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Click the Two-Mode Vue for a high-res gallery
In 2006, the Saturn Vue Green Line became General Motors' first production hybrid vehicle when it debuted with the company's mild hybrid system. In fall 2007, a updated BAS-equipped Green Line version based on the second-generation Vue went into production. GM has now added the second of three hybrid variants to the Vue lineup with the2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode. The 2 Mode Vue is based on the same technology used in the award-winning Tahoe and Yukon full-size SUVs. The Vue has the first transverse mounted front-wheel drive application of the 2 Mode system.

The 2 Mode transmission is paired up in the Vue with GM's 3.6L twin-cam V6 equipped with direct fuel injection. Like the big SUVs, the engine is equipped with a cylinder deactivation system that allows it to run on three cylinders under light load conditions. The V-6 is equipped with a fuel shutoff during coast down conditions. The combination of the advanced hybrid system and the V6 helps maintain the V6 Vue's 3,500 tow rating while still achieving a fifty percent boost in urban fuel economy. There's more on the 2 Mode Vue over at AutoblogGreen.

[Source: General Motors]


GM's Advanced Hybrid Technology Delivers Up To 50-Percent Fuel Economy Increase
With No Compromises in Performance, Capability

  • First brand to offer two hybrid options on the same model
  • Third hybrid in Saturn's portfolio
  • Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (ATPZEV)

DETROIT – The all-new 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode, the first front-wheel-drive compact SUV in the world powered by General Motors' two-mode hybrid technology, is designed for customers who want the outstanding fuel savings of an advanced hybrid and the full power and towing capability of an SUV. The Vue Green Line 2 Mode was unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode will deliver an estimated 50-percent fuel economy increase over the non-hybrid V-6 Vue. It also is expected to have a driving range of more than 500 miles (800 km).

In addition, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode's 3.6L VVT V-6 engine with direct injection technology ensures there are no trade-offs between performance and fuel economy. Acceleration time from 0-60 is expected to be around 7.3 seconds, and the maximum towing load will be 3,500 pounds (1588 kg).

Production is slated to begin in late 2008.

"The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode challenges the notion that a compact SUV can't be both powerful and efficient," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. "Customers tell us they want a compact SUV that will respect the environment and save money at the gas pump, but they don't want to give up performance and utility. We've responded with the Vue Green Line 2 Mode."

The 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode sports the same European-inspired design language of the non-hybrid Vue, completely redesigned for the 2008 model year. Subtle exterior changes include "2 Mode" badging on the front doors and rear liftgate; and lightweight aluminum alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tires that enhance fuel economy. The Vue Green Line 2 Mode's appearance is further accented by chrome door handles, chrome dual exhaust tips and chrome skid plates on the front and rear lower fascia.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode features technologies and refinements in the fuel and exhaust systems that classify it as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in the state of California and other states that have adopted California's motor vehicle emissions rules. When it arrives in dealer showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2008, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode will be Saturn's third hybrid, joining the Vue Green Line 4-cylinder hybrid SUV and the Aura Green Line sedan.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode is GM's first application of two-mode technology on a front-wheel-drive vehicle. The system is currently on the V-8-equipped Chevrolet Tahoe 2 Mode and GMC Yukon 2 Mode full-size SUVs, and becomes available in 2008 on the Cadillac Escalade 2 Mode luxury SUV and Chevrolet Silverado 2 Mode full-size pickup.

How the Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid works

GM's two-mode hybrid system in the Vue Green Line 2 Mode improves fuel economy by the following operations:

  • Engine off at idle
  • Low-speed, electric-only propulsion
  • Cutting off fuel to the engine during vehicle deceleration
  • Regenerative braking
  • Energy-efficient accessory systems

Unlike single-mode hybrid technology found in competitors' SUVs, the two-mode system maximizes city and highway fuel economy by integrating two electric continuously variable modes with four fixed mechanical gear ratios. The system consists of twin, active-cooled 55-kW electric motors integrated into the 2MT70 automatic transmission. Energy to power the motors comes from a 1.8 kWh, 300V nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which consists of 22 nickel metal hydride modules and is packaged behind the second-row seat below the cargo floor.

