New for 1996 Standards Specifications Safety Pricing/Options Miscellaneous My 96 SC2 Classic
New Exterior
  Purple color added to palette  
   While many components and subsystems are shared with their sedan and wagon counterparts, the Saturn coupes have their own distinct, expressive styling. The spaceframe allows use of rustproof, dent- and ding-resistance, recyclable polymer exterior panels for doors, fenders, quarter panels and fascias -- areas of the vehicle most prone to low-speed impacts and corrosion.

   The hood, roof and upper portion of the deck lid are steel. Additional corrosion protection is provided by use of galvanized metal in critical areas of the lower frame and underbody.

   Use of polymer panels on Saturn models provides yet another benefit. Should the need arise to service or repair components within the door assembly, the exterior panel can be easily unbolted and removed. No need to remove interior panels or hardware.

   A universal-primer-finisher is used to treat the polymer and steel panels prior to base-coat applications. All seven of the available high-solids, waterborne colors then receive a clear-coat finish for protection from stone-chipping, chemical reaction and environmentally-caused fading. New colors for the 1996 coupes include Purple and Dark Green (the latter introduced late in the 1995 model year).

   The sport appearance of the entry-level SC1 is highlighted by an exposed headlamp treatment and wide air intake opening in the lower portion of the fascia. At the rear, wrap-around lamps blend smoothly into the vehicle's aerodynamic shape. "Double-spoke" 14-inch wheel covers are standard, with cast aluminum 15-inch "double-fin" wheels available.

   In keeping with the SC2's aggressive nature are hidden halogen headlamps and bold full-width decklid reflex appliqué blending into the taillamp theme. Buyers interested in outfitting the SC2 to the max will likely upgrade from the standard 15-inch steel wheels and "tri-spoke" wheelcovers to the available cast aluminum 15-inch "Teardrop II" rims.

   Recessed fog lamps and a heavily arched rear spoiler are options much in the character of these coupes.

New Interior
  Remote keyless entry system and dome lamp delay added to power door lock option  
  Manual shutoff function added to rear defog switch  
   One press of a button on the new optional keyless remote power lock system allows entry through the left door where the driver is greeted by a high level of comfort and convenience not often found in the small, affordable coupe market.

   The SC1 front bucket seats have an integral headrest design. Like the road machine it is, the SC2 buckets are more heavily contoured and feature separate height- and angle-adjustable headrests, adjustable seat cushion and an improved lumbar support mechanicsm that reduces operating effort.

   For comfort, the front shoulder belt guide loops located on the B-pillar and secured directly to the spaceframe have a 90-mm vertical height adjust feature.

   The modular dash panel, dual air bag system and center console redesigned last year are carried over for the '96 model year. Like all Saturn models, the coupes offer a standard lever-activated rake-adjustable steering column for optimum driver comfort. New features include a manual shut-off added to the rear defogger switch function.

   A second click on the keyless entry system will unlock the coupe's right side door. The front passenger will sit comfortably in the spacious interior or, with the convenience of a single lever, can swing the seatback and glide the entire seat unit forward for easy access to the rear area.

   With a press of another release button on the keyless remote system the Saturn coupe's deep trunk is readily accessed. Still unchanged is the low liftover height and 60/40 split folding seatback contributing to its cargo-hauling versatility.

   Buyers can easily choose from a number of options to personalize their SC1 or SC2 coupe including a variety of entertainment systems ranging from AM/FM stereo with cassette (an AM/FM four-speaker stereo comes standard) to a similar unit upgraded with equalizer, premium speakers and remote trunk-mounted 12-disc CD unit. Other popular extra-cost features are power sunroof, air conditioning, cruise control, fog lamps, and leather trim for SC2 seats, shifter and park brake handle.

Revised Power Modules
  Sequential port fuel injection (SPFI) new for SOHC and DOHC engines  
  Second generation on-boaed powertrain diagnostics (ODB II) for all engines  
  Revised TLEV and Tier 1 emissions program  
  Close-coupled catalytic converter on DOHC/manual models in CA, MA, NY  
  Adaptive mode "fuzzy logic" added to automatic transmission "performance" function  
   For 1996, the power modules (the combination of engine, transmission and integrated computer controls) found in Saturn's family of sedans have received numerous refinements aimed at providing spirited performance, fuel efficiency and low emissions -- characteristics desired by consumers and effectively developed by Saturn engineers.

   Saturn produces its own aluminum engine block and cylinder heads, as well as nodular iron crankshafts and differential carriers, using a lost-foam casting process. This process assures a high degree of uniformity while dramatically reducing machining requirements and resulting material scrap.

   Two versions of Saturn's reliable 1.9-liter four-cylinder are available: the single overhead cam (SOHC) produces 100 horsepower at 5,000 rpm in the SC1. For optimum performance the dual overhead cam (DOHC) rated at 124 horsepower at 5,600 rpm motivates the SC2.

   In 1996, both engines are outfitted with sequential port fuel injection, replacing the previous multi-port fuel injection system without sacrificing performance or drivability.

