General Motor's Performance Division has been responsible for several of the latest automobile enthusiast's entrees. Included are the Chevrolet Silverado SS and the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. Both of these vehicles are sport-tuned, high power versions of already-existing base models. GM titles them "High-Performance Variants." Now, souped-up Chevys and Pontiacs are nothing new. However, for 2004, a new player cycles through the Performance Division wash. Saturn's ION can now be stained "Red Line," as enthusiast-oriented modifications evoke spirited driving at the limits.Red Line is part of an effort at Saturn to revamp the image of this carmaker known for being "different" and "family friendly". That is, the Saturn brand does not just represent economical, no-haggle vehicles with "hip" modern styling. ION Red Line specifically targets the 'tuner" market, or those customers seeking compact, FWD, 4-cylinder cars that are easily modifiable. Think Honda Civic with neon paint, ground effects, and front and rear spoilers. Tuner cars like the Civic originated in Southern California, but have grown popular nationwide. Saturn hopes to expand its customer base by appealing to the twenty-somethings who typically invest in these cars. Saturn will even offer a Red Line version of the VUE SUV.
Glance quickly at the ION Red Line, and you know it exceeds basic transportation status. Rocker moldings along the sides accentuate the connection with the pavement, while unique front and rear fascias wrap the ends. Up front, a large air dam is located in the standard position below the grille and headlights.