Jun 15

Rumor: New Buick CUV to Get 2-Mode Plug-in Hybrid Drivetrain

 

Since 2006, GM has been developing a front-wheel drive 2-mode plugin hybrid (PHEV) vehicle. The 2-mode plugin Saturn VUE was to be that car but bankruptcy and divestment of the Saturn brand has ended that plan.

GM’s contract negotiations with Penske could in theory enable that car to still be built and sourced, however that is highly unlikely.

Yet GM has said it still plans to put the plug-in 2-mode powertrain into a production vehicle but hasn’t said which one.   Development work is ongoing.

Writers have speculated the new Chevrolet Equinox which gets 32 mpg highway using a direct injection 4 cylinder engine would be the likely host for the powertrain. Other speculation includes the new GMC Terrain or Cadillac SRX.

These ideas may be wrong.

GM-Volt.com has learned the new vehicle will be a Buick.

GM has designed a new small crossover (CUV) Buick which has yet to be named or unveiled. Footage of a clay model of the vehicle was leaked when CBS news filmed an interview with GM VP of Design Ed Welburn, and is shown above.

This new car shares the same platform the Saturn VUE uses and therefore is properly configured for the 2-mode hybrid and plug-in 2 mode hybrid drivetrain. The body design will be unique.

It is expected the car will make its appearance in 2011.

[UPDATE: GM has not officially confirmed this information, so should be taken as rumor at this point.]

This entry was posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 6:23 am and is filed under Buick, PHEV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 112


  1. 1
    statik

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (6:26 am)

    Welcome back Saturn Vue

    …never underestimate GM’s ability and speed to repackage/rebadge a product.

    In a related matter: Can GM not control what reporters/cameramen pick up when they visit the HQ or Warren…or do they not want to? Seems like we get lots of leakage of something or other when ‘the press’ shows. (CBS today, autoline a couple days ago).


  2. 2
    RB

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    Is there production commitment, or is this one yet another concept?

    Since 2006, GM has been developing a front-wheel drive 2-mode plugin hybrid (PHEV) vehicle. Should we anticipate something good in terms of mileage or performance, or are we talking about a blizzard of buzz words but not much more?


  3. 3
    kingofl337

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    Why don’t they just build an equinox with the Vue parts? It’s the same chassis. I’m going to go ahead an say GM has their heads up their @ss on this one.


  4. 4
    Harrier1970

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (6:35 am)

    GM Needs fresh designs if it is going to be a leader in the world automotive industry. Bland and boring designs like the one shown above are a halmark of the old GM and are one of the many reasons that they failed.

    GM needs to hire better designers to make sexier cars… ones that people WANT to buy rather than are forced to buy.

    Harrier1970


  5. 5
    Adam

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (6:38 am)

    #3, GM is considered having their head up the @ss most of the time. Though bankruptcy is proceeding, they still find new ways of showing the public how efficient they are throwing money away. We need a whole new vehicle, the Enclave isn’t good enough for the Voltec powertrain.


  6. 6
    Bruce

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (6:47 am)

    I have a Saturn VUE hybrid. Clearly the price of the VUE hybrid is not worth the extra money. Maybe the 2 mode will be better. Still love the car-Just as good as Toyota in quality.


  7. 7
    Schmeltz

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:04 am)

    This really suprises me that it’s planned to be a Buick. I mean, I guess GM wasn’t kidding when they said they have some big plans for this division in the coming years. My guess would have been the Equinox or Cadillac. I imagine a lot of discussion when choosing the model to replace the Saturn was centered around the fact that they need a vehicle in a brand that will command a higher price to help return their R&D investment in this technology. I would have thought Cadillac would have had this in the bag though. These guys apparently seem serious about re-inventing Buick, and this move proves it.


  8. 8
    Thomas Gilling

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:10 am)

    Buick finally have a car in it’s lineup that people will buy. People will have to put up with it’s grandpa image if they want to save the world!


  9. 9
    Dave B

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:16 am)

    Will some things never change…. How much money did GM throw away on one product just to pick up and “rebadge” it to discard it for another? THIS TIME IT COST US ALL A FORTUNE.


  10. 10
    koz

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:32 am)

    Cadillac used to have a Grandpa image too not that long ago. Some of the new Buick’s have better design better perceptions don’t change easily. It better have some towing capacity (3000+) or it should be a Voltec.


  11. 11
    RB

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:33 am)

    #8 Thomas said
    Buick finally have a car in it’s lineup that people will buy. People will have to put up with it’s grandpa image…
    ———————————————————–

    Exactly so, and that’s why the ones of us who really are grandpas will not buy one either. Why reinforce an already negative stereotype?

    However, since grandpas (as a group) have more money to spend, too bad (for GM) that Buick cannot manage its brand image into a more favorable one.

    It is interesting that the one Buick I have, which has been a great car, was purchased at the insistence of my daughter at the time when she was young enough to be simply interested in cars themselves and not aware of Buick’s geriatric image.


  12. 12
    Jeff

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:34 am)

    #9 Dave B
    Will some things never change…. How much money did GM throw away on one product just to pick up and “rebadge” it to discard it for another? THIS TIME IT COST US ALL A FORTUNE.
    ——————————————————————-

    GM is a government program now…so wasteful spending is more of a given. At least, I expect 1-5 more rebadges with a remote chance that one of the versions being offered to the general public in limited US markets in 2015.


  13. 13
    statik

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:36 am)

    I wonder what happened to GM’s new motto of ‘less is more’?

    I thought 4 models was bad enough (on the Theta/Premium). Now we have 5 — GMC Terrain, Chev Equinox, Cadillac SRX, Saab 9-4X…and now the Buick XXX. (provided you don’t also count the ‘on production hiatus’ XL7, and they still at dealerships Torrent…which would make 7). Although if you watch the CBS piece, you can see how this kind of nonesense happens…CBS says they have 1,600 people working on design at GM in EIGHT studios. Say wha?

    (Sidenote to GM mangement lurkers-I’m guessing that gives Mike Jackon’s rant to automotive news a little more weight – PowerPoint/bureaucracy of meetings culture. Specially designed rooms multimedia rooms to have virtual meetings and collaborate/make presentations between 8 design houses? Seems excessive.)

    To tell the truth, I really don’t have a problem another brand/model, but ONLY if it is sold in a 2-mode, which isn’t available on any of its cousins…which would make it a unique strong hybrid.

    Although it would have made a ton more sense ahead of time to have given the 2-mode to the GMC brand, and then have a reworked/Buickification of the Terrain if they really, really felt they had to push out baby number 5 (or 7)…guess not enough colloration/virtual meetings on that one, lol.

    The 2-mode is going to suffer to be taken seriously as a competitive hybrid platform under this badge.

    To start out with, it has to overcome its inherent price premium to its cousins….and the fact that the AVERAGE age of a Buick driver is 68 (at least in was 3 years ago…I’ve seen some recent talk to say it is back down around 65…GM does tout the Enclave as having a very youthful, mid 50s demographic).

    So additional questions are thrown into the mix with this dubious choice:

    “Will retirees see the value of the 2-mode or do they just want the traditional, well-appoint land yacht, that is cheaper than a Cadillac?”

    -and-

    “Will the working middle class/yuppies/greenies move into their father’s brand and pay the premium associated with that?” Some will…but there is no way the exposure/adoption is going to be what it should/would have been under the Saturn badge…or more ideally the GMC brand.


  14. 14
    rekab

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:36 am)

    Like I said on May 6th, “I guess something on a set of 17″ Buick wheels.” People should be more careful about what slips from thier tongues with others around. . . .


  15. 15
    Brian

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:40 am)

    I fail to understand the buzz about the 2-mode hybrid. If I can’t drive it and use “NO gas” I’m not interested. This represents real freedom to me. I thought the name of the game was to break the chain to the gas pump.


  16. 16
    Dave K.

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:16 am)

    GM needs to focus on EREV.

    Produce a good product. Then expand it outward. The public is better off staying with products like the ICE Cruze until the Volt is available.

    =D~


  17. 17
    Kyle

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:22 am)

    @ Brian 15

    Yes, the name of the game IS to break the chain to the gas pump. However, GM is already having a hard enough time getting the 40 miles it promised out of the much smaller Volt. While I would love to see an E-REV CUV, the battery isn’t there yet in terms of energy density. The electric range would be dismal compared to the Volt’s (I’m no engineer, but it makes sense), and some people already find the Volt’s range unsatisfactory. Until the battery technology DOES get there, we’ll just have to sit tight and make due with a more fuel efficient PHEV CUV.


  18. 18
    k-dawg

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:24 am)

    Its a Buick for China. They are the only ones w/cash to buy cars right now.

    (heh.. now that will turn this into a political thread. Bring on the broken record)


  19. 19
    charlie h

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:24 am)

    It’s a real mystery why GM doesn’t just fix the Equinox up with both the DI engine and the two-mode transmission. Waiting for a new Buick will take years, if it’s in clay study now.

