Chris_Doane

GM @ NAIAS '08: Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid

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For release: Jan. 6, 2008. 12:01 a.m. EST

vue_2mode06.jpg

2009 SATURN VUE GREEN LINE 2 MODE HYBRID WILL BE

THE WORLD’S MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT V-6 SUV

GM’s Advanced Hybrid Technology Delivers Up To 50-Percent Fuel Economy Increase

With No Compromises in Performance, Capability

-First brand to offer two hybrid options on the same model

-Third hybrid in Saturn’s portfolio

-Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (ATPZEV)

DETROIT – The all-new 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode, the first front-wheel-drive compact SUV in the world powered by General Motors’ two-mode hybrid technology, is designed for customers who want the outstanding fuel savings of an advanced hybrid and the full power and towing capability of an SUV. The Vue Green Line 2 Mode was unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode will deliver an estimated 50-percent fuel economy increase over the non-hybrid V-6 Vue. It also is expected to have a driving range of more than 500 miles (800 km).

In addition, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode’s 3.6L VVT V-6 engine with direct injection technology ensures there are no trade-offs between performance and fuel economy. Acceleration time from 0-60 is expected to be around 7.3 seconds, and the maximum towing load will be 3,500 pounds (1588 kg).

Production is slated to begin in late 2008.

“The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode challenges the notion that a compact SUV can’t be both powerful and efficient,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. “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.”

The 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode sports the same European-inspired design language of the non-hybrid Vue, completely redesigned for the 2008 model year. Subtle exterior changes include “2 Mode” badging on the front doors and rear liftgate; and lightweight aluminum alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tires that enhance fuel economy. The Vue Green Line 2 Mode’s appearance is further accented by chrome door handles, chrome dual exhaust tips and chrome skid plates on the front and rear lower fascia.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode features technologies and refinements in the fuel and exhaust systems that classify it as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in the state of California and other states that have adopted California’s motor vehicle emissions rules. When it arrives in dealer showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2008, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode will be Saturn’s third hybrid, joining the Vue Green Line 4-cylinder hybrid SUV and the Aura Green Line sedan.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode is GM’s first application of two-mode technology on a front-wheel-drive vehicle. The system is currently on the V-8-equipped Chevrolet Tahoe 2 Mode and GMC Yukon 2 Mode full-size SUVs, and becomes available in 2008 on the Cadillac Escalade 2 Mode luxury SUV and Chevrolet Silverado 2 Mode full-size pickup.

How the Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid works

GM’s two-mode hybrid system in the Vue Green Line 2 Mode improves fuel economy by the following operations:

-Engine off at idle

-Low-speed, electric-only propulsion

-Cutting off fuel to the engine during vehicle deceleration

-Regenerative braking

-Energy-efficient accessory systems

Unlike single-mode hybrid technology found in competitors’ SUVs, the two-mode system maximizes city and highway fuel economy by integrating two electric continuously variable modes with four fixed mechanical gear ratios. The system consists of twin, active-cooled 55-kW electric motors integrated into the 2MT70 automatic transmission. Energy to power the motors comes from a 1.8 kWh, 300V nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which consists of 22 nickel metal hydride modules and is packaged behind the second-row seat below the cargo floor.

The transmission is mated to GM’s 3.6L V-6 VVT with direct injection technology. In the first mode, at low speed and light load, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode operates in one of three ways depending on conditions and battery charge level: all-electric power, internal combustion engine power or a combination of the two. All reverse operation is driven by the electric motors.

The second mode is used primarily at highway speeds to optimize fuel economy. It provides electric assist in addition to six-cylinder power when conditions demand it, such as trailer towing and climbing steep grades, and to allow the engine to run at its most efficient point under less-demanding conditions.

No engine speed changes are necessary for the mode shift to occur. The result is exceptionally smooth, seamless acceleration and responsiveness. At all times, the system’s Hybrid Optimizing System (HOS) collects torque-based data, deciphers it, then determines the most fuel-efficient means of propelling the Vue Green Line 2 Mode.

Direct injection V-6 boosts efficiency

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode’s standard engine is an advanced 3.6L V-6 VVT with direct injection, a member of GM’s family of high-feature V-6s. The direct injection engine uses regular unleaded fuel and represents one of the most sophisticated applications of its kind on a hybrid SUV.

Direct injection delivers fuel directly to the combustion chambers and permits a higher compression ratio, improving fuel efficiency. Additionally, the technology reduces cold-start hydrocarbon emissions by up to 25 percent.

