• Jan 28th 2008 at 3:58PM
  • 9
Over at AutoblogGreen, one of our colleagues has a report that General Motors may be introducing hybrid versions of its Lambda CUVs (the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia), as well as the GMC Sierra. Previously, GM had not indicated that any of these vehicles would be hybridized. Since the Sierra is built on the same GMT900 platform as the already available Tahoe/Yukon two-mode hybrids and the upcoming Escalade and Silverado hybrids, let's tackle that one first. The Silverado and Sierra are essentially the same vehicle with only visual differences, so this one is a no-brainer and it's only a matter of time before GMC announces a Sierra Hybrid.

The Lambda hybrids are a different story entirely. According to Brian Corbett, GM's spokesman for Hybrid programs, there are no immediate plans to build a hybrid version of the Lambdas. In fact, during a conversation we had with Bob Lutz at the LA Auto Show, he indicated that the existing front-wheel-drive, two-mode transmission would not fit in the Lambda's engine compartment as it wasn't wide enough. According to Corbett, a second generation version of the two-mode system was under development, but that is at least three to four years away from launch. The mild hybrid system that is currently installed on the Saturn Vue and Aura is designed for smaller vehicles and wouldn't be suitable for the larger Lambdas in its current form. A second-generation version of that system is also under development using a lithium-ion battery and should appear somewhere around 2010-11, which may work in these big wagons. Given the new fuel economy regs, GM is sure to do something with the Lambdas, although dropping in the Cadillac 2.9-liter diesel V-6 might be an even better option that would also help towing capability.

[Source: AutoblogGreen, General Motors]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "dropping in the Cadillac 2.9-liter diesel V-6 might be an even better option that would also help towing capability."

      Um, where is GM going to get a FWD transmission that can handle over 400 ft-lbs of torque?
      • 7 Years Ago
      So the Vue 2-mode hybrid has enough space under it's hood, but the larger lambda's don't. Colour me confused (unless they want to put a V8 hybrid into the lambda's).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Space isn't just space. It needs to be the right shape and in the right place, both absolutely and relative to other spaces.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Diesel Lambda would make the ultimate road-tripper. With room for 6, AWD and a little ground clearance and cruising econ in the high 20's... Gimme!
        • 7 Years Ago
        um, having ground clearance works directly against fuel mileage/aerodynamcs/handling. But I get your point that seating 6 in the suv would probably be better on long trips.

        and yes I know the lamba's are unibody/fwd and thats probably a good thing to save weight/etc. I'll still call them suv's because well, they look like suv's, sit up like suv's, have aerodynamics closer to an suv than a car/wagon, and they're heavy like suv's. Still a good alternative to a bof suv, though.

        Personally I'd like to have a magnum or other comparable wagon that offers a buttload of space with the c.g. and aero of a car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The one thing I wouldn't want is all that Hybrid badging all over the truck...yuck.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thats too bad. I was hoping these CUV's would get a hybrid system, even just the BAS system. The Outlook weighs about 800-900 pounds more than the Vue, but the Vue weighs about 300 pounds more than the Aura, yet it still manages to get better fuel economy (6 mpg better than the regular inline 4 Vue). I think the Outlook could get near 18 mpg city with the setup.

      Yet, a high displacement 4 cylinder diesel would work well too. Imagine if GM put half of the R&D into diesels as it did in hybrids how advanced they would be.
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