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2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode Preview

The four-cylinder Vue and Aura Green Lines have been on sale for months, offering drivers a practical, low-cost green option. An even greener choice (in terms of MSRP) will be the Vue Green Line 2 Mode. It arrives in dealerships later this year, and showcases GM's first front-wheel-drive application of their two-mode hybrid technology that was co-developed with BMW and the old DaimlerChrysler.
2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 22009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2-2The 2009 Green Line 2 Mode is built on an excellent foundation. You likely know the Vue is an unrepentant clone of the Antara sold in Europe through GM's Opel division. Our miles spent in the Vue/Antara have been singularly pleasing, and based on our experience in GM's full-size SUVs with the two-mode technology, we have high expectation for the more sophisticated Vue 2 Mode.

While we can't comment on how the new Vue hybrid drives, we can tell you what GM told us leading up to the little ute's Detroit auto show introduction. The powertrain combines GM's corporate 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 with variable valve timing (as in the Cadillac CTS) with a pair of electric motors rated at 55 kilowatts each. Fuel economy is claimed to be up to 50 percent better, compared to similarly equipped V-6 Vues. By our estimates, this would put city mileage at 24 mpg. Highway mileage won't increase by 50 percent, but it would be reasonable to assume that 28 mpg is attainable, as Saturn did boast a more than 500-mile range from the 18.4 gallon tank - do the math.

This type of mileage increase is in line with the gains seen on GM's full-size two-mode SUVs. The hybrid system in the Vue Green Line 2 Mode works its fuel economy magic by turning the engine off at idle; using electric-only low-speed propulsion; by cutting off fuel to the engine during vehicle deceleration; by using regenerative braking via its four-wheel discs with anti-lock control; by incorporating energy-efficient accessory systems such as electric power steering; and by providing electric assist at city and highway speeds.

Energy to power the 55-kW motors comes from a 1.8-kWh, 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which consists of 22 nickel-metal-hydride modules packaged behind the second-row seat below the cargo floor. Interestingly, reverse is driven by the electric motors.Saturn knows that those attracted to the Green Line 2 Mode want more than just economy. These buyers want a full-function, no-compromise SUV. The newest Vue is rated to tow 3500 pounds and is expected to run 0-60 mph in approximately 7.3 seconds

© Source: thecarconnection
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