2006 Saturn Vue 425 PR

I happened to run across a press release from GM that went live just this morning detailing the General's plan to offer three different types of hybrids by 2007. The first is the parallel hybrid system already offered in the Silverado and Sierra full-size pickups that shuts down and restarts the engine at stoplights, as well as acts as a generator with four auxiliary power outlets. The second is the previously announced belt alternator starter (BAS) hybrid system to be used in the 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line (updated 2006 Saturn VUE shown). The BAS system not only starts and stops the engine at rest, but it also provides additional power during acceleration, cuts off fuel earlier during deceleration and recaptures energy via regenerative braking. The third type will be a two-mode full hybrid system based on the diesel-electric hybrid system the company's developed for use in transit buses. This new hybrid system will first appear in the new GMT900-based Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon when they debut in 2007.

Word has it from hybridcars.com (also contains good explanation of the belt alternator starter hybrid system) that GM originally intended the two-mode hybrid system to debut in the VUE, but decided to go after the gas guzzlers first, perhaps in anticipation of the recent changes made to CAFE standards.