After seeing what GM's new Two-Mode hybrid system can do in the company's full-size SUVs, we named it our 2008 Technology of the Year. Now, the 2009 Vue Green Line Two-Mode is the first application of Two-Mode technology in a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
A hybrid Vue is nothing new for Saturn. In fact, a four-cylinder hybrid was introduced at the end of the first generation's lifespan in 2007, and the powertrain continues to be sold under the Green Line name in the latest Vue that debuted last summer.
The Green Line Two-Mode pairs GM's 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 with two 55-kilowatt electric motors. Fuel economy is estimated to be fifty percent higher than that of the non-hybrid V-6 Vue, and should be close to the 27 city/32 highway mpg seen on the other hybrid Vue. Range between fillups should approach 500 miles. Horsepower and torque figures have not been announced, but we do know that the 3.6-liter engine makes 252 hp and 241 lb-ft.
That as-yet-unannounced power should allow the Two-Mode Vue to tow 3500 lbs. Performance will be enhanced as well, with 0-to-60-mph sprints taking 7.3 seconds. It appears that the goal of not sacrificing performance or utility will be met.
One important difference from the full-size Two-Mode SUVs is the power steering system. The Vue uses an electric steering system like the Yukon and Tahoe, but it runs on 12-volt power shared with other accessories, whereas the full-size, Two-Mode SUVs (GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe) require a separate 42-volt system that adds weight and cost.
Like the Two-Mode Tahoe and the Yukon, the Two-Mode Vue looks quite a bit different from its conventional sibling. In addition to special exterior badging on the front fenders and the liftgate, a large hybrid graphic is plastered across the bottom of the door panels. The lightweight, aluminum-alloy wheels are wrapped in low-rolling-resistance tires. The front and rear skid plates, the door handles, and the exhaust tips are slathered in chrome, all the more to set the model apart from its non-hybrid counterparts.
We'll get a closer look at the new hybrid Vue at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. Be sure to click the link below for a look at how GM's Two-Mode system works.