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2001 Oldsmobile Aurora Road Test

Available now as a 2001 model, Oldsmobile has redesigned its flagship Aurora model. A new size, price and engine strategy moves the car from the prestige luxury market, to entry luxury.

Now available with the option of a 215 horsepower 3.5-liter twin-cam V6, rather than only a V8, Oldsmobile has a viable contender in the entry luxury market. The V8 is situated on the economic side of the prestige luxury market, making it a competitive alternative to a similarly equipped car from Europe or Japan. "Today's luxury car buyers want choices - not everyone is looking for V-8 power," said John Gatt, Brand Manager, Aurora. "The new Aurora will maintain its heritage as one great luxury car, but consumers will be able to choose from two great engines - the race-winning 4.0L V8 and the award-winning 3.5L V6. The V6 will not only appeal to a younger audience, but it will also help bring a greater number of women into the Aurora mix."

On the road, both vehicles are extremely responsive due to a more rigid body structure and enhanced suspension system, a smaller overall dimension (shorter by 6"/15.2 cm) and significantly lighter weight (165 lbs/74.8 kg lighter for the 4.0L and 285 lbs/129.3 kg for the 3.5L). The Aurora comes with an aluminum hood, and for V8 models, an aluminum rear deck lid. Aluminum is also used for much of the suspension system.

The new Aurora is more likely to appeal to a larger audience than the original car. It accelerates briskly, handles itself with composure through tight corners and stays extremely stable at speed. It feels much more European than its predecessor as well, not to mention most of its American built competition.