    Of course, i have this disturbing premonition that Buick will introduce the vehicle with a V6. Hybrids are all about fuel economy. Adding a couple hundred pounds and two extra cylinders of engine isn’t going to attract people that want good fuel economy.


  20. 20
    Lwesson

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:26 am)

    Statik #13 Yes, Saturn was a natural for having an auto that we, more humble people, could obtain. GM somehow thought that Cadillac and Buick would be, ah, more profitable though the two are so close to each other?

    What would Harry Crappo Durant do? As you likely know, the founder of GM. Turning over in his grave I bet.

    Brian #15 If you think that big auto has the intent to break the line to the gas pump then you are buying into their ad hype. They are tied to big oil as Carcus1 has often stated and given details. Big Oil here in Houston is fearful of the “electric genie” getting clear out of the the bottle and wrecking havoc on a multi trillion dollar industry. I might loose my house because of that. But one must also look at Wall Street as a manipulator of the energy market, thus prices. Speculators blow bubbles that rise and fall whereby they make money on said rise and fall. You can thank them for the chaos in prices and thus the public’s desire to “break the chain to the gas pump.”

    Regards!——–Higgins—-The boys, Zeus and Apollo want to case speculators today.


  21. 21
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:52 am)

    I wonder what the operational characteristics for it might be, being a “Plug-in”-planned vehicle.

    Whenever “plug-in” is described, I have to remain interested in following it.

    While I would be certainly open to breaking the stereotypes by arriving somewhere in a Buick “plug-in”, the advantages to me with a Buick “plug-in” would be that if I were backlogged to get to more shops on any given day, I could really have a lot of fun with it if the shop owners and techs did not know what it was “plug-in”-wise.

    It would be a lot of fun to go ahead and conduct my scheduled business with that shop, and, just before I left, say,

    “By the way, it’s a ‘plug-in’ that goes ____ number of miles firstly on electricity” if that would be the way for me to attempt to remain on schedule and move on.

    After attentively listening and internalizing (accepting the wisdom) in a speakers dialog, 95% of people would find me boring, BORING, BOOOOORING anyway, which I must always be ready to accept, and, as politely as I can, move on quickly, trying my very best to time that appropriately).

    (And, I’m ALWAYS at least a little behind schedule, it is just how badly I am always behind schedule.)

    The Buick badge would help greatly with that. I would have the last chuckle if a new shop didn’t at first spot it as a “plug-in”, then out of sheer interest, take a moment of their time to get to know me better. (Which is more difficult for about a fourth of them, unless we have a little time to talk on a couple of occasions about casual stuff).

    Sometimes, that was what the unique ’05 Element did for me 4 years ago to 2 years ago, and, I am getting overdue for something new. (The retained value of the Element is going to help me get into a Voltec vehicle, which (I hope), might be made available by however means is brought about). (Maybe I could get a “speakers contract for Texans from GM.)

    This time, however, having a “plug-in” is a job requirement that will provide my business the fully-appropriate image and functions that I must have.
    Especially for the credibility needed to again bring about the intellectual commitments of both techs and management of advancing shops.

    It is always the case that shops respect that advancement must be continual with ongoing professional relationships that matter.
    The biggest problem with most all aftermarket training nowadays, is that if it is not Factory training with a practical diagnostic hierarchy, or a broad experienced outlook for teaching the finding of the exact problems “right now” on a live Repair Order in a service bay, learning does not take place.

    Instead, what has been “taught” is

    ***********************************************
    totally unrelated design information.
    ***********************************************

    That is totally worthless to the context of what is happening right then, with what malfunction-facts must constantly be “segwayed” with the minimum of 8 unrehearsed live repair orders starting always with 3 GM vehicles. Only this is what is going to cause new learning with proven diagnostic-sequential methods.

    Of course a “plug-in” that firstly goes so many miles on electricity would work for me. And, the more electric miles, the merrier.

    Dan.


  22. 22
    PLJ

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:56 am)

    Now that Buick is the highest quality vehicle on the planet, GM is right to put a lot of energy into this brand.

    Buick is also one of the best selling brands in China. The Chinese don’t have the ridiculous emotional baggage we Americans have when it comes to buying cars. They recognize quality products and buy them by the shipload.

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/03/19/buick-and-jaguar-top-lexus-in-quality/2


  23. 23
    R Penske

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:57 am)

    At least GM is trying to be environmentally friendly.

    Way to recycle your garbage GM ! ;-)


  24. 24
    old man

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:07 am)

    Even tho I am not a CUV type buyer, I think this will be a winner as long as it can only be purchased as a PHEV. AND IT HAS TOWING POWER!!!! I think GM is taking advantage of the good name buick enjoys with the likes of J.D. Powers. Even if they put the V-6 with 3.8 displacement coupled with a 5 or 6 speed transmition they will have good mpg.

    This will garner a higher price than any GM product other than Cadilac And will reach more buyers than the Cadilac. IMO [not humble on this one]


  25. 25
    Van

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:13 am)

    Will it be called the Buick Electra? Will Nasaman like it? Time will tell :)


  26. 26
    zipdrive

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:24 am)

    to Van @25 who says “Will it be called the Buick Electra? Will Nasaman like it? Time will tell.”
    ———————————————-

    I think the “Electra” name should be saved for a future Buick EREV.
    More appropriate.


  27. 27
    Randy

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:27 am)

    Design is not the problem ,look how ugly the Prius is and its selling like hotcakes,cuz it get 50+ MPG even if it looks like a motorized phone booth.


  28. 28
    DaV8or

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:38 am)

    To counter Statik’s point, if you’re going to reinvent Buick and try to drive the age of the demographic down, you have to start somewhere. So I’m glad they are giving Buick something to sell. However, why the delay on hybrids??! I suspect that the 2 mode hybrid just isn’t that efficient and the mileage numbers the test vehicles are turning in aren’t that impressive, so they are stalling for time and hoping they can tweek it to the point where it is competitive with the existing hybrids. They could have easily rolled this out as a GMC, Cadillac or Chevy by the end of this year, not 2011. They are stalling.


  29. 29
    benion2

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:41 am)

    William “Billy” Crapo Durant, not sure who Harry C Durant was


  30. 30
    carcus1

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:43 am)

    Film footage from “Das Bunker”

    Hitler’s EV Dilemma
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra7-1Wx4exc

    / LWesson – Higgins, I know you’re gonna like it. At least I did. (almost fell out of my chair)


  31. 31
    Texas

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    Any new electric drive train needs to have a new model associated with it. Why? Because if it has an ICE only version, the customer can calculate the price difference and say it’s not worth it. Happened with the Malibu, Honda Accord, Honda Civic and many others. You see, the Prius is just what it is and thus the customer can not compare it to it‘s ICE-only version. Thus, the value is simply the perception of the model.

    The 2-mode is just a Prius-like system and it’s going to be compared against the very refined Prius Synergy Drive. The 2-mode will not be as refined because it takes time and iteration to achieve the level that the Synergy Drive is at. Thus, putting this new drive train on a vehicle that has a ICE-only model will allow an apples-to-apples comparison. This is inviting disaster and reduces the impact of the entire program.

    It’s probably too late to change but maybe they will learn for next time. New drive train, new model. Period. That’s why the Volt has a very good chance at being a significant success. How come the Volt was so well thought out yet the other programs were not?

    Here’s a thought. Get that genius German (Frank Weber) to run GM’s new product development from now on. Of course, first he needs to prove he’s the man by bringing out the Volt to a successful launch.

    Who do you think is top dog at GM right now?


  32. 32
    charlie h

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    Extrapolating from my #19, this vehicle should not be a Buick. It should be a Chevy. Buicks are not about good fuel economy, they are near-luxury cars. 4-bangers have no place in a Buick (at least, not yet). Chevys are for value and if the customer values fuel economy, he’s going to want an I-4 Chevy. Green buyers will go to Chevy, too.

    GM’s setting itself up for a repeat of a mistake they’ve often made in the past; aiming a hybrid at a market that doesn’t exist.


  33. 33
    Jeff

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:58 am)

    #30 carcus1

    That is hilarious!!!!! Someone needs to forward the link to the White House and GM top management.


  34. 34
    RB

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:59 am)

    #31 Texas asks
    Who do you think is top dog at GM right now?
    ————————————————————–

    I believe that is the person representing President Obama.


  35. 35
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:06 am)

    charlie h @ 32:

    But doesn’t Lexus have 3 luxury hybrids (starting at 42K, 56K, and 104K respectively)? Also a JD Power list topper in the past.

    So are you saying this market doesn’t exist? Has Lexus made a mistake too?

    GM is absolutely right to do this thru Buick. There is way more going on here than just putting out a hybrid vehicle. Its about confidence, price points, clout, and image.

    I know you know this; as a Toyota promoter.


  36. 36
    Gary

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:19 am)

    This story was featured on Autoblog today. Keep your eyes peeled for the haters who click their way here.


  37. 37
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:33 am)

    Testing new computer. Stand by for further brilliant comments.


  38. 38
    k-dawg

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    You know, that clay model sure looks a lot like the MPV concept.

