The Sky isn't quite as agile as an MX-5, but its ride is better and its engine torquier. This bodes well for the Europe-only Opel GT, due for launch with 260bhp next year.
3 May 2006

What's new? There's a little bit of Brum in every new Saturn Sky. That’s because the edgy lines of the new GM roadster mirror those of the 2003 Vauxhall VX Lightning concept, penned at GM’s Birmingham design studio by Simon Cox. You could well spy a Sky charging around the Midlands early next year when it hits Europe – sadly, left-hand drive only – badged as an Opel GT and packing 260bhp of turbo power. In the US, the Mazda MX-5-sized Saturn is the second roadster to come off GM’s Kappa platform – the first being the more round-bodied Pontiac Solstice that went on sale last summer. As with that car, the Saturn has all the right sportster credentials, including a hydroformed steel tube chassis, aluminium double wishbone suspension, a torquey 2.4-litre engine and slick five-speed manual gearbox. But whereas the Solstice sells in the States for the equivalent of a paltry £13,000, the Sky (still dirt cheap at around £14,500) moves more upmarket with a classier cabin, more equipment and a slightly softer ride. We also reckon it looks sexier than the more curvy Solstice. The shoulders over the wheels are more defined, the projector-beam headlights more dramatic and front more aggressive. What's it like? As with the Pontiac, though, the Sky is a joy to drive. It’s not particularly quick: 0-62mph comes up in 7.4sec and top speed is 125mph. Also, the 177bhp four-cylinder Ecotec does get a tad wheezy above 5500rpm. However, show the Saturn a twisty back road and this two-seater carves curves like a thoroughbred, thanks to its nicely weighted and precise steering, minimal body roll and masses of grip. It’s not quite as agile as the benchmark MX-5, but its ride is a tad more supple and less fidgety, and its motor feels torquier. Should I buy one? Unfortunately, the Sky inherits one shortcoming of its Solstice sibling: the near total lack of usable luggage space with the manual top down. But when a roadster looks this sexy and is such a delight, we’d forgive it anything. Howard Walker

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