With Roger Penske's PAG (Penske Automotive Group) taking control of General Motors' Saturn division, the question among product geeks was what vehicles will make up the new Saturn's line?
According to AutoblogGreen and other sources, the Penske deal apparently includes a continued supply of some current Saturn products on an interim basis until Penske lines up one or more suppliers for new vehicles.
For TheCarConnection, one of 2010's most anticipated new Saturn vehicles was to be the new two-mode Vue Hybrid. We were invited to -- even had a plane ticket -- to a press event where we were drive this vehicle last December, but then the wheels fell off of GM's train and the program was delayed until this summer. Now it looks as if the Saturn version will never come to fruition. It was to be the first front-wheel-drive version of the two-mode system from any manufacturer.
The two-mode system utilizes the Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) that GM co-developed with Mercedes-Benz and BMW. GM currently uses the EVT in these models:
- 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
- 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
- 2009 Escalade Hybrid
- 2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid
- 2009 GMC Denali Hybrid
According to GM hybrid spokesman Brian Corbett, but that the engineering won't go to waste. It is likely that the two-mode system could end up in the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. The delay between installing this completed powertrain into the new Equinox comes because of engineering issues -- neither were engineered for the other, and rectifying this takes time.
Our colleague John Voelcker drove an early version of the Saturn two-mode hybrid, and report that it was an excellent package with great drivability. It should be worth the wait.
Saturn VUE Hybrid and Gov. Schwarzenegger
As plans for a new roll-out of front-wheel-drive hybrid technology at GM become clear, we'll keep you posted.