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/04/21/hybrid-buick-business-mpv-concept-revealed/


  39. 39
    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:43 am)

    Heh heh…
    I saw one of the new Allure’s on the road the other day and went “hey that looks good”. I then saw it was a Buick and had a double reaction… First of all a quick glance in the mirror pointed out that there IS a bit of grey poking through… but also that It really IS a good looking car! It kinda out Lexuses Lexus!

    A dual mode with a V6 that can pull a camper or whatever and get good economy would be a good thing!


  40. 40
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:51 am)

    #27 Randy:

    Well I don’t think the Prius is that ugly, but your underlying point is absolutely right. This thing is going to be too big, too heavy, and it is not going to get anything like 50 mpg. Can anyone say BAS Malibu? Tahoe hybrid? Some people just refuse to get it.

    #32 charlie h:

    Well I’m not gonna buy it if it’s not a Chevy! but of course that’s just me, hehehe.

    As to “aiming a hybrid at a market that doesn’t exist.”, right.

    #35 Metrology First:

    I saw my first Lexus 600hL on my way to work this AM. It couldn’t have come on a better day, as I really needed a laugh. Talk about “aiming a hybrid at a market that doesn’t exist.”, LOL.

    How many of those have they sold so far? 5?


  41. 41
    DonC

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    #13 statik & #31 texas

    There is tension here. To keep the number of models down you want to have a hybrid twin of an existing model – Vue, Plug In Vue. But consumers don’t seem to like this, perhaps because, as Texas says, it makes the monetary comparison easier. (I think it’s more along the lines that people want to be recognized as driving a hybrid but no matter).

    Toyota considered but rejected the idea of having a “Prius” line of hybrids in order to address this problem, but a new brand is very complicated to execute.

    Certainly a hybrid CUV is a good idea. There are a lot of people who would like a hybrid but need a SUV/CUV to haul stuff around. It could be a hot market as indicated by internet searches. Right now there are some choices (Highlander Escape etc) but not a dedicated vehicle and not a very exciting vehicle. A plug-in CUV could be both. We’ll see what GM does. If smart they’ll make the vehicle hybrid only.


  42. 42
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    #39 MuddyRoverBob:

    Yeah, I saw a new Lacrosse sitting in a local parking lot the other night. Not too common in our neighborhood. I had to remark to my wife on what a good looking car it was.

    I’m not in the market, as I’m holding out for the Volt, but at least it gives one hope for GM design.


  43. 43
    Starcast

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    #40 Noel Park Says:
    June 15th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    “Well I don’t think the Prius is that ugly,”

    LOL You might be the only one. A bubble riding on little tires.

    It may not be as ugly a an Eliment or Aztec but it is close. I don’t even park close to a Prius because I am afraid the ugly may rub on on my car. (Just pulling your chain)


  44. 44
    statik

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:00 pm)

    #30 carcus1 said:

    Film footage from “Das Bunker”

    Hitler’s EV Dilemma
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra7-1Wx4exc

    / LWesson – Higgins, I know you’re gonna like it. At least I did. (almost fell out of my chair)
    ===================

    I enjoyed it, thanks C1. Someone put a lot of work into doing that…flows nice.


  45. 45
    DonC

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    #40 Noel Park says “This thing is going to be too big, too heavy, and it is not going to get anything like 50 mpg.”

    The quotes for the Vue were more like 70 mpg. That’s certainly possible. I think the RAV4-E with those heavy batteries used about 350 wh/mile. That would get you a bit more than 20 miles on 8 kWh, which would really give you a very high mpg rating.

    Keep in mind that the CUVs don’t weigh nearly as much as the ginormous SUVs like the Escalade, and that the weight penalty is alleviated if regen is efficient.

    #34 RB – Did you catch the House hearing on the dealer closures last week? These guys are looney. One woman asked if GM or Chrysler cared if dealers made profit selling new cars, service, or used cars. I’m thinking “Lady, these guys make their money when their dealers sell new cars. What do you think they want their dealers to be selling, baked good?”.

    My other favorite were the guys from the Southern states who were so eager to see GM and Chrysler go into bankruptcy but are now shocked, simply shocked, that a GM or Chrysler dealer in their district might be closed because of the bankruptcy. One guy went so far as to decry the “brutality” of bankruptcy law. Absolutely comical.

    The other moment of hilarity was when Representative Burgess from Texas was berating Jim Press from Chrysler about not knowing that Barney Frank and called Chrysler and gotten a dealer removed from the closure list. When Press kept saying he didn’t know what Burgess was talking about, Burgess went off on some rant about how it was in all the papers and everyone in America knew about it (I’m thinking he confused the written word with talk radio) and why wasn’t Press ashamed of his ignorance. At some point an aide went up and whispered in Burgess’ ear — turned out it wasn’t Chrysler at all (nor a dealer). Burgess didn’t miss a beat. Giving no thought to apologizing, he sort of blamed Press for the mistake (apparently when he reads “Chrysler” it comes out “GM”). You just don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    The dealers were also interesting. They look at the auto business as a sinecure. One more or less said he couldn’t believe that in America you could make an investment and not get your money back! So much for capitalism. Having grown up in a small city I knew that was the perspective but it was interesting to see it displayed so publicly, and to have all of our defenders of capitalism endorse it.

    Press and Henderson were really composed. Very impressive on their part.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:23 pm)

    #41 DonC said:

    #13 statik & #31 texas

    There is tension here. To keep the number of models down you want to have a hybrid twin of an existing model – Vue, Plug In Vue. But consumers don’t seem to like this, perhaps because, as Texas says, it makes the monetary comparison easier. (I think it’s more along the lines that people want to be recognized as driving a hybrid but no matter).

    Toyota considered but rejected the idea of having a “Prius” line of hybrids in order to address this problem, but a new brand is very complicated to execute.

    Certainly a hybrid CUV is a good idea. There are a lot of people who would like a hybrid but need a SUV/CUV to haul stuff around. It could be a hot market as indicated by internet searches. Right now there are some choices (Highlander Escape etc) but not a dedicated vehicle and not a very exciting vehicle. A plug-in CUV could be both. We’ll see what GM does. If smart they’ll make the vehicle hybrid only.
    ======================
    I’m not sure why you reference me and Texas…maybe you are just agreeing with us? I read it a couple times…and I really can’t tell, heeh,

    We all want GM’s hybrid/electric vehicle to have a unique brand/model…same as you. I think most are on the same page here:

    Statik #13 said: “To tell the truth, I really don’t have a problem another brand/model, but ONLY if it is sold in a 2-mode, which isn’t available on any of its cousins…which would make it a unique strong hybrid. ”

    Texas #31 said: “Any new electric drive train needs to have a new model associated with it. Why? Because if it has an ICE only version, the customer can calculate the price difference and say it’s not worth it. ”

    The other part of my post was just saying that Buick is probably not a good place to start out with the 2-mode…and that the Theta platform already has too many copies of virtually the same vehicle, to introduce yet another model onto.

    My suggestion would be how about making just 2 standard ICE CUVs..and having 1 a dedicated 2-mode (like I think you are also suggesting DonC), rather than 5 (or 7 depending on how you look at it, atm)…something like Chevy Equinox, GMC 2-mode and Buick whatever…scrap the SRX, XL7 (hiatus), 9-4X, Torrent (already did…but stop making them already) abd making the GMC ICE Terrain.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    Smart move GM. This should go over like a lead balloon.
    Poorly engineered solution. Look to Tesla S for the direction you need to be moving towards. Get off this type of vehicle NOW.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    What a pleasant surprise! A Buick plug-in CUV is an excellent choice! It’s stylish, it’ll draw in younger buyers, and it can carry the price premium just fine. I say build it!


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:50 pm)

    statik Says:
    June 15th, 2009 at 12:00 pm .#30 carcus1 said:

    Film footage from “Das Bunker”

    Hitler’s EV Dilemma
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra7-1Wx4exc

    / LWesson – Higgins, I know you’re gonna like it. At least I did. (almost fell out of my chair)
    ===================

    I enjoyed it, thanks C1. Someone put a lot of work into doing that…flows nice.

    —————————-

    You guys know there are hundreds of those Hitler you-tubes right?


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    Will they bring back the “Rendezvous” nameplate? That sold quite well I believe…


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:56 pm)

    #45 DonC (re: Dealers)

    I know this is going way off the reservation compared to what the thread is…but you might enjoy reading this (and some others maybe too), since you are interested in the dealer stuff.
    Here is GM’s submitted powerpoint show on how it works for the ‘new dealers’ and the ‘winddown’ dealers:
    http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090612/gmnetworkanalysis.pdf

    Highlights:

    —-’Wind-down’ dealers get their 12-17 months, where they can still sell used GM certified cars and do warranty work, clear their inventory… but NOT get new cars for their lot, lol. (so I’m guessing they will be pretty easy to spot when the 2010s are out, lol) For the honor of signing this ‘wind-down’ agreement, they also forfeit all their “termination assistance rights under the dealer agreement with respect to new vehicles, parts and tools”

    —-’Keeper’ dealers have to take more inventory, have no other brands, and waive any and all rights to protest and release GM for anything bad they might have done to them in the past

    —-If anyone doesn’t take the ‘new deal,’ the dealer agreement is terminated, they lose all license to new, used, parts from GM, and they have to shutdown ‘abruptly’. GM also doesn’t take back any inventory, so they are ‘stuck’ with the cars

    They also talk about the natural ‘attrition’ level of dealership closings in this environment, which I thought was interesting…clipping at 80 dying off per month. They figure it will save them about 400 mil now, maybe $1,000 per car going forward.

