GM Presents Two-Mode Transmission for Front-Drive Applications
While no longer destined to figure in any Saturn products, General Motors recently did shed a bit more light on the latest incarnation of its Two-Mode transmission that's specifically designed to be used in lighter-duty front-wheel-drive applications. Initially set to debut in the 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid, this lighter, more compact unit is a purpose-designed variation of the original M99 electrically variable hybrid transmission that's now being used in the large, rear-drive/all-wheel-drive Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Tahoe/Silverado and GMC Yukon/Sierra Hybrids. Internally designated the 2MT70, this new transmission is just 15 inches deep and can back a variety of different engines, from GM's 2.0-liter four to the 3.6-liter direct-injected V6. According to information presented at the recent SAE 2009 World Congress, the 2MT70 is designed to yield a 50 percent gain in combined fuel economy compared to a the figures generated by a conventional Vue. Also in the pipeline is a third Two-Mode transmission intended to be used on even smaller vehicles with engine displacements in the sub-2.0-liter range.