The 3.6L VVT with direct injection also features a U.S. auto industry-first isolated fuel injector that greatly reduces the ticking noise associated with other direct injection engines. Other noise-reduction features include the use of acoustic foam in the engine valley and cover.

Specially tuned chassis for a smooth ride

Because the hybrid system changes the weight distribution on the Vue Green Line 2 Mode, special chassis refinements such as revised front and rear spring rates; revised front and rear stabilizer bar rates and recalibrated front struts and rear shock absorbers help ensure a smooth driving experience.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode is equipped with a “fully blended” electro-hydraulic brake system that enables 100-percent regenerative braking (batteries are charged during braking), 100-percent friction braking (traditional four-wheel disc braking) or a combination of the two. During regenerative braking, the system converts kinetic energy to electrical power, then stores the power in the Energy Storage System.

A 12V rack-mounted Electric Power Steering system replaces a conventional column-mounted hydraulic system and saves fuel – gaining up to a half-mile per gallon of gas. It also gives the Vue Green Line 2 Mode more precise steering inputs and better overall on-center feel.

Intuitive displays keep drivers in the know

The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode’s instrument panel lets drivers know that they’re behind the wheel of a sophisticated hybrid, yet with gauges that are easy to understand. An efficiency gauge replaces the tachometer, informing drivers of when they are achieving maximum fuel economy; whether the vehicle is in electric-only mode, engine-only mode or a combination of the two; and, because of the silent start as the key is turned, a telltale indicates when the vehicle is on and ready to drive.

In the center console, a full-color VGA power-flow graphic, which is integrated into an available navigation system, continuously informs the driver and passenger whether the vehicle is sending power to the wheels from the battery pack, engine or both. It also indicates when energy is being captured during braking.

Vue Green Line 2 Mode is generously equipped

In addition to its high-tech propulsion system, the Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode boasts a number of standard safety features including four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, rollover detection system, pedestrian impact protection, tire pressure monitoring system, Pedal Release System, front active head restraints, and six air bags (driver and front passenger frontal and seat-mounted side-impact, and roof rail curtains for both seating rows).

Other features include power-adjustable heated outside mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls; and a six-speaker AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 player and auxiliary input jack. A navigation system and power sunroof are available.

Saturn’s hybrid family is growing

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode is the third hybrid to join the Saturn lineup. Other members of the Green Line family include the Vue (4-cylinder) Green Line and the Aura Green Line sedan. They are equipped with the affordable GM Hybrid system, which reduces fuel consumption using sophisticated controls and a unique electric motor/generator mated to a 2.4L Ecotec VVT four-cylinder engine and Hydra-Matic four-speed transmission.

# # #

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This looks great. I do wonder what the actual fuel economy will be though. I like the 'efficiency gauge' instead of a tach idea, pretty cool.

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The addition of the new hybrid system is great... Else wise, the new Vue is doing the opposite of growing on me.

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where are the small car hybrids? where are the 60 mpg hybrids, like the Prius currently blazing a fire of sales for Toyota in SoCal? where are the car hybrids, where the real market demand is for these types of cars? GM is always late to a segment, cough RWD cars cough, and always releases pointless exercises on the way to getting to the meat of the market, read Malibu Maxx, Aztek, mild hybrids, etc

moving on to this car, a quick check of the fuel economy reveals stats of 16/22 for the 3.6. Doing the math I guess revels figures something like 24/33 mileage, which would be pretty good and enough to compete with the Escape while offering much higher performance overall. That's good. this vehicle is good. let's just hope the pricing stays sane.

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this is big time progress but the buff books and edmunds will simply bleat and moan about how heavy it is. and that it's not a toyota.

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have to agree on the style with BV. it's too girlish this time around, and that's what I think sold the last Vue, those rugged classic SUV vibes, of course to a bunch of girls nonetheless. Still, the Vue is classy and good looking in the right trim, it's just not a homerun, and it has bad touches, like an excessively tall beltline that makes it look tippy, and a terribly Korean profile, all things that have been likely mentioned before

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And here I thought GM was going to surprise me and build me a special retro Hybrid Pontiac Custom-S! Waaaa, but I want it! :smilewide:

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Don't forget GM is a business, it's not here for anyone's personal self gratification! :AH-HA_wink:

I agree with turbo and Vipes on the styling of the VUE. Plus, the front end looks like one of those Amphicars, a car/boat combo thingy. It looks like it's ready to be driven off the boat dock.

Ahem, a DIESEL ENGINE seems a much simpler way to achieve fuel efficiency goals than all this complicated, weighty hybrid stuff.

