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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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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.


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