Saturn Ion Red Line Sets Speed Record

Saturn's Ion Red Line quad coupe raced into the record book at the Bonneville Salt Flats on October 17, 2003, establishing a new mark in the G/Blown Fuel Altered class at 212.684 mph. The record-setting Saturn, which was based on the factory-built Ion Red Line sport compact and powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, eclipsed the previous 183.086 mph record set in 2001 by a Honda Civic by nearly 30 mph.

GM Performance Division launched the Saturn land speed record project to demonstrate the ultimate performance capabilities of the ION Red Line package under extreme conditions. GM High Performance Vehicle Operations engineer Jim Minneker piloted the front-wheel-drive Ion Red Line in Saturn's first official record run on the world-famous Salt Flats.

"To set a speed record with the Saturn ION Red Line our first time in competition was a tremendous accomplishment for the entire GM team," said Minneker. "The Ion Red Line coupe and the Ecotec engine ran like clockwork. This package has tremendous potential; I wish that we could run at Bonneville again next week. I'm confident that we could raise the bar even higher."

The Saturn land speed record project brought together the technical and human resources of General Motors. The program was led by the GM Performance Division, in collaboration with Saturn, GM Powertrain, GM Performance Parts, GM Racing, and the GM Design Studios in Warren, Michigan, and Los Angeles. The So-Cal Speed Shop in Pomona, California, assisted in vehicle preparation and logistical support for Saturn's successful assault on the record book.

"The success of the Ion Red Line at the Bonneville Salt Flats was the result of a total team effort," said GM Performance Division Executive Director Mark Reuss. "It demonstrates in a very compelling way what GM can accomplish with a coordinated effort that integrates our technical capabilities in engineering, design and advanced technology, along with the energy and creativity of our people. It also shows that the Saturn Ion Red Line is a serious performance car, capable of achieving record-setting speed with the same basic architecture."

Saturn Ion Red Line LSR Specifications

  • Chassis: Steel space frame with tubular steel roll cage
  • Body: Steel roof and decklid; polymer doors, fenders, quarter panels and fascias; fiberglass hood
  • Height: 50.5 inches/1282 mm
  • Length (including parachutes): 195 inches/4953 mm
  • Width: 67.9 inches/1725 mm
  • Wheelbase: 103.5 inches/2629 mm
  • Track: 58.8 inches/1494 mm front; 58.4 inches/1483 mm rear
  • Weight (including driver, fuel and ballast): 3900 pounds
  • Engine: 2.0L Ecotec I-4
  • Displacement: 122 ci/1998 cc
  • Horsepower: 700+ at 8700 rpm
  • Torque: 575 lb.-ft. at 6000 rpm
  • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
  • Turbocharger boost: 22 psi
  • Transmission: GM Racing modified Hydra-Matic 4T65-E 4-speed automatic
  • Suspension: Modified ION Red Line strut-type independent with coil springs front; modified ION Red Line semi-independent torsion beam with air springs rear
  • Wheels: Budnick billet aluminum
  • Tires: 26.0 x 4.5 - 15 Goodyear Eagle Frontrunner
  • Brakes: Disc front and rear

View more photos of the ION QC Red Line Bonneville Racer.

Source: Saturn

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