Rob's Saturn Ion Pictures

Here are some pictures of my new 2003 Saturn Ion Quad Coupe.

The license plate is blotted out, just 'cause I'm paranoid :-)

Here you can see the two doors open on the right side:

Here's the center-mounted instrument cluster. The area in the middle of the speedometer is the Driver Information Center, which normally shows the odometer, as well as any information or warning messages.

Here's the trunk, which is quite large for a vehicle this size. The silver box under the rear window shelf is the optional amplifier for the sound system.

Here's the engine compartment, with some labels showing what some of the more interesting parts are. Note that the battery is inside the trunk next to the spare tire, instead of under the hood. The fuse and relay center has a positive terminal on it in case jump-starting is needed. Also, the ignition module hooks directly into the spark plugs with no spark plug wires (coil-on-plug ignition).

This car has the optional ABS and traction control. The system is made by Bosch, and is quite a bit more advanced than the Delco ABS VI system used on many older GM vehicles, for example.

This car also has the VTi continuously variable automatic transmission. You can see the control modules for the engine and transmission on the right side. They are connected together using a new industry-standard automotive data bus called CAN (Controller Area Network), which this is the first GM vehicle to use. They, as well as the ABS module, airbag sensing and diagnostic module, and the body computer module are also linked using an older GM data bus called Class 2.

The Ecotec engine is one of GM's newest models. It has dual overhead camshafts, 2.2 liters displacement, 140 horsepower and 145 ft-lbs of torque. It is also an all-aluminum engine, which is somewhat new for GM 4-cylinder engines (many previous engines have had an aluminum cylinder head and cast iron block). The Ecotec has apparently proven to be quite a sturdy engine, enough so that GM Racing was able to push it up to 250 horsepower with nitrous boost and no internal modifications, and ultimately up to 750 horsepower with many of the major components remaining stock. I have no plans to attempt those kind of modifications, however ;-)

The Ecotec does not use a normal can-type oil filter, it has a separate filter element which is replaced by itself. To get at it, you unscrew the cap at the front right of the engine.

This shows the 16" alloy wheels that come on the Ion 3 models. The tires are Firestone Firehawk GTAs.

Here's the emissions sticker under the hood. You can see there are very few vacuum hoses on this engine, just the two for the charcoal canister that stores fuel vapors. You can also see that the engine meets the U.S. EPA's NLEV (National Low Emission Vehicle) standards.

Here's the sticker on the edge of the driver's door from the assembly plant:

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