Vauxhall's inclusive policy on performance cars will be underlined later this year when it takes the wraps off a turbocharged version of its new Antara 4x4. According to sources within General Motors this butch-looking SUV, the new Saturn Vue Redline, looks so much like the hot Antara that it might as well be wearing VXR badges.
This Saturn Vue Redline was unveiled this week at the Chicago motor show. GM has lavished styling changes on it, including beefed-up bumpers, wheelarch flares, chunkier protective side mouldings and twin chromed tail pipes.
Underneath goes a lowered suspension set-up with unique five-spoke, 18in alloys and more road-biased tyres than on standard versions of the RAV4-rivalling 4x4. While the North American market-only Vue Redline runs a 3.6-litre V6, Autocar sources suggest the UK's VXR version will get the more powerful 276bhp 2.8-litre turbocharged V6, as used in the seriously rapid Vectra VXR.
Vauxhall's blanket policy on VXR models has attracted the interest of industry critics particularly because it is responsible for unlikely, slow-selling tarmac-muggers like the Zafira and Meriva VXR. Like them, the Antara VXR will have few natural rivals when it goes on sale in early 2008 - especially since Chrysler has yet to commit to making a hot version of the Dodge Nitro, potentially badged SRT-6.