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2007 SATURN OUTLOOK STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCE

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2007 SATURN OUTLOOK STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCE

NEW YORK – The 2007 Saturn Outlook is built with attention to detail and is engineered to provide an ideal balance of style, size and capability. Built on GM’s new front-wheel drive truck architecture, Outlook incorporates compelling exterior styling, along with a flexible and refined interior space, a comprehensive safety package, carefully tailored powertrain and chassis systems, and good fuel economy.

Outlook’s exterior designers worked with GM’s aerodynamics experts to craft a drag-defying shape that would not only look great, but also enhance fuel economy and acceleration. Experimentation in GM’s wind tunnel and with computer modeling led to the integration of a large front air dam, as well as air deflectors in front of the rear wheels, which reduced drag by shielding the underbody, suspension and tires from airflow.

The vehicle's drag was reduced further by optimizing the tire-to-body relationship. By minimizing the size of the wheel openings around the tire package, there is less opportunity for air to pass between the tire and body – reducing the amount of drag. Additional time also was spent on working the shape of the wheel flares in relation to the tires to improve air flow. The result of this comprehensive aerodynamics quest is a coefficient of drag of just 0.361.

Structure details

A robust body-frame integral structure enables tight body panel fit and serves as the foundation for a responsive chassis system. The body structure is reinforced with high-strength steel, including a stiff steel cross-car beam welded across the floor between the B-pillars. Dual-phase steel is used in select areas, such as the lower engine compartment rails. Dual-phase steel is strengthened in the paint oven and offers easier formability, reduced mass, greater strength and better crash energy absorption than most high-strength steels.

The Outlook’s structure also incorporates a new integrated structural front-end sub-assembly, which uses the bottom frame rails as the primary load-bearing structure. This facilitates easier assembly, because the front of the structure is completely open until the front-end assembly is attached. And, because the lower rails carry most of the load, the upper rails’ design enabled greater exterior design flexibility.

Another benefit of Outlook’s body-frame integral structure is lower entry/exit height. Despite the vehicle’s SUV-like front-end height, the front door step-in height is 18.9 inches (480 mm); the rear door step-in height is 19.8 inches (503 mm). Entry to the third-row seat is eased with wide rear doors and GM’s industry-first Smart Slide® second-row seat feature.

Ride and handling

A strong structure is the foundation for the Outlook’s responsive driving experience. The vehicle rides on a long, 118.9-inch (3020.7 mm) wheelbase and wide, 67.28-inch (1709 mm) front/rear tracks. The wheelbase-to-track proportion lowers the center of gravity and helps the Outlook deliver smooth, carlike ride and handling characteristics.

The front suspension features a MacPherson strut design, with a direct-acting stabilizer bar that helps provide a more immediate feel during turns. Isolated mounting points for the suspension help reduce noise and vibration. The rear suspension uses a compact, linked “H” design, which also has an isolated mounting system. This suspension design enables the handling prowess that comes with an independent suspension, but with minimal floor pan intrusion – a feature that helps the Outlook offer generous passenger and cargo space. It also allows for a high load-carrying capacity. Outlook has a 4,500-pound (2,042 kg) towing capacity, when properly equipped.

Outlook also features standard power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, with variable-effort steering available. The suspension and steering system meet the road via standard 18-inch wheels and tires, with 19-inch wheels available. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard. The Outlook also offers the following features that enhance ride and handling, as well as safety:

• StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology

• Traction control

• Tire pressure monitoring system

Powertrain

GM’s 3.6L V-6 with variable valve timing (VVT) and a new Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission is the Outlook’s standard powertrain combination. The 3.6L V-6 VVT is a sophisticated, dual-overhead camshaft engine jointly developed at GM technical centers in Australia, Germany, Sweden and North America It was first introduced on Cadillac’s CTS sedan and SRX crossover. The engine uses full four-cam phasing, rapid data processing and torque-based engine management to optimize power, economy and emissions performance.

In the Outlook, the 3.6L V-6 VVT produces an estimated 265 horsepower (198 kw) and 244 lb.-ft. of torque (331 Nm). The uplevel Outlook XR model, with dual exhaust, provides an estimated 267 horsepower (199 kW) and 247 lb.-ft. of torque (335 Nm). The four-cam phasing operation of the variable valve timing system ensures linear delivery of torque across the rpm band, while features such as electronic throttle control deliver crisp, immediate response and feedback. The engine uses electro-hydraulic vane-type phasers to rotate the camshafts relative to the cam-drive sprockets, allowing infinitely variable combinations over a range of 50 degrees.

Additional engine features include:

• High-flow aluminum cylinder heads

• Four valves per cylinder

• Dual-stage variable intake manifold

• Sequential dual spray port fuel injection

• Coil-on-plug ignition system

• Electronic throttle control with integrated cruise control

The aluminum-intensive 3.6L V-6 VVT also is designed to deliver its performance with smoothness, quietness and durability. The camshaft chain drives are nearly silent during operation. Other elements, including the cam covers, intake manifold and direct-mounted accessories, are designed to reduce or eliminate conventional points of noise, vibration and harshness. A long operating life is driven by heavy-duty and special components, such as a forged steel crankshaft, polymer-coated pistons and oil jets that drench the bottom of the pistons in cooling, lubricating oil.

A new Hydra-Matic 6T75-E electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission backs the 3.6L V-6 VVT. It is an advanced transmission with clutch-to-clutch shift operation for front- and all-wheel drive vehicles. Clutch-to-clutch operation allows for reduced complexity and compact packaging. A wide, 6.04:1 overall ratio helps the transmission deliver both performance and fuel economy, enabling up to 8 percent improved performance and up to 4 percent improved fuel economy when compared with current front-wheel drive four-speed automatics.

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