Saturn Aura is going to be the first hybrid GM is launching on the US market, as a direct competitor for Toyota Prius. Only in 2006, Toyota sold 107,000 Prius units, creating a big popularity of the hybrid.
To compete with the well-known Prius, GM will launch the Saturn Aura vehicle, based on the Aura model, “an absolutely first-rate, terrific vehicle,” (Joseph Phillippi of the AutoTrends Consulting in Short Hills, N.J.).
The biggest advantage in the competition will be the price Aura will be sold for: $22,695 as a start. This is $100 less than Prius hybrid and the car will be available in showrooms starting from this month.
Tax reduction: While Toyota Prius owners will get only a $787 federal tax break starting from April, Saturn Aura owners can get a $1,300 tax break. The federal program created to encourage the purchase of environment-friendly hybrids involves a gradual reduction of the credit granted. The tax credit will eventually be eliminated as more and more models are sold.
Economy: Aura Green Line’s EPA fuel economy rating is rated 28 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
As technical details, Aura is equiped with a GM alternator starter system, 2.4L Ecotec engine working together with an electric motor/generator and EBC brake rotors. The 4T45-E four-speed automatic transmission will make the car move.