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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 Nfarce on 1/7/2008 2:33:19 PM , Rating: 2
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 .

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