2008 Vue Red Line Spied During Testing

Edmonds.com's InsideLine website reported last month that we may see undisguised versions of the 2008 Saturn Vue as early as the end of this coming November at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Spy photographers for the online publication captured pictures, as well as some good video clips, of two vehicles that are believed to be the new Vues undergoing testing in Death Valley, California. The sport-utes had a similar shape, but different wheels and fascias, leading the website to conclude that one was likely a prototype of the performance-oriented Red Line variant.

The next-generation Vue, developed on an updated version of the current Vue's Theta architecture with help from General Motors' Daewoo and Opel units, will be smaller than the current model so that it won't step on the toes of its larger sibling, the upcoming 2007 Outlook crossover. The Opel version is called the Antara, and is pictured above.

This past spring, Saturn unveiled its PreVue concept vehicle, hinting at the new athletic styling direction for the Vue. But "unlike the concept, these 2008 Saturn Vue prototypes use a four-door configuration to keep them practical while still incorporating some of the [PreVue's] less dramatic styling cues," said InsideLine. "The windshields are more upright for better visibility although the shape of the A-pillars is still very similar to the [PreVue]. All the numerous vents and portholes used on the show vehicle are gone, however, so the [production] version will have more conventional styling up front."

A four-cylinder engine will be included as standard equipment, but Saturn will offer three additional powertrain options: a V6 and two hybrid powerplants. Saturn is discontinuing its use of the Honda 3.5L V6 found in the current Vue in favor of a version of the 3.6L GM V6 that will power the Outlook. The V6 should generate at least 250 hp (the 3.6L makes as much as 275 hp in the Outlook) in the Red Line model. "Wearing a deep front airdam, projector beam foglights, and larger wheels and tires, the Vue Red Line will be the closest Saturn gets to the aggressive look of the [PreVue] concept on which the Vue is based," wrote InsideLine.

Photos of the PreVue concept, as well as the production version of the Opel Antara, the Eurpean version of the 2008 Vue, are online at SaturnFans.com. Read more about the '08 Saturn Vue, see spy photos, and watch the spy video at InsideLine.

Source: InsideLine, Automotive News

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