In 2005 Pontiac launched the Solstice, a small, two-seat roadster promising an American take on the formula which cars like the Mazda MX-5 and Honda S2000 had so successfully capitalised on for years. Its sister car, the Saturn Sky, arrived a year later; identical beneath the skin in practically every way, the Saturn offered a crisper, more angular alternative to the Pontiac's soft, rounded styling.
The siblings - and the Solstice in particular - were rather successful, despite their relatively modest performance. In a nation used to V8 muscle, the 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine they shared produced just 177hp and 173lb ft. Despite both cars weighing just slightly over 1,300kg, that was only good enough for a 0-60mph time of 7.0-seconds and a top speed of 123mph.
What we have for you today is no regular Saturn Sky, though. Its revised front bumper and unique rear badging give it away as a Red Line, while the performance numbers quoted in the ad allude to the presence of the dealer-fit turbo upgrade kit. What does this mean? Well, 290hp and 325lb ft for starters, allowing the 0-60 sprint to be completed over a second and a half quicker, in 5.2 seconds, while top speed is increased to 141mph.
The handling ought to have benefitted similarly, too, thanks to the addition of a limited-slip diff, 'StabiliTrak' stability control and uprated sports suspension, along with 18-inch wheels sporting more focussed 245/45 Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres. Inside, the standard steering wheel was replaced with a leather-wrapped item complete with infotainment controls, there were stainless steel pedals, unique gauges and Red Line embroidery on the seats and floor mats.
An improvement, then, and certainly one which makes this Sky worthy of a second look. Unfortunately today's Spotted is equipped with the optional automatic transmission, rather than the five-speed manual which enthusiastic drivers would surely prefer. Aside from that, though, it seems like great value for money; £9,500 for a 19,000-mile sportscar, putting out the best part of 300hp and hitting 60mph quicker than the original Ariel Atom.
It's the only one in the UK too, apparently, so if it's exclusivity that you're after then look no further. Opel did sell its own version of the Sky, the Opel GT, in Europe for a three year spell, but it never reached these shores. It's not hard to imagine, though, how the Sky could appeal to someone in the market for a comfortable-yet-powerful roadster which stands out from the crowd. American cars are often lamented for not delivering the same experience abroad as they do at home, but with its relatively diminutive proportions and enhanced suspension, could this Saturn be the exception to the rule? Or is that just blue sky thinking...
SPECIFICATION - SATURN SKY
Engine: 2,000cc, four-cylinder
Transmission: Five-speed auto, rear-wheel-drive
Power (hp): 290@7,150rpm
Torque (lb ft): 325
MPG: It's American...
First registered: 2007
Recorded mileage: 19,000
Price new: $30,115
Yours for: £9,500