It was a dirty little secret that Saturn tried to hide, but the press just couldn’t let it go. The last generation Saturn Vue Red Line’s 250 hp came courtesy of a Honda V-6. Nothing quite like using your competitor as a supplier, eh?

For 2008, Saturn is rectifying that predicament by using the same DOHC 3.6-liter V-6 as is found in the Chevrolet Equinox Sport and Pontiac Torrent GXP as well as optional in lesser Vues. The Vue Red Line still makes 250 hp, but now it’s 250 hp with a clean conscience, and that should be good for a few tenths to sixty. The V-6 routes its power through a six-speed automatic with a manumatic function to either the front or all four wheels.

Of course, this largest canvas for the Red Line styling team must be exploited. The Vue’s tall doors and rising beltline already lend it a sporting appearance; with the roof rack gone and the trucklet squatting over 18-inch wheels on a lowered sport suspension, the Vue Red Line becomes a surprisingly attractive mini-SUV. The gaping air intake in the lower front fascia looks capable of inhaling a good-sized mutt, and the smaller intakes flanking it could suck up entire litters of Chihuahuas and dachshunds one at a time, although their size fits with the Vue’s high waistline.

Around back, the Vue Red Line gets unique, multi-element taillamps and a fascia with two chrome exhaust tips. Saturn makes a point of mentioning the spoiler on the Red Line, but it’s the same spoiler as the hybrid Green Line gets. Lowering drag aids both speed and fuel economy, right?

Whether you want speed (Red Line) or economy (Green Line) the price should be right around $25,000.

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