With the Aurora, Oldsmobile tried to ride the praise of the car by launching other models that borrowed styling cues from the Aurora such as the Intrigue and Alero, as well as the redesigned Eighty-Eight, Silhouette, Cutlass, and Bravada. The Oldsmobile "rocket" logo was even updated to be more in-line with the Aurora's emblem. Because of this, a rumor started circulating at the time that the name of the whole Oldsmobile marque would be changed to simply "Aurora."
Early design work on what would become the Aurora began as early as the late 1980s and manifested itself with a 1989 engineering concept known as the Oldsmobile Tube Car. Beyond the overall similar shape, the Tube Car featured many detailed elements that were later found on the production automobile, including a full-width taillamp, wraparound rear windshield, and frameless windows. Unlike the eventual production car, the Tube Car was of a pillarless hardtop design with suicide doors.
After much research and development, the Aurora went into production on January 31, 1994, and was released for the 1995 model year. It hosted a number of luxury and technologically advanced standard features including dual-zone climate control, leather seating surfaces, burl walnut interior accents, and power adjustable front seats with 2-position memory. An onboard computer displaying the date, current gas consumption, and other information was standard.
The Aurora also came standard with Oldsmobile's 4.0L L47 Aurora V8 engine, a DOHC engine based on Cadillac's 4.6L Northstar V8. The Northstar engine and 4T-80E had been exclusive to Cadillac prior to the Aurora. The Aurora had a drag coefficient of 0.32.
The Aurora was highly regarded at the time for its refined engine, excellent build quality, well-balanced ride, and structural integrity. In fact, during normal crush-to-failure tests done by automakers to evaluate body rigidity, the Aurora's unibody construction actually broke GM's testing machine. A frame-crusher otherwise used to test stronger truck frames had to be used instead, with the car exceeding federal standards for passenger cars by two times.