• Feb 4th 2007 at 12:01AM
  • 29
Click for Red Line / Green Line photo gallery

It turns out that the Astra isn't the only thing GM's Saturn division has up its sleeve for this week's big Windy City show. Visitors to McCormick Place will also get their first eyefuls of the 2008 Vue's performance and hybrid variants.

The '08 Vue Red Line (above) gets a "performance-inspired" new look that's bound to have people talking (that may not necessarily be a good thing). The Red Line's front end is dominated by an enormous air opening below the front bumper, which is bookended by big secondary cutouts that house projector-beam foglights. The center cutout is so large, you'd expect to see an intercooler hiding behind it. Don't look for any forced induction here, though. The Vue Red line has the same powertrain as the Vue XR: GM's 250-horsepower 3.6L VVT V6 matched with a six-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode. Buyers can order it with either FWD or AWD.

Follow the jump for more info on the Red Line, initial info on the Vue Green Line and GM's official press release.

[Source: GM]
2008 Saturn Vue Red Line
  • 2008 Saturn Vue Red Line
  • 2008 Saturn Vue Red Line
  • 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line
  • 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line
  • 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line

The rear end of the Vue Red Line is differentiated from its siblings by a black bumper insert that houses chromed rectangular exhaust outlets. The car sits on a lowered sports suspension and rolls along on 18" five-spoke wheels. An exclusive interior color and requisite Red Line trim elements round out the changes. The Red Line will go on sale sometime in Q3 2007.

2008 Saturn Vue Green Line

Click for additional photos in our gallery

Also making its debut at Chicago is the 2008 Vue Green Line hybrid, which is powered by the same Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) light hybrid system used in the outgoing 2007 Vue Green Line. (You can read our full review of the '07 Green Line over at AutoblogGreen.) The system combines a 170-horsepower 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder with an electric motor/generator that's powered by a 36V battery. The motor provides added boost on acceleration under certain conditions, and primary fuel savings are achieved via a stop/start system that kills the engine when idling. The onboard generator powers the car's accessories when the engine is shut off, and the battery is recharged by the gas engine (under optimal conditions) and through regenerative braking. Visually, the Green Line is set apart by unique wheels, Green Line and Hybrid badging, and a deleted roof rack.

The Green Line goes on sale in Q4 2007. A stingier 2 Mode hybrid version is slated to arrive in Q3 2008.

AutoblogGreen will provide full 2008 Vue Green Line coverage from Chicago later this week

Specialized Models Provide Bold Looks, Performance Tuning, Fuel Savings and Value

CHICAGO Saturn announced two new variants of the completely redesigned 2008 Vue crossover utility at the Chicago Auto Show: the performance-tuned Red Line and the affordable, fuel-saving Green Line hybrid.

The Red Line builds on the new Vue's bold styling with an aggressive front-end design, including a large, lower air opening and projector beam fog lamps. The rear of the vehicle features a special fascia, spoiler and chrome exhaust tips. A lowered suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels and Red Line badges complete the performance-inspired appearance.

From a performance perspective, the Red Line comes with standard tap up/tap down transmission control and sport-tuned ride and handling. It is powered by a dual overhead cam 3.6L V-6 VVT engine that delivers 250 horsepower (186 kW) at 6,500 rpm and 243 lb.-ft. (329 Nm) of torque at 4,400 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Vue Red Line will be available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Interior modifications include a Red Line-only Ebony interior, including black leather sport seats with suede fabric inserts. The vehicle also features Red Line-logo instrument cluster graphics and embroidered floor mats.

Green Line hybrid

The 2008 Vue Green Line hybrid will continue to provide consumers with an affordable hybrid that also provides uncompromised utility.

The hybrid system on the Vue Green Line combines sophisticated controls with an electric motor/generator mated to a 2.4L four-cylinder engine and a modified four-speed automatic transmission. The system saves fuel by providing an electric power assist during acceleration; shutting off the engine at idle; early fuel cut-off during deceleration and capturing electrical energy through regenerative braking. Fuel economy figures for the 2008 Vue will be announced later.

The 2008 Vue was first shown last November at the Greater Los Angeles International Auto Show, as an uplevel XR model. At the show, Saturn also announced it will offer a version of the Vue Green Line with GM's new two-mode hybrid system, in the third quarter of 2008 . This system will provide a 45-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to its non-hybrid counterpart.

Additionally, General Motors committed to producing a plug-in version of the Vue Green Line that will double the fuel economy performance of any SUV currently on the market. No date has been set for the introduction of the plug-in hybrid, but it is a top priority for the company.

The Vue XR (and base-level XE) will arrive at Saturn retailers this spring. The Vue Red Line will arrive in the third quarter of 2007 and the Vue Green Line hybrid will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2007.