   Two transmissions -- a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic -- are also available for the Saturn family of coupes. Units for SOHC engine applications feature wide-ratio gearing while DOHC models have close-ratio gearing to complement engine performance. All automatics have a dual operating mode, allowing the driver to select either "performance" or "normal" calibrations.

   A new adaptive mode "fuzzy logic" algorithm has been added to the automatic's "performance" mode for '96. A "performance index" is initialized each time the ignition key is turned on or the performance mode is switched on. Managed by the vehicle's powertrain control module (PCM), the performance mode shift pattern is modified based on the recent weighted history of driver behavior.

   All power module combinations now come equipped with a new second generation on-board diagnostics (OBD II) system. Unlike its predecessor (OBD I) that sensed only failures of certain emission-control devices, OBD II is capable of monitoring deterioration in any emission-related component or system that interfaces directly with the PCM.

   Among the new diagnostics are monitors for the evaporative emissions system, oxygen sensor, three-way catalyst and transmissions. OBD II will also be able to detect an ignition misfire. When a deterioration or failure is detected, an indicator light on the instrument panel will be illuminated.

   While it may be obvious that the purpose of the OBD II system is to produce cleaner running vehicles, this technology offers some significant benefits to the owner as well. For example, in many instances, the extreme sensitivity of the diagnostic system enables it to detect deteriorated components before they are noticed by the driver. That means the driver can go to a retailer for service before experiencing a failure that could impact drivability or result in vehicle damage. In addition, by providing more detailed information to the repair technician, OBD II can enhance the effectiveness of repairs and help the retailer fix problems right the first time.

   The combined evolutionary technological improvements allow the Saturn power modules to meet or exceed the stringent Tier I Federal and California's Transitional Low Emission Vehicle (TLEV) regulations. A closed-couple catalytic converter is used on models equipped with a DOHC engine / manual transmission combination in California, Massachassetts and New York. All power modules also meet nationwide 100,000-mile (called the "useful life cycle") hydrocarbon emission requirements.

   Equally important to the consumer ... especially those in the small, affordable segment of the marketplace ... is fuel efficiency. Here's yet another area where the '96 Saturn coupes are owner friendly.

Estimated EPA Fuel Economy (MPG)
Model Engine Transmission City Highway
SC1 coupe SOHC Manual
SC2 coupe DOHC Manual

Revised chassis
  Suspension retuned to further enhance ride without sacrificing handling  
  Traction control now available for manual transmission / ABS models  
  Integrated cruise control added for enhanced performance  
  Numerous modifications for improved noise reduction  
  P175/70R14 standard tire on SC1 revised for further rolling resistance  
  P185/70R15 is new option on SC1  
   Precise coupe handling and smooth ride are the result of four-wheel independent suspension design. A MacPherson strut system is found up front. Roll control and fore/aft movement are maintained by a standard stabilizer bar, with the sporty SC2 equipped with a larger diameter bar for additional roll stiffness. Strut mounting has been redesigned and valving retuned for enhanced ride characteristics.

   Rear suspension geometry is with a tri-link design. Two unequal length links maintain the desired lateral movement, with a single longitudinal link providing fore/aft control. Additional of a standard stabilizer bar enhances control of the SC2. Strut valving is retuned for all models.

   New P175/70R14 profile tires are found on the SC1 contributing to outstanding performance and roll resistance; P185/65R15 tires on cast aluminum wheel are optional. The SC2 contacts the pavement with P195/60R15 touring radial for optimal ride and handling.

   Steering systems are in line with the character of each model. Entry-level SC1 coupes feature a constant-flow power-assist while the up-level SC2 is outfitted with a variable-effort system for the ultimate in sport feel and precise control.

   Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes are standard on every Saturn. For a higher degree of vehicle control during braking maneuvers, a four-wheel anti-lock system (ABS) is available across the board.

   Saturn again makes big news with its traction control system. Since introduced on 1993, it had been limited to only models equipped with automatic transmissions and ABS. Now for 1996, this accident avoidance feature is now available for manual transmission / ABS combinations as well.

   Automatically activated when the car is started, this full-time system optimizes available front-wheel-drive traction to provide a good balance of forward acceleration and lateral stability when the vehicle is driven in slippery conditions. During those conditions when drive wheel speed is greater than that of the rear wheels (like when accelerating on icy pavement), the amount of power required to maintain traction is adjusted through computer management of the engine's spark timing and fuel delivery controls. The driver is advised when such a wheel-slip condition exists by a blue "traction active" telltale in the instrument cluster.

   In the event the driver does desire wheel spin (such as times when stuck in high snow), the traction control system can be manually disengaged by a convenient switch located atop the center pod of the instrument panel.

   Saturn's family of coupes is aimed squarely at one of the most competitive marketplace segments ... the small, affordable, sporty subcompact. Recent history has shown the complete line of Saturns are making their mark in a very dramatic way by offering the buyer a quality vehicle and an outstanding price / value relationship. With their technical, comfort and convenience improvements, 1996 should be a very good year for these Michigan-engineered, Tennessee-produced vehicles.