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.
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
SATURN DEBUTS 2008 VUE RED LINE AND GREEN LINE HYBRID
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 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