    If your interested in just what exactly the ‘new dealers’ agreement is, TTAC got a copy (which was a excellent ‘get’), and put up a PDF:
    http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/v2-amended-gm-participation-agreement.pdf

    One of the highlights is forcing the remaining dealers to suck up excess inventories from ‘wind-down, dying or dead dealerships. As well, GM will be ratching up their ‘sales expectations,’ which means stuffing more new cars onto their lots. And of course they have the ‘no protest’ clause/covenant not to sue: indemnity…and lots of other goodies.

    /apologies to everyone else for the sidetrack


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    Statik & GM Lurkers @ 13,

    “Will the working middle class/yuppies/greenies move into their father’s brand and pay the premium associated with that?” Some will…but there is no way the exposure/adoption is going to be what it should/would have been under the Saturn badge…or more ideally the GMC brand.

    I probably fit that demographic.

    I don’t really care about the nameplate on the car. As a guy who’s about 30, “Buick” means “paid too much for a Chevy” — since Buicks have mostly been re-badged Chevys ever since I could tell the difference. There’s no way I’ll pay a premium for the Buick nameplate.

    But, if the right car for my needs happens to have the “Buick” name on it, the nameplate won’t keep me away from that purchase. Provided the price is right, anyway. The vehicle must be the best car for me (by my personal and somewhat arbitrary standards) for my dollar. I’ve rambled about what I want out of a car in other posts, so there’s no need to rehash that here. :-)

    Of course, the flip-side to not being repelled by brands is that I have no brand-loyalty, either. I’ve owned and/or regularly driven cars from several foreign and domestic manufacturers, and I buy whatever appears to best match my needs at the time.

    P.S. I’ve nearly always purchased used cars, but I am prepared to shell out a new car, if it can get me through a typical weekday without burning any foreign oil directly.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    #49 kdawg:

    You guys know there are hundreds of those Hitler you-tubes right?
    ====================
    Yeah, it is very viral.
    I thought that one was pretty good though.

    /needed more lol cats though


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    #47 + #48
    Well I’m glad we have consensus!

    /Thanks for the Post Lyle!
    I’m looking forward to MY 156 mpg average!


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:08 pm)

    The next Prius will put this Buick to shame. Lets get real here.
    Buick has no experience with hybrids. Do you really want to go here and purchase from rookies who are still learning HOW to make a hybrid like the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese have already mastered. Spend your money wisely, think Toyota first, they are after all the recognized leaders of the automotive world. GM is trying desperately to catch up in the hybrid race, until then don’t take a chance on this unproven technology. This advice has been provided by me at absolutely no charge. Thx.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    #46 statik

    I wasn’t exactly sure where you stood on the single/variation model issue. But I thought you and Texas had correctly identified a major issue when bringing out hybrids. Where you came out on the question wasn’t as important as identifying it. So it was kudos for bringing it up, not so important where you stood. Should have probably said something like “I agree that you’re spot on” or something. LOL

    I agree with you that single model hybrids are better but it does lead to the model proliferation you mentioned. On the Buick brand, Saturn would have been the better place for this, as obviously GM knew. Given that Saturn is gone the choice would seem to be between Buick and Chevy, and given that Chevy has the Volt, the thinking may be that Buick needs a little something to draw a different demographic into the showroom. So you end up with: The Volt for Chevy; the Converj for Cadillac; and this CUV for Buick.

    Thanks for the cites to the dealer agreements. One thing that was brought up at the hearing was that Chrysler dealers were being charged $1500 for transferring 2008 models to the other dealers but $350 for 2009 models. 2008? We’re moving into the 2010 model year.

    During the hearing Press just kept repeating that when you go from selling 2.1M vehicles a year to selling 700K vehicles you don’t need all the dealers you used to have. After about the 20th time he said this there seemed to be a glimmer of understanding among a few of the Representatives. This just doesn’t seem to be such a difficult concept to grasp. However, I’m getting the idea that this is one of those bills that politicians use to prove they are fighting for their constituents before it gets quietly killed off.

    A tidbit I thought was interesting was that Press said most Chrysler dealers which were cut were in urban areas. In metropolitan areas the dealers were too close together. In rural areas the problem was separate brands, which forced Chrysler to make “sister” vehicles so each dealer would have a full line. So in urban areas the dealers were cut and in rural areas the brands were consolidated.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    This would give GM a car to offer to us here in the U.S. plus one they could easily export to their growing market in China. I hope GM will make the new vehicle available to not only Buick, but Chevrolet and Cadillac also. And why not? It would really help their bottom line and market penetration and they need a boost in both places.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:35 pm)

    Make it so number one.
    And watch out for that red matter.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:41 pm)

    #55 Owen Money (What a catchy name to hide yourself behind)

    This advice has been provided by me at absolutely no charge. Thx.
    ———————–

    If we as Americans were to follow your advise it will cost us a lot more than a little money. We will be selling our country’s industrial system down the drain one more industry at a time. We have already sold our electronics industry to the likes of Japan, Korea and now China. Other industries have followed suit. In the last two decades we have seen middle level management and technical jobs flow to India and other places. We need to take a stance and buy American vehicles again. The cars made by the American companies are better than they ever have been before. I believe quality and dependability will improve as we support the companies once again. But we should not forget to demand an improvement in quality and dependability of every auto company. It is time to stop selling ourselves down the drain.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    #3 kingofl337

    Why don’t they just build an equinox with the Vue parts? It’s the same chassis. I’m going to go ahead an say GM has their heads up their @ss on this one.
    ————————————

    Even within a company like GM there are divisions that are pulling the company this way and that way. Buick Division representatives want a car of their own design not a “hand-me-down” from Saturn or Chevrolet. So, what are you going to do? You either force the decision on Buick (which GM brass have never done) or you let the Buick Division have their own way. Doesn’t matter that it will cost another few hundred million dollars to make the design changes and production changes. Buick has to have their own car to compete with the other divisions within the company. Don’t worry about beating the other competition. Just beat your nearest competitor – Chevrolet. Now that is a losing strategy that has helped get GM where they are now. This is one reason (of many) that I wanted to see GM end the Buick and GMC Division like they did Pontiac. You need a top of the line division (Cadillac), a people’s division (Chevrolet) and a truck division (Chevrolet or GMC, but not both). That is all GM needed to keep. You would be better able to compete with you real competition – the foreign auto companies. Even Ford is not the competition that the foreign companies are for GM. They should wake up to that fact before it is to late. But, wait, I think it is too late already. Keeping Buick and GMC kinda told us that, now didn’t it?


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    #45 DonC:

    I sincerely hope that you are right.

    #56 DonC:

    Our local Cadillac dealer (Roger Penske, thank you very much) has several leftover new 2008s. They keep advertising them about once a wek in the local paper. Get you a heck of a deal on an Escalade hybrid, LOL. About 15K off sticker.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    #59 N Riley

    CORRECT!!

    now add clothes,furniture,tools. shoes, automobile spare parts, many tires, head lights, bicycles, motor cycles, [I know Harley Davidison] household light bulbs, and nearly every thing else.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (1:59 pm)

    #59 N Riley:

    Amen.

    I was going to let it pass but, since you brought it up…….. My reaction was that at least he let us have the advice for what it is worth.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:06 pm)

    Off topic, but then back on.

    ——
    Ford’s ecoboost gen ii?

    Ford’s “Bobcat” Dual Fuel Engine
    http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2009/06/sneak-peek-ford-bobcat-dual-fuel-engine.html
    —–

    This represents another dilemma for GM. The advantage of the scaled down bus hybrid 2 mode transmission is that it has towing potential. But then you have to ask yourself if you’re going to tow (or be heavy) in the crossover/pickup/suv category, is hybrid the cost effective way to go? If you you just continue to fine tune/develop the more “conventional categories (turbo charging, direct injection, dry clutch 6 speed trannies, weight reduction, aerodynamics), can you receive equal/better results while keeping cost and complication down?

    /having said that, I still want to see how the 2 mode would perform in a lighter vehicle, especially with a 10kwh or so plug in option.


  65. 65
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    #59 N Riley:

    Thank you for putting it into words.

    That is EXACTLY why I will only ever buy an American car. Particularly when the “American option” (cars, in this case) are just as good and cost the same or less than the import options. I don’t buy the “quality gap” argument, not in 2009 anyway.

