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2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid  (Source: General Motors)

  (Source: General Motors)
GM gives the Vue a swankier hybrid system

General Motors is truly moving forward with hybrid technology and it's not afraid to put its latest products on display. DailyTech has already detailed the two-mode hybrid Silverado/Sierra and Tahoe/Yukon. GM is now dropping its two-mode hybrid system into the compact Saturn Vue crossover utility vehicle.

The two-mode hybrid powertrain couples two actively-cooled 55 kW electric motors and a 1.8 kWh 300V NiMH battery with the existing 3.6 liter V6 engine. The system is currently available only in a front-wheel drive (FWD) layout, but the system is still good for a 50 percent increase over the non-hybrid Vue in city traffic -- overall fuel economy is increased by 30 percent and the maximum cruising range balloons to over 500 miles.

If GM's percentage estimates hold true, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode will deliver EPA ratings of 24 MPG in the city compared to 16 MPG for the standard 3.6 liter Vue with FWD. For comparison, a Toyota RAV4 with FWD and a 3.5 liter V6 is rated at 19 MPG in the city.

For those keeping score, the current “mild” hybrid Vue Green Line already achieves EPA ratings of 25/32 with its four cylinder engine. It's quite possible that the Vue Green Line 2 Mode could surpass those figures once the final EPA ratings are handed down, but not likely by much. One must also take into consideration that the Vue Green Line 2 Mode has a much more powerful V6 engine – which allows 0-60 sprints in 7.3 seconds – and can tow 3,500 pounds. So while the two vehicles will likely receive similar EPA ratings, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode is the more accomplished performer.

"The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode challenges the notion that a compact SUV can't be both powerful and efficient," said Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak. "Customers tell us they want a compact SUV that will respect the environment and save money at the gas pump, but they don't want to give up performance and utility. We've responded with the Vue Green Line 2 Mode."

GM will start production of the Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode hybrid in the latter half of 2008.



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looks nice
By michal1980 on 1/7/2008 9:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
and kind of like a crv in that picture.

0-60 in 7.3 seconds is really not that slow.

a honda civic si gets there in 6.8-7.0 seconds from the tests i read.

and a 80's ferrari 308 toke 6.9 to get to 60.

the 0-60 seems to be in line with other higher performing cars.




RE: looks nice
By Chris Peredun on 1/7/2008 9:10:12 AM , Rating: 2
If you're after straight-line speed in your compact SUV, the Toyota RAV4 V6 does 0-60 in 6.4 seconds - though I'd personally benchmark the "power" of such vehicles in terms of towing capacity or payload rather that unladen exhibitions of speed.


RE: looks nice
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2008 9:18:58 AM , Rating: 1
A Honda Civic Si isn't fast either.


RE: looks nice
By michal1980 on 1/7/2008 10:34:26 AM , Rating: 1
but its not 'slow'

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Compar...

0-60 times
malibu 6.6
accord ex 7.0
altima 6.8
camery 6.6.

i wouldn't call these 'fast' but its not like these are slow numbers.

whats your idea of 'fast'?

if you want cheap and fast get a mazdaspeed 3. 0-6 in about 5.9 seconds. But now you are getting small, relativilty light with alot of power.

the next evo might be in the 5.0 seconds. similar to the sti. but you are really getting into small high performance cars.

what kind of power are you really looking for? a vetter that does it in 4.8 seconds?

these cars are 'fast' sorry to burst your bubble.


RE: looks nice
By mdogs444 on 1/7/2008 12:11:08 PM , Rating: 1
lol - those cars are not "fast". They are average times for a car with a 175hp-225hp 4cyl/v6 depending on size and weight. There is nothing "fast" about them at all.


RE: looks nice
By michal1980 on 1/7/2008 12:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
but that average is not slow.

they are less then 2 seconds behind sports cars costing double.

they are withing a second of cars that are targeted to be 'fast'.

I want to know what your defination of 'fast' is these days?

a 0-60 under 7 seconds, and close to 6 in some cases is fast for cars in this class.

But these cars are boosting 0-60 times that some of the top 'fast' cars 20 years are pulling.

ferrari's and prosches in the 80's were pulling 0-60's at under 7 seconds.

to those people saying these aren't fast
i'd like to know what the defination of fast is? esspically afford able 'fast'

are we talking nissian gt-r super car fast? (~ 3.5 seconds 0-60?) bmw m3 fast (under 5 seconds?)

these cars are closing in on fast.


RE: looks nice
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2008 12:54:31 PM , Rating: 1
You obviously don't realize just how long 2 seconds is in the world of racing. In 2 seconds a top fuel dragster is nearly done with its 1/4 mile run. 2 seconds for average cars on the 1/4 mile is probably about equivalent to the length of a semi truck.


