Since 1994, Aurora was the designated flagship in the Oldsmobile lineup. Not only was it the technology showcase of the division, it also benefited from deliberate efforts by Olds' leadership to change their corporate culture and way of developing new cars, and in fact their entire way of doing business.
Aurora's design process was influenced by lessons learned at GM's upstart Saturn division, and further refined with input from Cadillac. According to management at Olds, the Aurora reflected the future of the division, more modern, refined and sophisticated.
The Aurora was released to GM dealerships in Spring 1994.
Introduced late in calendar year 1994 as a '95 model, the Aurora hasn't changed since the start of production. It has been attracting buyers who normally would be considering an import luxury car, either Japanese or European, and that's a territory where reputation counts for little and delivering the goods counts a lot.
Aurora was powered by a 250-hp 4-cam, 4-valve 4.0-liter version of the Cadillac Northstar V8, making it the only competitor in its market segment with eight cylinders instead of six. The unit-body chassis was reportedly as stiff as any other in the world. This permitted Oldsmobile engineers to tune the suspension properly for good, predictable handling while isolating road noise and harshness properly.
Interior room for five was ample, and the styling of the interior mirrors the exterior, neither owing anything to the traditional American Luxury Car theme.
Changes to the 1996 Aurora included a deeper cup holder and distortion-free backlite glass. A universal garage door opener built into the overhead console could be programmed to memorize signals from three handheld transmitters, and the remote keyless-entry system was also improved. Highlighting Aurora's long list of standard equipment were dual-zone climate control and a 6-speaker CD sound system, with steering wheel-mounted controls for both. Eight-way power seats were also standard.
As of November 29, 1993:
- $31,370 (1995 Oldsmobile Aurora)
As of December 29, 1994:
- $33,065 (1995 Oldsmobile Aurora)
As of August 1, 1995:
- $34,360 (1996 Oldsmobile Aurora)
- $625 (early 1995 models)
- $635 (1995 models)
- $640 (1996 models)