GM Alternative Propulsion Smackdown, Part III

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
gm alternative propulsion smackdown part iii

Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Saturn brand manager Jill Lajdziak's threw down the gauntlet to Toyota (again), promising a "2009-ish" debut for a plug-in hybrid Vue. The new Vue's drivetrain will differ from the "mild hybrid" Vue currently on offer; it'll be based on the two-mode hybrid system debuting on the Tahoe. And guess what? She's [smack] talking lithium-ion batteries! The plug-in Vue will be limited to a 10-mile range in purely electric mode. In other news, Lajdziak hinted that Saturn may also offer some of the diesel engines found in the Rethink American brand's Opel doppelgängers. Referencing the engineering connection between the two brands, Lajdziak said "it's a natural for us to consider diesel." OK Toyota, time to talk about your Isuzu oil burners.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Dean Dean on Sep 13, 2007

    Yeah, I think Toyota is real worried 'bout that plug-in Vue. Positively quaking.

  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Sep 13, 2007

    Katie-actually quite a few GM products (mostly Aveos) are used to deliver pizza. ;^D I don't think it will be hard for GM (or ford, toyota, honda, nissan etc.) To take one of their planned hybrid models and add more batteries, a charge system and dangle a plug out the back. The questions are will it do anything worth while, what will it cost. Throwing something together to be first is of little use. (Did we say 10 mile range two years ago? And you can only go three? It must be your driving.) They tossed together the Saturn "why?brids" and what did the customer get? Mileage in the normal 4 cyl range, slloooowww acceleration and the price of a V-6 model. I have dubbed these cars the "Brownline" models. Just some thoughts. Bunter

  • Johnson Johnson on Sep 13, 2007

    What a joke. GM has been talking so much smack and making so much hype about it's upcoming products that they are bound to fail. And li-ion batteries in a hybrid by 2009? I'll believe it when I see it.

  • Glenn126 Glenn126 on Sep 14, 2007

    With GM just being "hit up" as the UAW strike target, if GM survives the next few months (never mind getting into the alternate fuel car biz) I'll be surprised. Here's what GM's line-up "might" look like during a strike. Chevrolet Aveo (SK) 1.6 liter 4 door sedan, 3 door hatch Optra (Thai, SK) 2.0 liter (already sold in Can/Mex and as a Suzuki) 4 door sedan, wagon Epica (PRC, SK) 2.5 liter six 4 door sedan Equinox (Can/CAMI) 3.6 liter V6 4 door cute ute Impala (Can) 3.8 liter V6 (source engines from PRC) Suburban (Mex) 6.0 liter V8 (source engines from Australia) Avalanche (Mex) 6.0 liter V8 (source engines from Australia) PONTIAC Vibe (US/Nummi) 1.8 liter 4, 4 door wagon Torrent (Can/CAMI) 3.6 liter V6 4 door cute ute G8 (Aus) 3.6 liter V6, 6.0 liter V8, 4 door RWD sedan BUICK LaCrosse (Taiwan) 3.6 liter V6 4 door sedan Park Avenue (PRC) 3.6 liter V6 4 door sedan CADILLAC CTS (Russia) 3.6 liter V6 4 door sedan SLS (PRC) 3.6 liter V6, 4.6 liter V8? 4 door sedan Escalade (Mex) 6.0 liter V8 (source engines from Australia) SATURN Astra (EU) GMC - nothing, except perhaps a few full sized pickup trucks from Canada with Australian V8's (ditto Chevrolet) That'd be an absolute maximum of 18 lines in all US brands. Saturn would die on the vine, so would GMC. But then with the UAW in a moose-like death-lock with GMNA, such a line-up would only become a foot-note in history (as in "when General Motors went completely out of business in North Ameerica, dealers were left with odd lots of imported cars which nobody would buy"). Maybe just Maybe, Ford and Chrysler will live through this. RIP General Messup...