picture post2004 Saturn Curve concept: a step up from the Sky

2004 Saturn Curve concept


2004 GM Kappa triplets

GM brought three Kappa-based cars to the 2004 North American International Auto Show (from left to right): Chevrolet Nomad concept, pre-production (2006) Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Curve concept.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

This wasn’t Saturn’s only relation with the Kappa platform as their short-lived Sky went into production a couple years later. Yet, the Curve concept was different from the Sky (and its concept predecessor), in that it was designed with a fixed roof.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

Besides that, it was a more substantial car. Despite being almost half a foot shorter, the Curve’s wheelbase was roughly a foot longer and it was almost half a foot wider.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

The extra wheelbase was needed because the Curve had rear seats. No doubt cramped, the rear buckets were covered in leather with terracotta inserts. In fact, most of the interior was covered in matching materials, including the dashboard.


2004 Saturn Curve concept interior

The “floating” door inserts featured color-changing backlighting; when the doors were opened, the lighting on the door panels changed to an orange-red hue. The idea was to act as a warning light, eliminating the need for a reflector.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

To convey lightness and airiness, blonde wood was used for the curved center console. The natural wood was contrasted with an open-gate shifter with metallic finish. The smallish electronic readout indicates a CD is playing but no word on where the discs were inserted.


2004 Saturn Curve concept interior

The minimalist approach to the interior was reportedly an intentional effort to invoke sportiness and the enjoyment of driving, as the gauges suggest.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

All of those accoutrements were wrapped in a Mission Silver paint, chosen for its “liquid metal” appearance. The floating roof appearance is achieved with pillars concealed by a nearly uninterrupted wraparound canopy of glass.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

All of that was wrapped around a powertrain, chassis and brake system developed from existing production components. That includes a supercharged (air-to-water) Ecotec 2.2-liter inline four cylinder.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

Power came out to 230 horsepower and 220 pound feet of torque. That was sent to the ground through a 5-speed automatic transmission.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

Bringing the Curve to a stop was its 14-inch brake rotors, with twin-piston front calipers and large, single-piston rear calipers. Housing the brakes were seven-spoke, outboard-style 20-inch wheels.


2004 Saturn Curve concept

The coupe’s styling was headed by GM North America’s Advanced Design Team, developed by GM’s European Advanced Design Center (in Sweden), and final assembly was completed in Italy (with assistance from Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina).


2004 Saturn Curve concept

Sadly, Saturn was busy preparing vehicles like their “crossover sport van,” the Relay, to generate needed sales. Sports cars, around 2004, were not in high demand and the buzz-building Curve really didn’t stand a chance for production.