, Bronzed Pewter, Cream White, Golden Cashmere, Midnight Blue, Ocean Mist, Silver Pearl and Techno Grey
A major focus of the Aura’s design is its refined interior, which sets a new standard for the Saturn brand. Premium materials with low-gloss appearance and tight tolerances throughout exhibit excellent fit and finish, while two-tone color combinations for the trim and upholstery exude contemporary style. The interior trim flows across the instrument panel and wraps around onto the door panels for a more integrated appearance. Select use of chrome trim also accents the interior.
The gauge cluster uses LED-lit analog instruments, with amber lighting and animation at startup. LEDs are also used for ambient light projected from the overhead lamp and door pocket lamps. Self-dimming theater lighting enhances the premium feel and provides added convenience at night.
Aura’s front reclining bucket seats are designed to provide firm support and comfort on long drives. Leather seating is available, including finely detailed embossed leather seat inserts with the XR’s optional Morocco Brown interior. Aura’s other interior features include:
• Automatic climate control
• Center console with dual-bin storage and automatic sliding tambour door covering front cupholders and storage area
• Driver information center
• Optional power-adjustable pedals
• Available eight-way power-adjustable driver seat
• Optional heated front seats, available in cloth or leather
• Universal home remote
• Power windows with driver express up and express down feature
• Steering wheel audio controls
• Four-panel sliding Panoramic roof
A diverse range of audio systems also is available, all from GM’s new family of premium radios that feature intuitive controls and flush mounting for enhanced refinement. A six-speaker radio system is standard and includes an auxiliary input jack for portable audio players. Saturn’s Advanced Audio System also is available. It includes an AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with eight-speaker sound, a 240-watt amplifier and rear-seat audio controls with two wireless headphones. XM Satellite Radio is available on all models.
Saturn offers two powertrains at launch that provide the Aura’s power and performance for a refined on-road feel. Standard on XE models is the 3.5L V-6 with variable valve timing (VVT). This powerplant, mated with the 4T45-E, four-speed automatic, generates 224 horsepower (167 kw) and 220 lb.-ft. of torque (298 Nm ).*
The 4T45-E is a four-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive transaxle with an electronically controlled torque converter clutch noted for its low noise, high durability and smooth shifting.
Uplevel XR models are equipped with the 3.6L DOHC V-6 with VVT, rated at 252 horsepower* (188 kw) and 251 lb.-ft. of torque (340 Nm).* This engine is mated with the all-new Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission, the first application of this important addition to the GM Powertrain portfolio. The transmission allows for strong performance combined with strong fuel efficiency.
In addition, the 6T70 – GM’s first application of a front-wheel drive six-speed automatic transmission – will provide the added benefit of Driver Shift Control (DSC), which enables the driver to manually shift through gears via steering wheel-positioned “paddles.”
The Aura is built on a stiff, robust chassis that serves as the foundation for a satisfying driving experience. The vehicle’s long wheelbase provides a smooth ride, while careful tuning of the suspension provides sharp and immediate response to driver input.
The Saturn Aura is designed for strong safety performance in all measurements. A safety cage construction built into the body structure is complemented with reinforced rocker sections, as well as a reinforced front body hinge pillar and roof pillars that were designed to improve impact protection. A magnesium cross-car beam unites the lower sections of the A-pillars. It helps protect passengers in side-impact crashes and also serves as the foundation of the instrument panel. High-strength steel was used in strategic areas to augment overall structural integrity.
A comprehensive roster of standard features helps protect occupants before, during and after a crash. Aura’s standard safety features include:
Dual-stage frontal air bags with GM Passenger Sensing System: The system works with the front passenger seat and differentiates between adults – 5 th percentile females and larger – and small children or child seats to adjust air bag deployment, which can help reduce the risk of air bag-induced injuries.
Head curtain side-impact air bags: For the driver and front passenger, these air bags offer added protection for the head and thorax during side-impact crashes.
Front seat-mounted thorax protection air bags: These air bags add an additional margin of protection to front seat passengers, protecting the chest cavity of driver and/or passenger when deployed in a side-impact crash.
Front safety belt pretensioners: Deploying at the same time as the frontal air bags, they take up slack in the safety belt webbing to minimize occupant movement during a crash.
LATCH child safety seat anchors: Two lower anchors and a top tether anchor secure the child seat to the vehicle seat structure for proper installation of compatible child safety seats.
Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS: Large, 11.65-inch (296 mm) vented front and 10.63-inch (270 mm) rear rotors help provide smooth, quick and assured stopping capability. Four-channel ABS is standard on all models.
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system (Aura XR): Partnered with the ABS system, StabiliTrak provides more precise, controlled stops, as well as enhanced traction/yaw stability during emergency maneuvers.
Traction control (Aura XE): Wheel slip sensors convey signals to an electronic control module, which alters the torque output of the engine to find optimal traction in slippery conditions.
OnStar is standard on all models with a one-year Safe and Sound plan, featuring the Advanced Automatic Crash Notification system. This post-crash notification system makes crash data available to emergency services, potentially dispatching appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to the crash scene faster. If the crash activates an air bag, the OnStar system automatically notifies an OnStar advisor, who immediately calls the vehicle and/or summons emergency help.
*Pending SAE certification. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005. This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first auto manufacturer to begin using the procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.
|05-23-2006, 07:03 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
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GM Powertrain Unveils 3.6-Liter VVT Engine With Direct Injection
Latest offering promises significant horsepower and torque increases, dramatic hydrocarbon reductions, improved fuel economy
PONTIAC, Mich. - GM Powertrain announced today it will deliver a 3.6-liter V-6 gasoline engine with direct injection and variable valve timing (VVT) technologies in the 2008 model year. A vehicle application will be announced later in the year.
