New Buick Crossover Will Get GM's Plug-in Technology
GM's Vice Chairman of Product Development, Tom Stephens, has confirmed that the firm's slick 2-Mode Hybrid technology that originally was to debut in the Saturn Vue will instead appear in a new Buick crossover. Set to slot in below the Enclave, conventional versions of this as-yet-unnamed, five-passenger people mover will arrive in late 2010 powered by a 2.4-liter Ecotec four and a 3.0-liter V6 that are expected to deliver at least 30 highway mpg. In 2011, they will be joined by a plug-in 2-Mode Hybrid iteration that will use the same kind of LG-sourced Lithium-ion batteries and charging technology developed for the upcoming Chevy Volt. Positioned beneath the cargo floor, the vehicle's eight-kilowatt hour battery will power two electric motors, can be recharged in four to five hours from a standard 110V outlet and has already yielded a range of up 10 miles at low speeds when operating in pure EV mode. Unlike the Volt, this new crossover will also be fitted with a 3.6-liter direct-injected E85-capable V6 that can be used with or without electric assist when the vehicle is being driven on the highway. According to Stephens, "Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover. This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game."