It might have passed off as regular Saturn upon its release in 2007, but under the hood, it was a sprinting horse yearning for a flat racing opportunity. It offered a lot in terms of affordability, visual appeal, and competitive performance in the compact car segment.
The 2007 Saturn Ion Red Line was available in two body styles; a 4-door sedan or a 4-door quad coupe with suicide doors. Its interior was a turn-off, mainly characterized by GM’s 00's plasticky cockpit design of the era, and a weirdly placed tachometer.
“The Saturn Ion Red Line is the supercharged Cobalt SS in a different skin. Different interior, different exterior, headlights, all that good stuff,” Patterson said, introducing the Saturn sleeper.
Under the hood, the Saturn Ion Red Line came with a supercharged 2-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine, good for 205 hp (208 ps) and 200 lb-ft (271 Nm) of torque. The four-banger stroker was paired to a 5-speed manual transmission and could do 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 7 seconds.
Patterson’s test Saturn Ion Redline had a TVS supercharger, Brembo brakes, full exhaust, and suspension (adjustable end links and ZZP coilovers).
“It’s so different. I really did not think it was going to feel as different as it does, compared to the turbocharged one. It feels a lot different. I mean, it’s like a completely different car. Turbo one has torque steer-like ferocity to it. This one has that great supercharger whine that just sits in the background, dead straight,” Patterson said, comparing the Saturn Ion Redline to the turbocharged Chevy Cobalt SS.
Perhaps the most interesting bit about the Saturn Ion Red Line was its exterior. Besides its Mazda RX-8 style suicide doors, it was also the perfect sleeper. Patterson admits there’s no way you’d know it was a performance car without the spoiler.