Additionally, it was forecast that by the end of 2008, GM will produce as many as 200,000 vehicles globally with direct injection technology, and by 2010, GM projects one out of every six GM vehicles in North America will be equipped with a direct injection engine.
The application of direct injection technology to the 3.6-liter VVT engine - a member of GM Powertrain's family of high-feature V-6 powerplants used on cars and trucks around the world - contributes greatly to a 15-percent increase in horsepower over the current levels that range from 240 to 267; an 8-percent increase in torque, and up to a 3-percent improvement in brake-specific fuel consumption (BSFC). An approximate 25-percent reduction in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions is also achieved.
With direct injection, precisely metered fuel is delivered directly to the combustion chamber, which has a cooling effect in the chamber. Cooling the incoming air charge enables a higher compression ratio, which also improves engine efficiency. Less fuel is required to produce the equivalent horsepower of a conventional port injection combustion system.
"The 3.6-liter VVT with direct injection will be our highest specific output non-turbocharged V-6 engine, as well as one of the most fuel-efficient offerings in our high-feature family," said Tim Cyrus, chief engineer for high feature V-6 and Northstar V-8 engines. "It's the latest example of our strategy to continue to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy without sacrificing performance."
This is GM's third engine with gasoline direct injection. The announcement of the 3.6L VVT V-6 with direct injection comes on the heels of the introduction of GM Powertrain's Ecotec 2.0-liter four-cylinder Turbo engine with direct injection on the 2007 Saturn Sky Red Line and Pontiac Solstice GXP roadsters. Also, since 2004, a naturally aspirated Ecotec 2.2-liter direct injection engine is equipped on Opel models in Europe.
How direct injection works
Direct injection differs from the fuel delivery process of a conventional engine by delivering fuel directly into the engine cylinder, where it is mixed with air. The combustion process of conventional fuel injected engines uses air and fuel that partially evaporates in the intake port or intake manifold prior to being introduced into the combustion chamber. Direct injection is a continuation of the evolutionary process of moving the fuel introduction point closer to the cylinder to improve control.
With the 3.6-liter VVT with direct injection, fuel is introduced directly to the cylinder during the intake stroke. As the piston approaches top-dead center, the mixture is ignited by the spark plug.
The fuel injectors are located beneath the intake ports. The intake ports only transfer air, unlike port fuel injection, which flows air and fuel, thus increasing efficiency. Direct injection also permits a slightly higher compression ratio than if the fuel were delivered with conventional fuel injection. The result is better fuel consumption at part and full throttle. The engine uses conventional spark plugs similar to other high-feature V6 engines.
A high-pressure, returnless fuel system is employed. It features a high-strength stainless steel fuel line that feeds a variable-pressure fuel rail. Direct injection requires higher fuel pressure than conventional fuel injected engines and an engine-driven high-pressure fuel pump is used to supply up to 1,740 psi (120 bar) of pressure. The system regulates lower fuel pressure at idle - approximately 508 psi (35 bar) and higher pressure at wide-open throttle. The exhaust cam-driven high-pressure pump works in conjunction with a conventional fuel tank-mounted supply pump.
Direct injection's fuel delivery enables very efficient combustion to help reduce emissions, particularly on cold starts - the time when most tailpipe emissions are typically created. Also, direct injection permits a higher compression ratio - greater than 11.0:1 in the case of the 3.6 - which has a positive influence on fuel economy.
3.6-liter VVT DI
The 3.6-liter VVT DI is based on GM Powertrain's sophisticated 60-degree dual overhead cam (DOHC) V-6 engine. It is the latest member of a growing family of GM Powertrain V-6 engines developed for applications around the world, drawing on the best practices and creative expertise of GM technical centers in Australia, Germany, North America and Sweden.
Features found on the 3.6-liter VVT DI include:
- Aluminum engine block and cylinder heads
- Dual overhead cams with four valves per cylinder and silent chain primary drive
- High-pressure, engine-driven fuel pump
- Advanced multi-outlet fuel injectors developed to withstand high pressure and heat
- Stainless steel, variable pressure fuel rail
- Four-cam phasing (VVT - see description below)
- 11.3:1 compression ratio
- Aluminum pistons with floating wrist pins and oil squirters
- Polymer coated piston skirts
- Forged steel crankshaft
- Sinter-forged connecting rods
- Structural cast-aluminum oil pan with steel baffles
- Electronic throttle control with integrated cruise control
- Coil-on-plug ignition
- Advanced direct injection capable engine control module (ECM)
- Optimized exhaust manifolds with close-coupled catalytic converters
- Fully isolated composite camshaft covers
- Outstanding noise, vibration and harshness control
- Maximum durability with minimum maintenance
- Common manufacturing practices for efficiency and exceptional quality
The 3.6-liter V-6 VVT DI employs four-cam phasing to change the timing of valve operation as operating conditions such as rpm and engine load vary. The result is linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (maximum horsepower per liter of displacement) without sacrificing overall engine response and driveability. When combined, direct injection and cam phasing technologies enable an unmatched combination of power, efficiency and low-emissions in gasoline V-6 engines.
Cam phasing pays big dividends in reducing exhaust emissions by optimizing exhaust valve overlap and eliminating the need for a separate exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.
By closing the exhaust valves late at appropriate times, the cam phasers allow the engine to draw the desired amount of exhaust gas back into the combustion chamber, reducing unburned hydrocarbon emissions. The return of exhaust gases also decreases peak temperatures, which contributes to the reduction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. In tandem with the dramatic 25-percent reduction in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions brought on by direct injection, the 3.6-liter VVT DI V-6 surpasses all emissions mandates, and does so without complex, weight-increasing emissions control systems such as EGR and air injection reaction (AIR).
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