The transmission is mated to GM's 3.6L V-6 VVT with direct injection technology. In the first mode, at low speed and light load, the Vue Green Line 2 Mode operates in one of three ways depending on conditions and battery charge level: all-electric power, internal combustion engine power or a combination of the two. All reverse operation is driven by the electric motors.

The second mode is used primarily at highway speeds to optimize fuel economy. It provides electric assist in addition to six-cylinder power when conditions demand it, such as trailer towing and climbing steep grades, and to allow the engine to run at its most efficient point under less-demanding conditions.

No engine speed changes are necessary for the mode shift to occur. The result is exceptionally smooth, seamless acceleration and responsiveness. At all times, the system's Hybrid Optimizing System (HOS) collects torque-based data, deciphers it, then determines the most fuel-efficient means of propelling the Vue Green Line 2 Mode.

Direct injection V-6 boosts efficiency

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode's standard engine is an advanced 3.6L V-6 VVT with direct injection, a member of GM's family of high-feature V-6s. The direct injection engine uses regular unleaded fuel and represents one of the most sophisticated applications of its kind on a hybrid SUV.

Direct injection delivers fuel directly to the combustion chambers and permits a higher compression ratio, improving fuel efficiency. Additionally, the technology reduces cold-start hydrocarbon emissions by up to 25 percent.

The 3.6L VVT with direct injection also features a U.S. auto industry-first isolated fuel injector that greatly reduces the ticking noise associated with other direct injection engines. Other noise-reduction features include the use of acoustic foam in the engine valley and cover.

Specially tuned chassis for a smooth ride

Because the hybrid system changes the weight distribution on the Vue Green Line 2 Mode, special chassis refinements such as revised front and rear spring rates; revised front and rear stabilizer bar rates and recalibrated front struts and rear shock absorbers help ensure a smooth driving experience.

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode is equipped with a "fully blended" electro-hydraulic brake system that enables 100-percent regenerative braking (batteries are charged during braking), 100-percent friction braking (traditional four-wheel disc braking) or a combination of the two. During regenerative braking, the system converts kinetic energy to electrical power, then stores the power in the Energy Storage System.

A 12V rack-mounted Electric Power Steering system replaces a conventional column-mounted hydraulic system and saves fuel – gaining up to a half-mile per gallon of gas. It also gives the Vue Green Line 2 Mode more precise steering inputs and better overall on-center feel.

Intuitive displays keep drivers in the know

The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode's instrument panel lets drivers know that they're behind the wheel of a sophisticated hybrid, yet with gauges that are easy to understand. An efficiency gauge replaces the tachometer, informing drivers of when they are achieving maximum fuel economy; whether the vehicle is in electric-only mode, engine-only mode or a combination of the two; and, because of the silent start as the key is turned, a telltale indicates when the vehicle is on and ready to drive.

In the center console, a full-color VGA power-flow graphic, which is integrated into an available navigation system, continuously informs the driver and passenger whether the vehicle is sending power to the wheels from the battery pack, engine or both. It also indicates when energy is being captured during braking.

Vue Green Line 2 Mode is generously equipped

In addition to its high-tech propulsion system, the Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode boasts a number of standard safety features including four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, rollover detection system, pedestrian impact protection, tire pressure monitoring system, Pedal Release System, front active head restraints, and six air bags (driver and front passenger frontal and seat-mounted side-impact, and roof rail curtains for both seating rows).

Other features include power-adjustable heated outside mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls; and a six-speaker AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 player and auxiliary input jack. A navigation system and power sunroof are available.

