Volt Birth Watch 23: A Vue to A Kill?
Speaking at the North American International Auto Show, GM's head of NorAm Ops revealed that a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the Saturn Vue could appear in 2010– gazumping the much-hyped Chevrolet Volt. "For the Volt we are re-engineering an entire vehicle to be optimally designed to support the architecture," Troy Clarke told Reuters. "At the Saturn Vue we are adapting an electric drive system to an existing architecture. It's a quicker way to do it." Clarke's startling announcement– who'd a thunk GM itself would steal thunder from the much-hyped Volt?– comes complete with caveats. The PHEV Saturn Vue would use "different kinds of batteries" to run 10 miles on the power pack alone, while the Chevrolet Volt is being designed to run 40 miles before the gas engine kicks-in. "We don't want to deteriorate the capability of the Vue," Clarke insisted. "It still needs to tow 3,500 pounds, which the Volt will not do. But then the Volt will be one of the most energy-efficient vehicles in the world." Question: how many potential PHEV Vue owners care about towing? Or put it this way: a PHEV Vue owner saves gas so he/she can tow a gas-burning jet-ski or snowmobile? The mind boggles.
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