Saturday, September 8, 2012

Car Of The Day: September 8, 2012

Today's car of the day is Hot Wheels' 2003 Saturn Ion Quad Coupe.

The Saturn Ion was a compact car sold by the Saturn marque of American automaker General Motors between the 2003 and 2007 model years. It used the GM Delta platform. The Ion replaced the Saturn S-Series in 2003, and was replaced by the new Saturn Astra in 2008. As of 2006, the Ion was the longest compact car sold in North America. Production of the Ion ended on March 27, 2007.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Saturn Ion

This very stock appearing blue Saturn Ion was made by Hot Wheels, commissioned by Saturn to promote the real car at car shows and other venues, when it first debuted.  The Hot Wheels Ion casting was later issued in a few regular Hot Wheels 5-packs and a two-pack, but never again did it look as good (or as stock) as this first issue.  Even the lighting details on this one were all done by Hot Wheels.  I have not made any marker-modifications to this car at all.

The 2003 Ion came standard with a 2.2 L 140 hp DOHC Ecotec I4 engine. The Ion's instrument panel was mounted on the top center of the dashboard, rather than behind the steering wheel. The Ion is available in sedan and coupe forms; the coupe featured a set of bi-parting doors; the feature marketed as Quad Coupe.

A Getrag F23 5-speed manual or an Aisin AF33 5-speed automatic transmission were available. The compact 5-speed automatic had several unique characteristics. The transmission lacked an overdrive, allowing for five forward gears to be packaged in the size of a typical four-speed manual gearbox, both providing close gear ratios for better acceleration and fuel efficiency while eliminating the heat and parasitic loss generated by the additional planetary gearset. The unit was also “fill-for-life”, meaning that it was not intended to be serviced for the life of the vehicle. The 2003 and 2004 Ion Coupes were available with the VTi continuously variable transmission or a Getrag F23 5-speed manual.

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