In 1994, Oldsmobile introduced the Aurora, a mid-size sedan built for luxury with the same sleek design as a sports car. Oldsmobile built this four-door sedan with the hopes that the company could restore its name in the industry; to do this, Oldsmobile gave the car a powerful engine and clean look, but also chose not to place any Oldsmobile branding on the car. This plan may have worked for a while, but Oldsmobile discontinued the Aurora nine years later in 2003.
The Aurora's power was built on the front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout and given a powerful 4.0-liter L47 V-8 engine that produced 250 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque. Because of the success of the street version, General Motors tweaked the engine even more, giving it 650 horsepower for use in the GM racing division. Since the Aurora was also a family sedan, the interior was spacious and provided plenty of legroom in the back for three passengers.
The Aurora's 9-year run led to two generations, and each had their own strengths and weaknesses. One weakness was obviously the Oldsmobile name, since the company logo was not placed on the car, except for on the engine cover and radio. The car's strength was its engine and sleek design, which was also improved upon in 2001 when the second generation was produced. This redesign attempted to modernize the Aurora even more; however, the new look did not attract the sales that Oldsmobile had hoped.
One of the nicest options for the Oldsmobile Aurora was GM's OnStar, which is a GPS satellite system that provides the driver with the car's location and any route information needed while traveling. A 12-disc Bose CD changer was also optional, as well as chrome rims and a gold-trim package. The exterior was redesigned, which consisted of an entirely new front fascia with revised headlamps, minimal grille and a new optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
In 1998, the Oldsmobile Aurora made Automobile Magazine Reader's Choice All-Star List. Both Motor Trend and Consumer Guide reported that it was a well-made luxury sports sedan with positive steering and passenger room. While it did not win an award in 2001, the new second-generation Aurora was nominated for the Ten Best List by Car and Driver. In the final year the Aurora saw production, Edmunds credited the car for its comfortable ride and sumptuous interior".
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