View Full Version : Early Saturn Clays

12-22-2008, 03:07 AM
Here's some pics from the early days of Saturn (1983-85)

The sedan is pretty familiar, the coupe is variation on other versions I've seen, but I never knew about the minivan before. I guess it would have been a cross between a Colt Vista and the GM APV.

I picked up some interesting trivia on the Saturn design development from Car Styling bi-monthly.
First, the sedan design you see here was abandoned in 1985 (pay no mind to the fact they were using it as a test mule in 1988). Before they gave up on it, however, they did a more rounded version. That design was given to Isuzu and became the Stylus (can you see the resemblance?)

In 1985 the styling theme for the Saturn we know came into being. The original idea involved both the windshield and the backlight wrapping over into the sides. However, the windshield evolved into a more conventional design while the backlight held pretty much the same shape right into production.

The coupe theme actually came about from the original sedan, after they did the new theme in 1985 they adapted the earlier coupe design to the new design language.

12-22-2008, 07:49 AM
Very interesting thing, thanks! On the first pic, there's also quite some Chevrolet Corsica in the sedan, and the coupe does look very modern for 1985. Plus comparing the size of the minivan to the rather small sedan, it would have made a great car for Europe. More or less 10 years before the Renault Scenic....

12-23-2008, 03:26 AM
Nice to see historic developmental works. Shows how far the industry has progressed. Those clay models look very undetailed far from the high degree of detailing seen in clay models of modern design studios.

That minivan looks good, but I doubt saturn would have been able to convince anyone to buy it. They had a harder time convincing people to buy their regular cars. This goes to show that at any point in time car designers are pretty much alligned in their concept ideas no matter where they are. The difference is made by the desicion makers of the product develpment team and the execution of the final product.