Saturn's hybrid family is growing

The Vue Green Line 2 Mode is the third hybrid to join the Saturn lineup. Other members of the Green Line family include the Vue (4-cylinder) Green Line and the Aura Green Line sedan. They are equipped with the affordable GM Hybrid system, which reduces fuel consumption using sophisticated controls and a unique electric motor/generator mated to a 2.4L Ecotec VVT four-cylinder engine and Hydra-Matic four-speed transmission.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      the 50% claim isnt an exaggeration, just look at the Tahoe two mode. The FWD V6 vue gets 18/24 I believe so I would expect the Two mode to get about 27/27 which is very good considering how fast this SUV should be. That 0-60 time they list seems very conservative for something with a direct injected V6. An Suv with 300hp and 27mpg in the city sounds good to me, even at $30k.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're probably a little optimistic on the mileage numbers. The 2008 EPA numbers for the V-6 Vue are 16/24 so the hybrid will probably come in at about 24-25mpg city and 26-27 highway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd call it 'universal design...where similar types of vehicles from different manufacturers share a common design theme...boring as hell, but it sells.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This drivetrain would seem to make more sense in vehicles like the Acadia/Outlook/ENclave and the Buick sedans.
        • 7 Years Ago
        In total agreement, but it needs to be proven somewhere. The Lambdas have become pretty important to GM. Can't say I blame them for not launching them with a totally unproven powertrain.

        Hope it makes its way over to them by MY-2009 though.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Then shrink the two-mode transmission. You'll have to do it someday anyway, get a head start now.

        Enclave with a two-mode w00t.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's my understanding from people at GM that lambda engine compartment is too narrow to fit the two-mode transmission. It's unfortunate because those vehicles could really use the boost in efficiency.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Two-mode Lambdas are also coming (I believe after 2010) but I do not know how firm that is.

        What I do know is that the Saturn Vue is going to be the first of the FWD two-modes.
        The same way they adapted it for the Vue is the same way they will adapt it for the Lambdas.

        That is what I am picking up:


        As per one Detroit engineer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      While I applaud this GM's efforts, I'm convinced that this drivetrain would make more sense in vehicles such as Acadia, Outlook and Enclave. I'm also convinced that it is jus a matter of time before we see this drivetrain in those vehicles. so, good job GM!

      will make more sense in
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 2nd of 3 hybrid variants?

      So we got the mild hybrid (1), this new 2-mode hybrid (2), what is the 3rd??

      BTW I really like this new VUE. Save the piggy weight and the corresponding decrease in fuel economy, this is probably my favorite in the class.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "piggy weight"

        That's an interesting comment. Car and Driver recently did a road test of small crossovers and called the VUE, "A handsome lad who's 400lbs overweight." That's been my thought also. Car and Driver also criticized its poor fuel economy and said if gas hits $4 per gallon the VUE might have to be put out to pasture because sales would drop like a rock.

        At least GM is making some attempt to better the fuel economy.
        • 7 Years Ago

        and MotorTrend also placed the Vue second to last of 7 of these small CUV's

        I wonder why someone would buy the Vue when the Edge weights the same and rides a ton better for the same $$

        The Edge is bigger as well and gets the same mpg

        Sorry, but while I think the Vue looks pretty nice for it's class, GM did mess up in the weight department, and now they will add even more weight with these two mode hybrid and make the Vue even more slugish than this one.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The third is indeed the plug-in version with a lithium battery. At the last LA Show Bob Lutz said it would be shown in Detroit alongside this one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      3 running cylinders on a V6? This I would have to see.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Honda Odyssey Touring has had it for 2 years now.

        Doesn't GM have a V6 that does 3/4/6 cylinder modes?
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is the 4th year for the odyssey. '05-'08
        GM's pushrod engine have cylinder shutoff.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Vue hybrid doesn't get the cylinder deactivation, only coast down fuel shut-off. I originally heard the deactivation would be there and that accidentally got left in the post when it was published. The '08 Honda Accord does have cylinder deactivation on it's V-6
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice work stealing design cues from Porsche. Seriously. Just get rid of the tacky fender flares, fog light flares, and front grill.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Where in the world do you see Porsche here?
        This car has been out for a while now and you are still talking about design.
        Do me a favor and dont talk about cars.
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