Edited by ocnblu
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Don't forget GM is a business, it's not here for anyone's personal self gratification! :AH-HA_wink:

I agree with turbo and Vipes on the styling of the VUE. Plus, the front end looks like one of those Amphicars, a car/boat combo thingy. It looks like it's ready to be driven off the boat dock.

Ahem, a DIESEL ENGINE seems a much simpler way to achieve fuel efficiency goals than all this complicated, weighty hybrid stuff.

Along the same lines...why isn't this a 4 cylinder?

It seems like a clean diesel could match these MPG # easily---and a 4 cyl. two-mode should exceed Escape #s.

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Is a Diesel/Electric 2-Mode Hybrid possible in theory for even more fuel economy?

Regardless I've always liked the styling of the VUE but this hybrid model just looks tacky to be. Could it be the large hybrid sticker in the window? Could it be the oversize doorsill decals? Could it be that ugly efficiency gauge in the place of a tachometer? I don't know I just think that It's too flaunty, like Hey I have a hybrid! I prefer the Malibu, Tahoe, and Aura hybrid which are not as showy... But that's just me.

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...hopefully they sells every one it makes. so... ~290HP?

i think 24/26 is much more realistic than 24/33 from the base of 16/22

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where are the small car hybrids? where are the 60 mpg hybrids, like the Prius currently blazing a fire of sales for Toyota in SoCal? where are the car hybrids, where the real market demand is for these types of cars? GM is always late to a segment, cough RWD cars cough, and always releases pointless exercises on the way to getting to the meat of the market, read Malibu Maxx, Aztek, mild hybrids, etc

moving on to this car, a quick check of the fuel economy reveals stats of 16/22 for the 3.6. Doing the math I guess revels figures something like 24/33 mileage, which would be pretty good and enough to compete with the Escape while offering much higher performance overall. That's good. this vehicle is good. let's just hope the pricing stays sane.

The meat of the market isn't small crossovers?

and the Malibu Maxx was very popular for what it was, GM left behind a good number of loyal fans by not continuing with that into the next generation.

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and the Malibu Maxx was very popular for what it was, GM left behind a good number of loyal fans by not continuing with that into the next generation.

:yes:

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this is big time progress but the buff books and edmunds will simply bleat and moan about how heavy it is. and that it's not a toyota.

well they'd have to find something to complain about.... it has cruise on the steering wheel, nav, and an MP3 input jack.

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It will be interesting to see how it compares against the Highlander hybrid and Escape hybrid..

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...hopefully they sells every one it makes. so... ~290HP?

i think 24/26 is much more realistic than 24/33 from the base of 16/22

I also think 24/26 are more realistic numbers. I'm a little disappointed by that though. I guess I was thinking it would be a Escape Hybrid beater in mileage. Over at Autoblog, they say overall mileage is improved by 30%. So combined mileage is something like 25mpg.

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Did they tune it with the DI to make the same HP while delivering better economy? It's obviously not a 300hp engine or else they'd be shouting that too.

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Expect this to roll out to the Lambdas and Epsilon sedans as transmission and battery production increases.

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Along the same lines...why isn't this a 4 cylinder?

It seems like a clean diesel could match these MPG # easily---and a 4 cyl. two-mode should exceed Escape #s.

It is because of this philosophy that they did not put a 4 banger in it:

“The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode challenges the notion that a compact SUV can’t be both powerful and efficient,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. “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.”

Is a Diesel/Electric 2-Mode Hybrid possible in theory for even more fuel economy?

It is a fancy idea on paper and theoritically it will yield higher fuel economy numbers, but the GM's chief two-mode design engineer told Fly and I that the cost to benefit ratio is higher than the two-mode hybrid and thus not worth pursuing it. You already are spending a lot on making diesels cleaner and powerful by turbo charging using common rail etc. and add to that the price of the hybrid, but he did not rule out the possibility in the future.

well they'd have to find something to complain about.... it has cruise on the steering wheel, nav, and an MP3 input jack.

Crapmunds is their name, and putting crap is their game.

Expect this to roll out to the Lambdas and Epsilon sedans as transmission and battery production increases.

Look for a 2009 intro.

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An Opel Antara hybrid could be an interesting offer, but with the 2.4L gasoline or the 2.0L diesel I4s instead of the V6. BRX and 9-4X should benefit from this V6-Hybrid application too.

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The meat of the market isn't small crossovers?

and the Malibu Maxx was very popular for what it was, GM left behind a good number of loyal fans by not continuing with that into the next generation.

the meat of the market for hybrids is not powerful and efficient as the Accord Hybrid proved, but efficient and high mileage while maintaining a high level of affordability as Prius and Civic Hybrid have proven. Prius now sells almost as well as a Civic, better than Cobalt, better than Impala [at the retail level] and any other GM car [again at the retail level, not sure about what it would look like including fleet numbers].

