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
GM is now dropping its two-mode hybrid system into the compact Saturn
Vue crossover utility vehicle.
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
"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.