2000 Saturn CV1 concept

A Saturn first

The all-new Saturn brand began marketing itself in the fall of 1990 with two compact models: a coupe (SC) and sedan (SL). A wagon (SW) joined the lineup in 1993. By early 1999 Saturn was selling mid-size sedan and wagon models as the L-Series (LS and LW).

But, up until that point, the brand had never produced a single concept vehicle.

Enter Saturn’s CV1.

Inside out
2000 Saturn CV1 concept front three-qtrThe CV1 was introduced in January of 2000 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Its name is a rather straightforward acronym. Being Saturn’s first, it stands for “concept vehicle one.” A natural.

Saturn’s designers started their concept from the inside and worked out, without any preconceived body style notions.

The result is a small van-car-SUV-like thing that measures about an inch shorter than a 2000 Saturn SL. Keep in mind that, through the late 1990s and up until the time the CV1 was introduced, SUVs were king and CUVs (car-based utility vehicles) were still working their way to prime time. After all, gas was cheap.

By working on the interior first, it was easier for Saturn ensure ample space for comfort, capacity and user-friendliness.

2000 Saturn CV1 concept interiorKitchenware handles and knobs had just started to take on the bulbous, easy-to-grip look from which Saturn’s designers reportedly drew inspiration for the oversized knobs and dials.

What I find interesting is that in all of the Saturn literature I read through for this, I never saw mention of another influential product from the time that seems to have had an affect on the CV1: the iMac.

Macintosh had introduced their un-PC-like iMac desktop computer in 1998. In a world of beige boxes, the G3 iMac injected the personal computing world with some flare (not to mention innovation).

1998 iMacShown right is a 1998 G3 with translucent casing in “Bondi Blue”. Mac lover or not, no one can deny its aesthetic influence on that industry’s products.

My contention, although never stated by Saturn or GM, is that the iMac had a profound influence on the CV1’s interior design team’s work as well.

Take note of the liberal use of translucent plastic throughout.

In any event, I think that the look works well except where they applied it to the cylindrical cubby located below the center of the dash. Inside the tall iMac-like storage area are adjustable shelves to accommodate different-size items.

For added storage, the creative door pockets are made of flexible polyethylene so they can be stretched for large items, and then return to their original shape afterward.

Also rather clever, but questionably useful, is the CV1’s 5+2 seating. Yeah, it’s got accommodations for seven, so long as two of them are children small enough that their legs don’t dangle in front of the chair.

2000 Saturn CV1 concept interior

As you can see above, the two rear-facing jump seats that fold down from the backsides of the two front seats are for short jaunts or very short people. (One of the gallery pictures depicts the cramped rear quarters much better.)

All of the seats include four-point safety harnesses and (except the driver’s) fold flat to provide 85.0 cubic feet of cargo-carrying space.

So what else is unique about the CV1? The rear side doors.

Continued on page 2, below.

Pages: 1 2 3