My point was not to say those cars weren't popular, but much like the HHR, pointless exercises that diverted funds from making the actual cars they were based on into truly world class cars, and perhaps we wouldn't be in the predicament we are in now with Cadillac, Zeta platform, etc..... let's face it, less models with better quality tp make more profit, which in turn would have helped create excess profit to create the right cars GM is now missing in key segments, and less models would mean less distractions like the GMC XUV.

Edited by turbo200
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the meat of the market for hybrids is not powerful and efficient as the Accord Hybrid proved, but efficient and high mileage while maintaining a high level of affordability as Prius and Civic Hybrid have proven. Prius now sells almost as well as a Civic, better than Cobalt, better than Impala [at the retail level] and any other GM car [again at the retail level, not sure about what it would look like including fleet numbers].

My point was not to say those cars weren't popular, but much like the HHR, pointless exercises that diverted funds from making the actual cars they were based on into truly world class cars, and perhaps we wouldn't be in the predicament we are in now with Cadillac, Zeta platform, etc..... let's face it, less models with better quality tp make more profit, which in turn would have helped create excess profit to create the right cars GM is now missing in key segments, and less models would mean less distractions like the GMC XUV.

But the Vue has no sacrifices. Yes, it doesn't get 50 mpg. But, there are people who do not want a hybrid, and their 11 sec 0-60 times, me included. To increase CAFE, GM needs to offer alternatives to truck and SUV buyers, who will not settle for a 130hp econobox. As people move out of Tahoes and Trailblazers(GM's profit centers) they will need a place to go. They could move into the Lambda and Theta hybrids.

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I see the potential for hybrids with performance. the problem lies with GM's inability to get a hybrid out that focuses on efficiency. GM is always late to respond. The Prius has been selling over 100k a year since the first gen, and GM may not have a viable competitor until the 3rd gen Prius is released in the form of Volt. Who knows what the Volt will cost, and if it will even come out in a viable timeframe, and exceed efficiency offered in thier third gen Prius.

The Civic Hybrid I own may seem like a laggard in accel, compared to my last car maybe, but once it gets up there it's a fun car to drive in the grand tradition of Hondas, and the power is always right there to keep that speed. For 90% of drivers, this kind of car is all that is needed, except those in need of more trunk space and bigger dimmensions inside. Civic and Prius can carry 5 comfortably and only suffer on economy on hill grades.

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I see the potential for hybrids with performance. the problem lies with GM's inability to get a hybrid out that focuses on efficiency. GM is always late to respond. The Prius has been selling over 100k a year since the first gen, and GM may not have a viable competitor until the 3rd gen Prius is released in the form of Volt. Who knows what the Volt will cost, and if it will even come out in a viable timeframe, and exceed efficiency offered in thier third gen Prius.

The Civic Hybrid I own may seem like a laggard in accel, compared to my last car maybe, but once it gets up there it's a fun car to drive in the grand tradition of Hondas, and the power is always right there to keep that speed. For 90% of drivers, this kind of car is all that is needed, except those in need of more trunk space and bigger dimmensions inside. Civic and Prius can carry 5 comfortably and only suffer on economy on hill grades.

Well, we know GM's main answer to the Prius is the Volt. I guess the question is whether GM should do a 2-mode small car first, just to get a high mpg small car out the door sooner than 2011. Maybe they've done the math and a 2-mode small car wouldn't get the mpgs it would need to justify the price tag it would have to carry? I don't know. It would be interesting to know what a 2-mode Cobalt-sized car (Astra?) could get in mpgs. From what I understand about the 2-mode system, it adds possibly as much as $10,000 to the car's price tag. I'm quite sure GM would have trouble getting another $5-10,000 for a Cobalt if the only change was adding the 2-mode and getting 40mpg. They would have to add features, make aesthetic changes, and address a lot of build quality issues. Those things take time and money, which is maybe better spent on a next gen.

The Astra might be a more suitable car due to its higher features and what are apparently generally better dynamics, but it's not made here, it's not being sent over here in high enough quantities to meet demand as-is (probably), and the exchange rate would further destroy any hope for break-even or profit on a 2-mode version.

I guess it seems like GM doesn't have a good small car to just throw the 2-mode into, and by the time they will/would, it wouldn't beat the Volt by much, if any, time. Of course, GM needs to invest in their small(er) cars anyway, so...

Edited by PurdueGuy
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