    We should approach all our buying with this in mind, at least if your budget allows it and if American options are available for competitive prices.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    Statik (#13) makes some interesting comments about the average age of Buick owners. We have always assumed the owners of Buicks and Cadillacs were older than most owners of other cars from GM. I think this has been shown to be true on most occasions. What GM really needs to do is break out of this grandpa/grandma image and start making cars that are fun to drive, great to look at and will appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Plus, of course, dependable with great looks and quality. Something GM has not been known to be able to do very well now for several decades. They really need to get their design teams more centralized and eliminate the unnecessary portions. I suspect there is a lot of redundancy in those eight design centers. And a lot of excessive cost. GM, you really do need some thinking from outside the box here. What you have been doing is not working. Or have you finally figured that out. I suspect you have not.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    After having said what I did about the design problems GM has had lately, the car pictured above looks like it would appeal to a wide audience. That is, of course, assuming it will look that way when they bring it to production. I suspect it will not look anything like it is pictured above. It will be changed enough to make it palpable to only a small percentage of the population. Let’s hope not. It looks great as it is. Get it made just like that GM and you could have a revolution started. Put Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac badges on it to penetrate the market from every angle. I just hope the mileage figures will be much improved over the Saturn Vue. You really need to have 35+ MPG. The higher, the better.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    some news it was written that the two mode FWD , they developed was with 3.6l engine and that engine is no longer used in any applications. The last news herd was now they are repeating the exercise with 2.2 Ltr DI engine.

    Wondering Which engine this one is using ?

    The second question is on the Aerodynamics : Most people say Aztek was an ugly SUV but i personally think that looked nice and a design based on that will have more room for improving aerodynamics ( specially the tail part ) . I wonder how GM handle the Aerodynamics part.

    Third question is the Grill : Will GM make a car and just fit a grill just to suite it (example – make an aerodynamic design and put a grill without loosing that function of design ) or Make the grill first and design the car around ? – this is happening in most cars now ( look are traverse, malibu etc ). The photo lyle posted makes the think they are making the grill and then car. Wonder why they don’t get inspiration from Prius or Aptera which gives free mpg just by doing aerodynamic design ( i think they can make a 50 mpg cuv by doing small things right itself).


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    Buick Hybrid ? Say What ?
    I don’t think so. The Buick line (at least in the U.S.) needs to be shut down. GM still thinks like a big fat lazy elephant in the room. They need to trim down to what 8 million cars per annum requires.

    Hey GM, your underwear is about twice the size of your package !
    It’s time to right size your infrastructure because your package ain’t growing anytime soon.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    64 (me) add,

    Ford’s Mulally continually says that he wants every model in Ford’s lineup to get better mileage, every year. In his 3 year tenure at Ford, it’s been more than “lip service”.

    Is there another “Mulally” out there to take the reigns at GM?

    Fixing up Ford
    http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/11/news/companies/mulally_ford.fortune/

    One more thing. I think the “Buick” “age” marketing thing is what’s wrong with GM. Build a nice looking quality car that performs well. Quality cars sell themselves to all age brackets.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    At the risk of offending the hybrid crowd…..

    I think Buick’s Enclave, for those who NEED this size vehicle and its capabilities (like me, I just bought one), is an excellent step towards changing the image of Buick towards younger buyers. I am sorry, but the Enclave is just an exceptional vehicle at a much lower price than its competitors(and better mpg, btw), especially with the deals GM is giving now. Extremely well designed and built. We got an MSRP $47250 Enclave for $39500(+tax) AND 0 % for 60 months. That’s an insane deal considering what its competitors sell for.

    And no, I’m not even 45 yet. :)

    Buick needs to continue with creative and inspiring designs to bring in the younger buyers. Also to promote and take advantage of their #1 quality ranking. If GM keeps this up, Buick may be GM’s biggest suprise in the next few years. A Buick plugin CUV is just another step in the right direction.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    Texas @ 31,

    You see, the Prius is just what it is and thus the customer can not compare it to it‘s ICE-only version. Thus, the value is simply the perception of the model.

    The Prius also leads the pack with the MPG rating, at least in a usefully-sized vehicle. Don’t under-estimate the value of that “48″ or whatever on the EPA MPG sticker. If you’re going to go out and spend half a year’s income on new car just for the sake of efficiency, you’re probably not going to settle for anything less than 1st tier.

    You can keep score with horsepower or MPG. If it’s a guy like me buying the car, the psychology is the same, even if the preferred scorekeeping method is different.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    I currently drive a manly Dodge Charger. If you Volt readers have a problem with that you can meet me in a dark alley for five minutes and we can settle this in the correct manner. I do not see myself rolling in a Chevy Volt. First, this car looks gay, if you know what I mean. Second, its too darn small for a man of my caliber. Third, it ain’t gonna do a gosh darn thing about our dependence on big oil. I done already come to this conclusion and ain’t no Fritz Henderson gonna change my mind nohow. Once my mind has been made up, that be it – set in stone.

    BTW, when I am not cruising in the Charger, I enjoy gripping the bars of my Triumph Thunderbird with my pythons and chewing up some country back roads on the meetup with my feller two wheelers for some good’ol boy fun with a 1600cc parallel twin mounted firmly between my legs and the speedo dialed into triple digit heaven.

    See Ya on the road boys. Ride Safe, ya hear.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    #73 Steel House
    Personally, I have a wife for excitement between my legs.. but you can have fun with the boys if you like… not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    She will look great in the Volt!


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    . . . . . . is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    #72

    “The Prius also leads the pack with the MPG rating, at least in a usefully-sized vehicle”

    See @24 on this list

    http://en.autos.sympatico.msn.ca/showpage/25-Over-hyped-vehicles.aspx

    #73…

    ROTFLOL..man the way you write makes me think of a nerdy little guy sittin in Mom’s basement…thx for the laugh


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (3:08 pm)

    #35, MetrologyFirst (takes me to task over aiming for a market that isn’t there; pointing out the Lexus hybrids).

    Strangely enough, MetrologyFirst, I rest my case! The LS600h sells perhaps 1K/year. The RX400h volume is better but not impressive, maybe 1-2K/month, and the other Lexus is similarly negligible.

    These vehicles are made possible by the success of the 20K/month Prius. The drivetrain in each is a riff on a vehicle that sells in sizeable volume and the development is amortized across 24-30K units/month instead of 1-2K/month.

    This is where GM is in a world of hurt… the development cost of the two-mode drivetrain is fairly sizeable, probably comparable to the Prius and the physical device doesn’t scale well, so they’re not reusing it without redevelopment. They’re amortizing development across about 1K vehicles/month at this point. Toyota has an advantage ranging between 24 to 1 and 30 to 1.

    GM must put the two-mode into vehicles that are going to give it a combined volume of 10-20K/month. Probably more, because of the steep redevelopment costs. After that, can they build it cheaply? There were diagrams and counter-diagrams yesterday or the day before this… The two-mode is far more complex and is, naturally, going to cost far more to make. Serious volume is needed to get costs in line. A Buick isn’t going to hack it, even if the market is there (and RX400h volume suggests it is a very small market).

    GM desperately needs a low-cost win. A better BAS system (licensing IMA from Honda might be the best plan) with DI engine intot a couple of reasonably priced smallish cars (Cruze, ‘Balt, Malibu). Get the feature onto the market for $2K or so premium and they might win some market share.

    Look at what Honda did. Their Insight I didn’t sell where the Prius was a winner. They went away and came back with a small car that beats the Prius on price point. They could have adopted the GM model and hybridized the Acura MDX – but they didn’t. And the Insight II is selling fairly well.


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    Dale

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (3:13 pm)

    Much prefer the exterior look of the Equinox or SRX. Buick grille is yuck !

    If AWD is not an option, forget about it.


  79. 79
    charlie h

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    #76, Mitch,

    autos.sympatico is welcome to their opinion. People have had several years to figure out if the Prius is overhyped or not and it still sells very well. There’s a long list of GM cars that it outsells. That list of GM cars gets even longer if you factor out fleet sales (buh-bye, G6).

    You could better make the claim that the Volt is overhyped, as GM has already talked it up for 2.5 years, begged a $7.5K tax credit for it and it’s another 1.5 years away from actual delivery. They even featured the doomed body style in ads. Talk about overhyped!

    As for “a diesel car…” oh, yeah, baby, that explains the amazing popularity of diesel cars. Not. There’s a reason the SuperAmerica that I go to has 12 gas pumps and 1 diesel pump – and many gas stations have no diesel pump at all.

    And, FYI, there’s more heat value in a gallon of diesel than in a gallon of gas, so better miles per GALLON is no great trick. Further, there’s more carbon in a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gas, so the Prius will absolutely win when measuring GHGs/mile.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    #79 Charlie

    Nit pick it any way you want…I was commenting on the best MPG, And to use one of your favorite aurguments..the article is referencing ACTUAL cars, not one being develloped…

    and the GHG aurgument in a new clean diesel is getting old. as for your number of pumps ratio..diesels were never popular in the USA. Doesn’t mean it actually has any bearing. It otherwise in MANY countries

    I am not slamming the Prius, but it is not the end all.

