No, we aren't smoking the public relations pipe. The reason the Sky Red Line does a fair impression of a Corvette is because it's been infused with a 260-horsepower turbocharged and direct fuel-injected four-cylinder engine that can propel the two-seater from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Combine the thrust and speed of the blown four with a view over a hood that mimics the topography of the Corvette, and all the Saturn is missing is the rumble of an all-American V8.
In addition to the huge injection of power and performance, the 2007 Saturn Sky Red Line gets black headlamps bezels, dual exhaust outlets, polished aluminum wheels wearing Eagle F1 performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, functional brake cooling vents, and StabiliTrak stability control. Inside, the Red Line receives specific embroidery on the seats and floor mats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with stereo controls, stainless steel scuff plates, stainless steel pedal covers, unique gauges, and a digital turbo boost gauge in the Driver Information Center.
Otherwise, the Red Line is identical to standard Skys, which come well equipped with power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, air conditioning, and a stereo with a CD and MP3 player. The Red Line's options list is limited to leather upholstery ($475), an automatic transmission ($850), a decklid spoiler that looks totally out of place ($275), Monsoon sound system ($590), a six-disc CD changer ($300), XM satellite radio ($199), chrome wheels ($545), and a garish paint color called Sunburst Yellow ($195).
Saturn invited us to Santa Barbara's wine country for a day of driving great Central California roads in the new Sky Red Line, and the roadster proved itself worthy against its closest competitors, the Honda S2000 and Mazda MX-5. The only downside is that, like a Corvette stacked up against a BMW Z4 M Roadster, the Sky Red Line relies on its brawn and appealing design to make up for a lack of finesse and refinement in comparison to the Honda and Mazda.