RE: looks nice
By Chris Peredun on 1/7/2008 1:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Judging by the fact that he's only looking at 0-60, and not the quarter-mile time or trap speed, I'd wager he's never even been to a drag strip - much less driven down one. ;)


RE: looks nice
By FITCamaro on 1/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: looks nice
By michal1980 on 1/7/2008 1:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
lol, thanks for comparing drag racers to regular cars for the average person.

your perspective on these cars is so wrong. these are stock non-modified cars you get go and pick up.

I only used 0-60 because its the easyest number to find

heck, its slow compared to the electric dragester that can finish the quater mile in about what these cars take to get to 60.

why not compare them to f1 cars. you guys are nutty.


RE: looks nice
By michal1980 on 1/7/2008 1:43:34 PM , Rating: 1
in fact, look at the very nice collection of 0-60 and 1/4 times.

http://www.carforums.net/showthread.php?t=10251

if you want i can find the 08 camery, accord, malibu numbers for you too.

But cars running under 7 seconds compare rather favorable in the eyes of history. Some of your fav. 'muscle' cars back in the day would be blown away by these family crusiers.


RE: looks nice
By Chris Peredun on 1/7/2008 2:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But cars running under 7 seconds compare rather favorable in the eyes of history. Some of your fav. 'muscle' cars back in the day would be blown away by these family crusiers.


Yes, they compare quite nicely in the eyes of history. But the muscle and sports cars of the world haven't just been sitting idle for thirty years.

Less than seven seconds to sixty was fast - just as 200hp was an enormous amount of power.

It just isn't anymore.


RE: looks nice
By Nfarce on 1/7/2008 2:33:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But cars running under 7 seconds compare rather favorable in the eyes of history. Some of your fav. 'muscle' cars back in the day would be blown away by these family crusiers.


That's a legitimate argument, but you are forgetting one major point: history indeed. Yes, a 1980 Ferrari 308 GTS could barely break 7 seconds in 0-60. Yet, what were comparable American and Japanese "sport" sedans doing 0-60 in 1980? 10-14 seconds? Further, what is a typical Ferrari doing 0-60 today? 4.5 seconds? <-- that is "fast" to me to answer your earlier question.

My 2006 Infinity G35 is a sub-6 second car, but I don't consider it "fast." I had a 1994 LT1 Firebird Formula. The Infinity's numbers match the LT1's numbers (when it was bone stock) almost spot on through top end, which makes sense as both cars produce(d) around 280hp. 12 years ago, I considered that LT1 car fast. In any event, today, just about every V6 in a sedan has mid to high 200's or more in horsepower ratings.

These days, sub-7 and even sub-6 seconds are becoming more common, just as sub-5 seconds for real performance cars. A few like the new 2008 ZR1 are even cracking sub-4 seconds 0-60, a number unheard of 25 years ago out of a showroom car. So, again, you have to keep everything relative when making comparisons from cars of different eras and performance numbers.

You have to keep everything relative when making comparisons. Of course, there are the rare breeds like the '87 Buick Regal GNX doing 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and a 13.5 second 1/4 mile. I know many a 'Vette owner who hated those cars :p .


RE: looks nice
By eye smite on 1/7/2008 2:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's more a usage of words. If you said these cars had good quickness to them for what they are, I really don't think any of them would have debated with you at all.


RE: looks nice
By michal1980 on 1/8/2008 9:09:47 AM , Rating: 1
you are still missing the point.

the family car of today is able to perform nearly as well as the near super car of yesterday.

I dont think drivers got much better over the years. But now have the power/acceleration, and close to the amount of steering control, on their groccery getter.

If you want to tell yourself thats not fast because todays super cars got even faster, do that.

But that does not take away from the 'fastness' of these every day, daily driver family mover cars.


RE: looks nice
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2008 1:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
Actually its probably a lot more than a semi truck.


RE: looks nice
By masher2 (blog) on 1/7/2008 1:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
> "but that average is not slow. they are less then 2 seconds behind sports cars costing double."

Rosie O'Donnell and Gisele Bundchen share 99.99% of the same DNA also. Does that mean they're both equally hot?


RE: looks nice
By jbzx86 on 1/7/2008 1:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Considering just 10 years ago a car much lighter would sprint 0-60 in double the time; yes, they are fast. 7 seconds is the amount of time it takes to perform a left-hand turn at an intersection. It is also the amount of time it takes some driver to cross from one side of the street to the other. 7 seconds, is, fast.


RE: looks nice
By masher2 (blog) on 1/7/2008 2:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "7 seconds is the amount of time it takes to perform a left-hand turn at an intersection."

Your intersections must be a lot wider than mine. :p


Nice
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2008 6:34:19 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like this thing would be a fun vehicle to drive. That slow of a 0-60 though surprises me. Especially with a gas engine and an electric motor.




RE: Nice
By eomhS on 1/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Nice
By wushuktl on 1/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Nice
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2008 8:27:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really consider these vehicle's SUVs. But I think it's a good vehicle to own for a small family. Far better than a big Expedition or a Tahoe which gets far worse mileage and won't be utilized.