    People that think in absolutes are already limited..you always come across as “if it is not a prius its nothing..all hail the Toyota god” (and because you are on a GM fan site, it defines you as a “troll” but you comments are welocme, just be ready to get counter aurguments. I do not post on,. nor troll on the Prius fan site. I just do not like it so far in any generation offered. personal taste but I do not say I will NEVER own one..make it somethig I like, and maybe I will.

    You on the other hand, will not.

    Sorry your armour is too thin today for a slight against your beloved car, but really…

    Grow up, relax, take a chill pill dude..

    and global warming is BS…


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    #79 Charlie h
    Most modern small diesels have scrubbers in their exhaust and are very clean emissions wise. There are various systems used by different manufacturers.

    Just because the US has not embraced the diesel is no reason to expect the rest of the world to not ‘get it’.

    ——————————————————————–

    Maybe that is a thought for Buick, make the engine in the CUV a small diesel excellent for economy and for towing. AWD as well please, some of us do live in the snow belt!


  82. 82
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    charlie h @ 77 said:

    “These vehicles are made possible by the success of the 20K/month Prius. The drivetrain in each is a riff on a vehicle that sells in sizeable volume and the development is amortized across 24-30K units/month instead of 1-2K/month.”

    Your telling me the Lexus hybrids are “made possible” because of Prius and development amoritization?? I went to the Lexus site (had to hold my nose, though) and looked at the description of their hybrids. Those are not the Prius, charlie.

    I think the Lexus hybrids exist because of the quality success of the Lexus brand and that the Prius gives Toyota the corporate green “halo”. I would imagine Toyota loses money on every one they sell. But I’m sure thay make lots of $$$ on all those Landcrusiers, 4runners, Sequoias and trucks!!

    It looks like your reply was simply a long discussion of why Lexus didn’t make a mistake.

    What was I thinking!!!


  83. 83
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    Mitch @ 76,

    ROTFLOL..man the way you write makes me think of a nerdy little guy sittin in Mom’s basement…thx for the laugh

    I most definitely am a nerdy guy! Thank you for noticing!

    (Seriously, being nerdy has led to a series of great computer-related jobs. It’s just a slow day, today.)

    I also agree that the Prius is overhyped. It’s a great car, but not for the reasons that people think. It’s a very practical little car with a great reliability record (100k miles so far) and great mileage. It’s not going to save the world, and the majority of the people who drive them aren’t all liberal wingnuts. The HSD is a very nice way to move a car, but it’s just a drivetrain — and there are good reasons that you wouldn’t want it in a sports car. A great deal of the car’s mileage comes from it being lightweight, having good aerodynamics, and ergonomics that encourage you to drive with a light touch.

    I’m just trying to explain the success of the car to people who haven’t owned one. If the Volt doesn’t turn out to be better, the girlfriend will mandate that we buy a new one. Fair enough, but I’d love to see it made obsolete by a car that can get through the weekday without foreign oil.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (4:00 pm)

    Mitch @ 76,

    You may find this amusing — “Weird Al” Yankovic – White & Nerdy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xEzGIuY7kw


  85. 85
    statik

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (4:00 pm)

    At the risk of offending the hybrid crowd…..
    #75 MetrologyFirst Says

    I think Buick’s Enclave, for those who NEED this size vehicle and its capabilities (like me, I just bought one), is an excellent step towards changing the image of Buick towards younger buyers. I am sorry, but the Enclave is just an exceptional vehicle at a much lower price than its competitors(and better mpg, btw), especially with the deals GM is giving now. Extremely well designed and built. We got an MSRP $47250 Enclave for $39500(+tax) AND 0 % for 60 months. That’s an insane deal considering what its competitors sell for.

    And no, I’m not even 45 yet.

    Buick needs to continue with creative and inspiring designs to bring in the younger buyers. Also to promote and take advantage of their #1 quality ranking. If GM keeps this up, Buick may be GM’s biggest suprise in the next few years. A Buick plugin CUV is just another step in the right direction.
    ============

    Just as FYI, the Enclave is the bigger winner in the Buick North America stable. It is also the youngest owner group in the Buick lineup. It actually comes in at 53 years of age for 2008.

    Source:
    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2007/08/buick-enclave-i.html

    It was red hot in 2008, and still not too bad now (only off about 9% for the year). Also the average income of the driver is off the chart at $130,000.

    The average transaction on the Enclave was $38, 479 in 2008 (according to J.D Power), and prices have only gotten cheaper since then (about $4,000 on average)….so I don’t know that you got a ‘real’ good deal…the 0% financing is certainly a good grab though.

    Source on 2008 average transaction:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120370187213886201.html


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    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (4:07 pm)

    Statik @88:

    I guess I will lower the age average a little. :)

    It was a good deal considering the sticker. A $47K Enclave is way more than the “average” Enclave. It had just about every option possible. Getting about $7700 off AND the 0% financing both was the real winner, I agree.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    Off topic but interesting.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/06/11/breaking-swedish-tv-reports-koenigsegg-buying-saab/

    /that one is for Statik and Laura m


  88. 88
    RB

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    #30 carcus and link
    ——————————-
    Thanks for the most wonderful link :)


  89. 89
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (4:42 pm)

    I would like to add my two cents in the statement that any hybrid GM brings out should be a vehicle by itself and not just add the hybrid badge to an existing vehicle (as in the case of the Malibu, etc). I agree with this logic wholeheartedly. Generally speaking a hybrid is going to add cost to a vehicle. If the mileage figures don’t support the increase in price, people will not purchase it. But on the same token, if the new hybrid vehicle, whether separately badged or tacked onto an existing badge, does not add considerable mileage over similar vehicles in the same “class”, people will not spend the extra money in some cases. There will be those who will pay for the “hybrid vehicle” and will not mind paying a few thousand more for it. But fewer will buy one where the hybrid badge is added to an existing vehicle where there is not a large improvement in fuel savings.

    GM has its work cut out for it here. Toyota and Honda have separately identified hybrid lines and merged hybrid lines. The separately identified lines will do better, in my opinion. I believe sales figures will prove me correct. I will leave that to someone else to prove or disprove. The Toyota Prius is a prime example. GM should follow Toyota’s example. We don’t know yet how successful Ford’s Fusion Hybrid will do. It costs about $6,000 more than a regular Fusion. It probably will do pretty good, but again, Ford has had trouble bringing out new lines and making them successful. Remember the Ford 500 of just a few years ago. Great car, but did not sell very well until they renamed it Tauras.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (6:01 pm)

    Isn’t everything that Buick develops somehow tied to China now?


  91. 91
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:02 pm)

    Jeff, Statik, RB, and others who enjoyed seeing Hitler,

    I found him on a guy’s site who has done a very nice B2000 EV conversion. He’s using thundersky Lithium batteries. Vids partway down on the right include a walk through on the car and a demo ride.

    Honda S2000 Electric Vehicle Conversion
    http://s2kev.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=33


  92. 92
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:11 pm)

    #64 carcus1 — Very good questions about whether hybrids will work for towing. Seems like the answer so far is that they don’t. (Interesting link as well).

    #74 MuddyRoverRob — Very funny.

    #88 Statik & #75 MetrologyFirst — The Enclave would seem to exemplify model proliferation. It’s popular but it’s one of four sisters: Outlook, Acadia, Enclave, and Traverse. From what I’ve read the Traverse, which is the last released, benefited from the earlier models and is the best of the lot. Not knocking the Enclave in any way, but having more than two seems problematical.

    #97 N Riley — All the hybrid variations, like the hybrid Camry or the hybrid Civic or the hybrid Accord, haven’t been successful. The Prius will probably outsell all the variation hybrids combined. While gas prices do matter — sales of the hybrid variations are down more than the standard — I don’t think it’s a mileage comparison issue. I think people want to be identified as driving a green vehicle, and a little badge on a standard vehicle doesn’t do that for them.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:16 pm)

    ” …never underestimate GM’s ability and speed to repackage/rebadge a product.”
    98% of “new cars” are just that. It’s called amortizing a body across more than a single product line/manufacturer. 90% of Lexus cars are Toyotas with added value.


  94. 94
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:24 pm)

    #99
    Even though Buick is highly prized in China, if it makes GM a lot of income from there, that is a great thing in as far as any increased volume of sales of any Buick model might have an indirect effect of driving down costs for us here, it seems to me.

    Any way whatsoever to help drive down cost as soon as possible for EREV’s “over here” is a terrific thing when it is backed by a very long GM warranty, because of GM strict manufacturing specifications and standards.

    It was not long ago, that Americans were worried about things made in Mexico. With the strict manufacturing standards of GM, for example, EGR Valves, (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) Valves with the AC-Delco badge, although made in Mexico, those valves, (which eliminated the need for tetraethyl-lead in gasolines), reduced the cost for the consumer from an unaffordable cost of 288 bucks each to about 98 bucks nowadays.

    What good is it to not be able to afford something that you are required by law to purchase?

    Yes, American jobs were lost, but others were gained in the independent shop. And, less money was needed to be charged you when you were required to have it replaced at emissions inspection time.

