Saturn Vue Plug-In Hybrid On The Way

Illustration for article titled Saturn Vue Plug-In Hybrid On The Way

Larry Nitz, General Motors' executive director for hybrid powertrains, speaking yesterday at the Plug-In 2008 Conference in San Jose, confirmed that the company is developing a plug-in hybrid Saturn Vue. The announcement comes as GM looks for ways to disseminate Chevy Volt-like technology through its other products. They're not telling when the plug-in Vue will be ready, but in the meantime, Saturn will launch a FWD two-mode hybrid Vue next year, and GM is also thought to be developing a plug-in hybrid based on the Saturn Flextreme concept.

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Jalopnik Snap Judgement: Blah. We guess GM needs to do this to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy Requirements and to give consumers an easy way to be "green." But really, is building a simple, lightweight car that gets decent economy really that hard? Heck, stick a two-mode hybrid in it if you have to, just don't try to tell us that SUVs can be economical. Someday, consumers are going to wake up to all this hypocrisy, GM better hope they're ready for the backlash.
[via Motor Authority]

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DISCUSSION

jark
pedal to the mettle

@SmaartAasSaabr: Kei cars are carbureted? I can think of a couple cars from 1957 that were fuel injected, namely the Corvette "Fuelie" and the Mercedes Benz 300SL. Competition drives innovation in a lot of cases.

@nova3930: I'm interested to know how developing and building a car with lightweight materials (aluminum, carbon, titanium alloy, etc.) compares to developing and builiding a car with an exceedingly complex hybrid system. Audi, Jaguar, and Corvette have used lightweight materials in the A8, XJ8, Z06 and ZR1 - vehicles costing $75k+. Could GM's economies of scale make lightweight technology available in more affordable vehicles?

I see Hybrids as a stop-gap solution until the technology is ready to make fossil fuel-free personal vehicles available to everyone. How much time and resources do we want to dump into technology that has a limited future?