April 9, 2003
Saturn performance vehicles called ‘Red Line’
Detroit, Michigan – Saturn announced today that its new series of performance-tuned vehicles will carry the designation of “Red Line.” The first two vehicles in the series will be the 2004 VUE Red Line, a sporty version of Saturn’s compact SUV; and the 2004 ION Red Line, a specially modified ION quad coupe.
“The Red Line insignia ushers in an exciting new era for Saturn,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn’s vice president for sales, service and marketing. “The name connotes the spirited performance that will be an essential part of all Red Line production vehicles. This series will generate a new level of interest in Saturn among those who appreciate a blend of horsepower, handling and sporty looks.”
Although unique from each other, every Red Line vehicle will be marked by some combination of increased horsepower, performance-tuned suspension and styling cues. For example, the VUE Red Line will include a lowered suspension, ground effects and 18-inch wheels, along with a 3.5-litre, 250 horsepower V6 that will be newly available on VUE for 2004. Aimed at compact car performance enthusiasts – a new market for Saturn – the ION Red Line will include an Ecotec 2.0 litre supercharged engine with 200 hp (estimated), racetrack inspired handling and unique styling.
External badging for each will consist of the main-line vehicle name, followed by a chrome square with a horizontal red line bisecting it. The VUE Red Line and the ION Red Line will go into production in early 2004, both at Saturn’s manufacturing facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Saturn is developing the Red Line vehicles with assistance from the GM Performance Division, an in-house centre designed to explore potential enthusiast-oriented versions of production models.
In addition to the Red Line, Saturn has announced it is developing a VUE with a hybrid powertrain (gasoline engine and dual electric motors) that will debut in 2005 and will deliver nearly 40 mpg in overall fuel economy.