    Too many unnecessary worries about “over there” seem to be apparent from a talk-radio perspective. In this Global economy, it may work out that lots of sales of Buicks “over there” are actually a benefit to us “over here”.

    Dan.


  95. 95
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    For all those Bozos who tossed brickbats at GM, saying the Saturn Vue and Chevy Equinox are the same vehicle, you can stuff your own heads up you ignorant Cloacal cavities.

    The Equinox and Terrain are duplicates, while the Saturn Vue and new Cadillac SRX were built on a more sophisticated platform, as befits upscale brands. Now that Saturn is going away, I would expect the Saturn Vue and the Two-mode to reappear on one or the other, or both, of of the upscale GM brands. Maybe Buick get the DI 3.0 l v-6 and Caddy’s compact CUV SRX 6, already is announced, and a two-mode could be expected there too, perhaps the DI 3.6 l v-6.

    But it is a natural to have the Saturn Vue reappear in the Buick lineup, to help fill it out as well, as it currently consists of only Lucerne, LaCross, and mid-sized CUV Enclave. Adding a Buick compact CUV, certainly makes sense.

    All that is needed is a few sheet metal changes, and scrapping the low level Saturn Vue interior; and specifying the top interior and maybe designing an even more luxurious upgrade option there too.

    I fully expect an Insignia-based Regal to eventually appear, to satisfy the need for a D-segment vehicle; and a Astra- based sedan to provide the basis for a C-segment addition as well. Especially so, as both the Buick isignia-based Regal and also the Astra-based Buick is already being readied for the Chinese market. The Buick brand would then have a complete model lineup, and not a one would be just a Chevy “re-badge”. But Buick would be sharing a model platform or two with Cadillac, as might be expected for an genuine upscale brand.


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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:13 pm)

    There is another reason to give the 2-mode CUV to Buick first.

    Chevy will have the EREV Volt. Cadillac will have the EREV Converj, and perhaps the 2-mode SRX. Buick will have the 2-mode Buick compact CUV. Plus the 2-mode transmission is fully debugged on the Silverados and Sierras. So its reliability is establisihed; and won’t harm Buick’s hard-earned reputation for Quality and Reliability.

    All the GM brands, Chevy, GMC, Buick and Cadillac, will have a high-mileage hybrid to advertise.


  97. 97
    Unni

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (8:43 pm)

    Got one more question :

    Do this Big Front and front grill spoils the purpose of more mpg by adding more air resistance ? Why don’t they take that as a consideration while design itself ? If a good aerodynamic design can add 4 miles then its great and adds value to customer than just saying he is holding a big grill. I think Big grill thought is one thing to go from GM. They have to make great utility designs and fix the grill.

    As these cars are designed to go most of their lives in highways , i wonder it will make a big payoff in their life time than just saying its a brand style ( brand style was designed 100 yrs back and why GM has to carry that again )


  98. [...] GM-Volt.com, CBS [...]


  99. 99
    charlie h

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (9:48 pm)

    #82, MetrologyFirst, “Your telling me the Lexus hybrids are “made possible” because of Prius and development amoritization?? I went to the Lexus site (had to hold my nose, though) and looked at the description of their hybrids. Those are not the Prius, charlie. ”

    You had to hold your nose? Who’s the bigot on this forum? People seem to think it’s me and I can’t imagine why.

    Those Lexus hybrids are not the Prius but they use the HSD drivetrain. Development costs are shared.

    #82, MetrologyFirst, “I think the Lexus hybrids exist because of the quality success of the Lexus brand and that the Prius gives Toyota the corporate green “halo”. I would imagine Toyota loses money on every one they sell. But I’m sure thay make lots of $$$ on all those Landcrusiers, 4runners, Sequoias and trucks!!”

    Don’t bet anything you can’t afford to lose on that notion:

    http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1020336_hybrids-are-profitable-for-honda-and-toyota-3100-profit-per-vehicle

    Toyota makes relatively few LandCruiser and Sequoias, so there’s not much money in that. Their bread-and-butter economy cars are profitable. That’s the secret at Toyota. They don’t have to sell a lot gas guzzlers to make money.

    #80, Mitch, “People that think in absolutes are already limited..you always come across as “if it is not a prius its nothing..all hail the Toyota god” (and because you are on a GM fan site, it defines you as a “troll” but you comments are welocme, just be ready to get counter aurguments. I do not post on,. nor troll on the Prius fan site. I just do not like it so far in any generation offered. personal taste but I do not say I will NEVER own one..make it somethig I like, and maybe I will.”

    In fact, I am on record as having said, among other things, that the BAS system (a GM device) is a good idea but GM’s execution is poor. It’s not “Prius or nothing” with me. I admire the Prius greatly because it is a profitable success. If someone builds me an affordable electric car (a truly affordable one, not an unaffordable one that’s pretend affordable only because I’m taxed to pay for it) with range adequate for my routine use, I’ll buy it. The Volt is overhyped and overexpensive. It is doomed. GM doesn’t own the enabling tech (the battery chemistry), so they get no lasting competitive advantage from the early losses they’ll take brining an uneconomical car to market. GM is already bankrupt from bad business decisions by the team that has put forward the Volt project. Expecting a horse that has come in dead last in its last 3 races to come in first in the next race, against the same field, is… misguided. The marketing and product development mistakes of their earlier hybrid programs afflict the Volt.

    Nor do I think in absolutes, I usually think in terms of alternatives. I wish i had a dime for every time some simpleton has posted about how the Volt will get us off oil, or words to that effect. Personal transportation is just one reason we use oil. Building an effective electric car will make a difference but does little to dent our actual use of oil and the 10K Volts scheduled for 2011 do nothing at all.

    On the other hand… alternatives exist. There are plenty of things we could do that would reduce oil demand by a greater amount per dollar than the Volt incentive will. We should do those things.


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    statik

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:23 pm)

    #95 stas peterson said:

    #95 stas said:

    For all those Bozos who tossed brickbats at GM, saying the Saturn Vue and Chevy Equinox are the same vehicle, you can stuff your own heads up you ignorant Cloacal cavities.

    The Equinox and Terrain are duplicates, while the Saturn Vue and new Cadillac SRX were built on a more sophisticated platform, as befits upscale brands. Now that Saturn is going away, I would expect the Saturn Vue and the Two-mode to reappear on one or the other, or both, of of the upscale GM brands. Maybe Buick get the DI 3.0 l v-6 and Caddy’s compact CUV SRX 6, already is announced, and a two-mode could be expected there too, perhaps the DI 3.6 l v-6.
    ======================

    Actually, if your saying, ‘they were built,’ your wrong the Saturn Vue and the Equinox both ride on the traditional Theta platform, always have. The Vue on the standard (107 wheelbase), and the Equinox on the LWB (113 wheelbase). There has never been a Vue built on anything but this platform. (I think you meant to say they were ‘intended to be’).

    There was a plan to move the new Vue to the Theta Premium….but it was never done. At no time have the SRX and Saturn Vue shared a line.

    Side note: The SRX has always rode on the Sigma platform (a Cadillac exclusive) which also underpins the STS, and the CTS (until it was moved to the Sigma II). GM did not hit the numbers they expected with the SRX, nor the margins and the SRX was killed off.

    However, the Cadillac ‘BRX’ was/had been designed as a lower entry offering to the Sigma, to run on the Theta Premium. I’m guessing one of the 1,600-odd marketing savants thought the SRX, while not good enough to soldier on, was a good enough name/had built up enough cred to swap out the BRX badge for.

    So, the Saturn Vue and the BRX (nee SRX) were never built on the same line, although they (Vue and the BRX) would have shared the Theta Premium line in 2010 had Saturn not died (alongside the Saab…and now this mystery Buick, which still would have made 4 models on a identical platform.

    As a corellary, the Theta Premium is basically a long wheel base Theta platform, based on the same architecture, with some transplanted hotness from the Epilson II and Lamda….that still would make their base the same as the Equinox, Terrain, XL7, current Vue, Torrent, etc. no matter how much you want to call its own platform….it is not.

    It would be a stretch to claim this (Theta Premium) as its own unique, proprietary platform. However, I myself, have never actually seen the Theta Premium line in action so I can’t peg how they differ and by how much….and I don’t plan on going to Mexico to check out the what exactly the upgrades are, (the original Theta (Equinox/Torrent) was actually engineered right close by me at CREC), but make no mistake, they are all Theta.

    All you have to do is look, at them to see it:

    2010 SRX (Theta Premium):
    http://photocarsonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/2010_cadillac_srx.jpg

    2010 Equinox (Theta):
    http://www.autoincar.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/2010-chevrolet-equinox-1.jpg


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    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (10:32 pm)

    There is a ridiculous amount of commentary here for a mere rumor.
    There’s nothing to know about this clay model people, move on.

    Between carbon nanotube tech and platinum nanowire tech, an
    SUV with a fuel cell can be both affordable and environmentally
    friendly. Just a thought. Fuel cells are powerful enough right now,
    they just need to come down in price and they are getting cheaper.

