LOS ANGELES – Coming in performance Red Line and hybrid Green Line versions, Saturn’s Opel-linked ’08 Vue is unveiled at the auto show here.
The 5-door compact cross/utility vehicle will come in XE and XR trims and offer an expanded range of powertrain choices, including a higher output 4 cyl. engine and two V-6 options.
The new Vue essentially is a rebadged Opel Antara, which is a modification of the Winstorm/Captiva built by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. in South Korea.
GM plans to produce the ’08 Vue in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, ending output of the current model at the Spring Hill, TN, No.2 plant.
GM has said it plans to put a new vehicle into production at Spring Hill, but has not indicated what that would be or when it would be launched.
Design cues for the new Vue, including its tapered roof line, were drawn from the PreVue concept shown at the 2006 New York auto show. Saturn also promises a stiffer frame and European-tuned ride and handling.
The XE and XR models are distinguished by specific fascias, rockers and wheel opening trim. The XE gets standard 16-in. alloy wheels, while 17-in. alloy wheels accompany the XR.
A Red Line model, with its own performance-based design cues, will premiere at a later date, the auto maker says.
The 2.4L Ecotec 4-cyl. with variable valve timing will power the front-drive XE and Vue Green Line, producing 164 hp and 160 lb.-ft. (221 Nm) of torque. The engine is mated to a 4-speed transmission, but a 5-speed manual will be offered on XE models in early 2008.
The all-wheel-drive Vue XE gets a 3.5L V-6 generating 215 hp and 220 lb.-ft. (304 Nm) of torque or the optional 3.6L DOHC V-6, rated at 250 hp and 243 lb.-ft. (329 Nm) of torque.
The Vue XR and Vue Red Line are powered by the 3.6L.
All V-6 Vues come standard with the new Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic transmission.
Sales of the ’08 Vue are expected to begin in second-quarter 2007, on the heels of the larger Saturn Outlook CUV that hits showrooms in December.
In addition, Saturn shows off the ’07 Aura Green Line mild hybrid here that shuts down the gasoline engine when coasting, braking and stopping. Unlike full hybrid-electric systems, the Aura Green Line uses smaller batteries and is unable to drive on electric power alone.
Saturn also confirms it will continue to offer a Green Line version of the Vue with the launch of the new model. It will be available later in the ’08 model year and use the same mild hybrid powertrain found in the current Vue and Aura Green Line models.