All-new Vue

All 2008 Vue models feature the Saturn's new design cues and European-inspired performance characteristics. Standard equipment highlights include:
  • MacPherson strut independent front suspension with stabilizer bar
  • Independent multi-link rear suspension with stabilizer bar
  • Double-isolated engine cradle \
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS
  • GM StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing system
  • Traction control
  • Hydraulically assisted power steering on V-6 models
  • Dual-stage frontal air bags, front-seat side thorax air bags and head curtain air bags covering front and rear rows
  • Front-row safety belt pretensioners
  • Collapsible pedals
  • Active head restraints
  • OnStar with one year Safe & Sound service
The 2008 Vue Saturn joins the Sky roadster, Aura sedan and the Outlook crossover utility in the revitalized Saturn portfolio. Saturn also introduced the 2008 Astra small car at the Chicago show.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Rice-poppers? This Vue is a GMDAT product, styled & designed in S. Korea, to be built in Mexico.

      Don't forget your anti-Mexican rhetoric, while you're at it.

      Posted at 7:46AM on Feb 4th 2007 by starlightmica

      You're a rice popper.....not hard to figure that out.....you probably have a rice cake in one hand, typing with the other......when I read your post I could hear "snap, crackle, pop.......
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with DDL in that I don't understand why the Red Line uses an engine that, according to this article, is already available in the Vue XR. Why make the Red Line (a name PURPOSELY chosen to make you think engine performance, since the ...seats don't have red lines) merely a wheels/tires, exhaust, and paint/trim package?

      I find it hard to believe, from the pictures, that this SUV was photographed with 18 inch wheels/tires. If nothing else, it looks like it has had a "lift kit" installed. Look at the gaps between the tires and fenderwells.

      Finally, I don't know GM products all that well, but isn't the basic structure of the Vue "shared" with Suzuki's XL7? Don't know why folks here thought the Grand Vitara, a RWD/4WD vehicle shared it's platform with a FWD/AWD vehicle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      UGH. That front end is so completely uninspiring. It does look like some freshmen designers had a field day with this thing. The headlights and top grille look OK, but everything below instantly made me vomit. GM: I will be sending you the bill for my carpet cleaning.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe GM will differentiate the axle ratios for the redline, 3.16 for front drive, 3.39 for the clutch pack coupled rear axle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Actually scratch that, it just looks they didn't spend any time on it. If I'd never seen the regular model, I'd never know it was a performance version.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13 -- WTF? The new Vue is baswd on the Opel Antara, which is purely a European design.

      Perhaps you're thinking of the Chevrolet Captiva, which is the GMDAT design. Just do a quick Google Image search -- the Antara and Captiva are completely diferent designs and look nothing alike. The Captiva was styled in S. Korea; the Antara was styled in Europe.

      They both share the Theta platform, but the Theta was engineered in North America, and is far older than either Antara or Captiva (the previous Vue, Equinox, Torrent, and Suzuki XL7 are all Thetas, and they're all much older than either the Antara or the Captiva).
      • 8 Years Ago
      Having worked at Saturn marketing, I know for a fact that they always used "Red Line" as two separate words. So this is not a change, just a correction for much of the press that kept writing it incorrectly. A visit to saturn.com would prove this.

      As for the VUE, I don't like the design that much, but I do like it in Red Line form, looks very rich. The base version looks smaller than it is, but I like the Opel style interior.

      • 8 Years Ago
      So its basically a body kit. If you're going to have a "performance line of vehicles, try adding performance. Maybe the 3.6L direct injection V-6 for instance.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not bad, but could be better. too in-your-face, but it looks racy while not being too pricey (I hope). but give it at least 19 inch wheels, a more realistic body-kit and that 3.5L V6. Hopefully at least 220 hp. just wondering, how is Opel taking the fact that Saturn is stealing its products? wouldn't it just be easier to make Saturn an extension of Opel? that way, new image, new cars, but same jobs, same factories, same dealerships. I mean, how much could it cost to go from staring at a red rectangle to a grey square?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Redline looks surprisingly poorly executed...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, I own a 2007 Vue Redline and it is beautiful....drives like a dream...you have to get in one and punch the pedal to appreciate the work GM has done to this vehicle. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way it looks, the way it drives and the way it turns heads. Everyone asks me how I like my Saturn and how sharp it is...the kids say its "tight". The interior is roomy and the seats are so comfy! Even my very picky picky sports car lovin husband really was impressed with the car. He said its a sports car disguised as a grocery getter...but I disagree, I think its awesome inside and out. And the Saturn service and sales...they are amazing. It was a pleasure from start to finish when usually buying a new car is a DRAG with all the financing and wheeling and dealing. Dont trash the Saturn line of cars until you experience owning one...you wont regret it...PROMISE!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I liked the first generation of the VUE (pre-facelift), and I appreciated the Redline.

      But I can't say I really like this -- it seems overly awkward in comparison with the rest of their vehicles. The Outlook has a strange position for the headlights, leaving what appears to me to be a huge gap between them and the lower front fascia.

      This has the same problem, and it's really not attractive. The rear end also looks a lot like an Aurora before Oldsmobile went under.

      With that all out of the way, I hope Saturn manages to make this vehicle attractive to consumers in other ways. I've been impressed with all of their new stuff; this is easily the weakest link, visually.
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