    I updated my hydrogen web site.

    http://web.robinson-west.com/michael/hydrogen/hydrogen.php

    or

    http://xerxes.robinson-west.com/michael/hydrogen/hydrogen.php


  102. 102
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (11:05 pm)

    (just an FYI – Michael Robinson, Dave G, John1701a and I forget the other person’s name… letting you guys know you are sharing personal info when you post your sites. Maybe you don’t care, but thought you should be aware.)


  103. 103
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    Jun 15th, 2009 (11:50 pm)

    #92 DonC …I don’t think it’s a mileage comparison issue. I think people want to be identified as driving a green vehicle
    _____________________________
    Perhaps you’re right about the mileage comparison issue not being a big deal for everyone not looking for a strictly “green” vehicle. IMHO buying any hybrid can however, be an overall comparison issue for many folks. If buyers don’t see a big difference in mileage, or features, or interiors finishes or something, and they do see a big difference in price it’s likely a deal killer, right.

    If you are comparing the value of cars and look at the Prius and decide it’s a pretty good $22K car with great milege then you could compare it to other great mileage cars or other $22k cars and decide it’s competitive. But if there was a car called a Prius with a more standard drivetrain you might say, hold on a minute, thousands more dollars and the only differance is a few more miles per gallon? Then the value question starts flashing in bright red neon. You might ask, if I was going to pay thousands more for another option, would that option be a few more miles per gallon? Does paying for this drivetrain really seem worth it over a choice of buying a vehicle in a higher class for the same money.

    Without having a base model, standard drivetrain car to compare the Prius to, it takes some of that value risk (rip-off remorse potential) away from the car comparisons.

    #94 Dan Petit

    …Too many unnecessary worries about “over there” seem to be apparent from a talk-radio perspective. In this Global economy, it may work out that lots of sales of Buicks “over there” are actually a benefit to us “over here”.
    __________________
    It’s always great for your country’s standard of living if you can export management, expertise and stuff and import money!


  104. [...] Lyle Dennis over at GM-Volt.com claims the new unnamed small Buick CUV leaked by CBS News shares the same platform as the Saturn VUE and will likely get the same two-mode hybrid drivetrain. So yes, that’s a Saturn. [GM-Volt] [...]


  105. 105
    BillR

     

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    Jun 16th, 2009 (5:08 am)

    Here’s how I see GM’s strategy in this segment.

    For the lower budget buyer, the 2010 Equinox in FWD gets 22/32 city/hwy. This has the 2.4L DI engine.

    For another $2 – 4K, add the new BAS+ with Li-Ion battery pack and get an estimated 27/34.

    For more money, the proposed 2-mode Buick would come into play. The Saturn Vue 2-mode was designed with a ~255 hp 3.6L V6. It would have been rated 27/30.

    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2009/06/saturn-vue-twomode-hybrid-rated-at-28-mpg.html

    I expect the new Buick would upgrade to a Li-Ion battery pack, have improved aero, and use the 2.4L DI engine like the Equinox. Although only about 190 hp, with the 60 kW added from the 2-mode, this equates to 270 hp available. A nominal 5 kWh battery with 3 kWh useable might be used. This would yield an approximate 10 mile electric range (although this would likely be a blended operation, not 10 miles AER).

    Without plug-in, this car might be rated something like 36/36. With electricity providing about 3000 of the 15,000 miles per year, the equivalent mileage would be about 45 mpg. This new Buick might sell for ~$40,000.

    In the future, this could become an Voltec driven vehicle. It might have a drive at the front and rear wheels, yielding AWD and 225 kW (300 hp). But due to the fact that it requires more power than the Volt, I would expect them to wait until the 2nd generation of batteries are available.

    I would expect to see this Voltec Buick get an EPA sticker close to 100 mpg, and cost ~$50k.


  106. [...] a ray of hope may be on the horizon from a seemingly unlikely source. According to a posting on GM-Volt.com, there’s a possibility that an upcoming CUV from Buick could be granted access to the [...]


  107. [...] from a seeming&#108y un&#108ike&#108y sour&#99e. A&#99&#99ording &#116o a pos&#116ing on GM-V&#111lt.&#99&#111m, &#116here’s a possi&#98ili&#116y &#116ha&#116 a&#110 upcomi&#110g CUV &#102rom Buick could [...]


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    Lwesson

     

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    Jun 16th, 2009 (10:38 am)

    Benion2 #29 Right your ARE! William (Billy) Crappo Durant was the founder of General Motors. Now HARRY was like Harpo, the kind of quiet one, much like the Edsel of the family. What would he say, what would he do, people were always in query as he didn’t say. Played the harpsichord at company picnics. Eccentric, a womanizer… the 1918 Harry never got off the design stage. An electric you should know. Very quiet!

    Carcus1 Fahrvergnugen, YA! in der YouTuben video of Der F und das electric wagen. I say, hilarious, more funny than Churchill on one of his many drunken naked rants and dubious military building suggestions.

    Interesting about the Das Volt and Volkswagen and how elements of the two are converging in some ways. However, current history is curious as the US Government via the slight of hand “bailout” and nebulous CEO’s now pretty much owns GM. At least DER ONE (eine) has not tried to name the Volt, yet.

    per Buick and China Dan Petit #94 I am convinced that the so called “global economy” is a scam on a damning global scale that undermines the people of this nation and other advanced nation states. Adam Smith in, The Wealth of Nations, a ponderous book indeed, would find such juggling of manufacture as a clever but devious method for some few to make a great deal of money at the LONG term expense of the People and ultimately the sovereignty of said State. Globalists rub their unctuous hands every day.

    Cheers!—–Higgins Go chase some oily Globalist my goode Boys!


  109. 109
    stas peterson

     

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    Jun 16th, 2009 (11:12 am)

    statik,

    You are confusing the issue about past vehicles like the old SRX, or old Equinox. We are talking about the new SRX and new Buick “what-ever-they-call-it.”

    Fact: the Equinox and Terrain are being built, or going to be built on a single platform. That platform is NOT Theta Premium.

    Fact: The new SRX and new Vue are being built,or are going to be built, on another platform called the Theta Premium. I don’t care how you obfuscate it, there is a difference, even though they are ALL compact, 5-seat, unitized body, CUVs.

    So it is more appropriate to say that Chevy and GMC share a platform, the Theta platform. And upscale Buick and Caddy share an upscale platform, called the Theta Premium.

    I would certainly hope that they are similar and use many common parts for common sized vehicles. But there is a reason for the two different platform versions, each with only two implementations. One version is simply more sophisticated than the other.

    If Buick really wants to justify its upscale image, as something more, it can’t simply be a “rebadged” Chevrolet. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to be a “de-contented”, “entry-Luxury” Cadillac, which is exactly what, it is in fact for this vehicle, Buick intends to be.


  110. [...] a ray of hope may be on the horizon from a seemingly unlikely source. According to a posting on GM-Volt.com, there’s a possibility that an upcoming CUV from Buick could be granted access to the [...]


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    jbfalaska

     

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    Jun 17th, 2009 (10:27 pm)

    I owned 4 Buicks in my life (I’m 45) and still have 3 of them. Incredibly reliable. The GS Supercharged is a great car with power and sips fuel. The one thing I do enjoy with the brand is just how incredibly quiet they are on the road. Can’t wait for an electric Buick – imagine the quiet in such a car. I’ll pay the premium, since Buick always gives those added chrome with inspiring colors, yet stay understated. This luxury brand fits me well.

    Still, for now, CHEVY VOLT: American-made, American-FUELED – something I’ve waited for more than 20 years in the military fighting in the Oil Lanes of the Middle East to see America put behind us.


  112. 112
    Stas Peterson

     

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    Mar 5th, 2010 (4:30 pm)

    How many times does an Engineer have to tell you that the EREV architecture, at the present stage of Battery chemistry, cannot serve in vehicles larger than the Volt or perhaps a Malibu sized car?

    For anything larger, you need a different hybrid architecture, for the next half decade. The long awaited second generation 2 mode, is downsized to fit cars and NOT heavy trucks, like the first generation 2 mode, was designed to be used. Mating it to the Ecotec 2.4 GDI, I-4 would make a fine small boat and camper tow vehicle.

    It would provide each division with a hybrid PHEV to sell, each for a different purpose. Caddy will have the XTS and later a SRX 2 mode, mated to V6s, to provide technology leadership and compromised performance in the CAFE era. For real towing, the hybrid 2 mode V8 Escalade with PHEV to boos mileage, will achieve satisfactory CAFE numbers,and unrestricted hauling ability. Buick would have a general purpose Equinox like small CUV with a tow able rating; and better than 4 cylinder fuel economy. The small and medium CUV is gradually replacing the older family small PU truck, for suburban DIY weekender’s run to Home Depot, and small boat towing.

    With each division having a rather unique hybrid PHEV to vend, you can then fill-in other vehicles in each’s range with drive-trains from another division. Hello 2 mode Equinox; hello Voltec Riviera. Hello V6 hybrid Traverse and Enclave but without PHEV capability.