If I was married, I'd get one of these for a family vehicle. Maybe not the hybrid model, but I like the Vue.


RE: Nice
By mdogs444 on 1/7/2008 8:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
Im with you on that, I don't consider this an SUV by any means - too small, FWD, and small 4-cyl motor (unless you get the upgraded V6/Hybrid).

I just dont see the point in spending $30k on a small SUV just because its a "hybrid". If I was going to buy one of these, I'd get the regular 257hp 3.6L V6.

But then again, if I was going to buy an SUV, which I will again soon once my lease is up next month on the Jeep, I'm going to get something larger - Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, or another Grand Cherokee.


RE: Nice
By Chris Peredun on 1/7/2008 9:05:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just dont see the point in spending $30k on a small SUV just because its a "hybrid". If I was going to buy one of these, I'd get the regular 257hp 3.6L V6.


The "regular" Vue only nets 16mpg city and 24mpg highway - if this one nets the listed benefits of 50%/30% and reaches 24/30 city/highway, that's a significant increase.

Whether it's enough to justify the cost is another question entirely.


RE: Nice
By mdogs444 on 1/7/2008 9:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
The increase in gas mileage is nice - but I will not spend more money on a hybrid rather than a regular ICE. I just do not trust the reliability yet, and even if it is more reliable, the cost of fixing them would be astronomical if something were to happen outside of warranty.

Besides, I have a large boat to tow, and the Saturn is not up to the task, at least for me.


RE: Nice
By tjr508 on 1/8/2008 2:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't consider the Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, or the Grand Cherokee to be SUVs either since they're all three ubibody.


RE: Nice
By Enoch2001 on 1/7/2008 2:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If I was married, I'd get one of these for a family vehicle. Maybe not the hybrid model, but I like the Vue.


Ironically I am married and just had a baby 7 months ago. Sold my Mazda MX5 and bought a 2008 Vue Redline. Although the engine is the exact same in the standar XR, I only get 20 mpg on the highway.

That said, it's one sweet crossover. Rides smooth, the interior is a HUGE improvement over the Saturns off yesterday, and it rides very tight. I couldn't be happier, despite the crappy mileage.


RE: Nice
By Martin Blank on 1/7/2008 12:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's an SUV. There's nothing fun about them

That's because you never get out off-road, exploring the desert, following the Mojave Trail, and occasionally kicking up some mud after a good desert rainstorm.

But for those of us who do... Yeah, it's fun. :)


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/7/2008 2:28:02 PM , Rating: 1
When GM introduced its first "hybrids," they weren't, really. They were ICE's with electric motor assist. The ICE never turned off. Then they finally figured out how to make a real hybrid, I think. They mated their hybrid gas/electric with their cylinder de-activation technology and call it a "two-mode" hybrid, which connotes that there is a second mode to the hybrid system. In fact there isn't. There is a "mild hybrid" as they derogatorily call it, which is a normal hybrid, and the second "mode" is cylinder deactivation, which is not a hybrid technology, just a fuel saving technology.

Toyota uses VVT-i and Atkins cycle to achieve better and smoother performance with its "mild hybrids." GM has been trying to sell that cylinder deactivation technology on the US market since the late 1970's, and now they call it a hybrid mode? Now that is obfuscation in its highest and most misleading form.




By werepossum on 1/7/2008 6:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see the point in an SUV that's 2WD. I looked at the Vue and Escape (available in 4WD, with a low range) hybrids before finding and buying my third Tracker 4WD convertible, and I just couldn't see the Vue Hybrid being practical. If I were going to buy something like that, I'd just buy a Ford Frontline crossover, which offers roughly equal mileage, AWD (no low range), third row seating, and equal towing capacity. As for hybrids, I'm hoping for an actual plug-in hybrid. With a little restraint I could make it to work and back without starting the ICE, while still retaining the ability to travel long distances and tow my small bass boat when needed.


By Alexvrb on 1/7/2008 7:33:14 PM , Rating: 3
I think you need to some research. Where do I begin? Their mild hybrids don't shut the ICE off, true. That's why they are mild hybrids. However, their 2-mode hybrid system is a lot more than cylinder deactivation (aka Active Fuel Management or AFM). It actually does completely shut off the ICE when it can. You can even find AFM on many of their regular ICE-only setups. It works really well, I've driven vehicles using it.

Anyway, that's not what makes it a 2-mode system. That's not what they mean by "mode". They're referring to a complete mode of operation, how the engine, transmission, and hybrid systems work together. Toyota has a really good 1-mode hybrid system already, but it doesn't do much of anything for highway speeds. So GM just took it one step further and their 2-mode system switches modes for high speed travel and back again.

Read the article linked below - conveniently located on Dailytech - and THEN you can pretend you know what you're talking about.

http://www.dailytech.com/GMs+Tahoe+Yukon+Dualmode+...


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