• Feb 8th 2010 at 1:58PM
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General Motors' two-mode hybrid system hasn't exactly been a commercial success. GM has had a hard time finding customers willing to part ways with $10,000 or more for a fully capable SUV with sedan-like city fuel economy, but that reportedly isn't stopping the Detroit, MI-based automaker from improving its hybrid formula for its next generation of vehicles. GM is said to be working on a new electric motor that will reportedly shrink in size by 25 percent while increasing power by 20 percent. These smaller, more powerful motors will reportedly help The General put its hybrid tech in even smaller vehicles.

Automotive News reports that Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman of global product operations, told reporters that the company's next two-mode setup will be lighter and more affordable when it hits the streets in 2013. The system will reportedly still be available for SUVs and trucks, but Stephens says the system will also be available in rear-drive cars. Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics reportedly told AN that the easy money is on Cadillac getting the upgraded Two-Mode tech, with the next generation CTS and the ATS as the best bets to include the hybrid powertrain.

Given the fact that Cadillacs command a higher price tag, we're thinking that the Wreath and Crest is a good place to start if the automaker ever wants to make a profit off of a full hybrid vehicle. And with the STS likely to go away before 2013, we're thinking the CTS and ATS could be the only rear-drive Caddy sedans by the time 2013 rolls around. It can't hurt that the ATS and the next CTS will share the same platform either, making it easier/cheaper to add Two-Mode tech to both vehicles.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ummm... hello? The XTS shown at the NAIAS had this new powertrain in it as a concept car... shocked that this was not mentioned at all in the article.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...so the flagship gets the weaker FWD based two mode that goes in the dead Vue and the entry level ATS and mid size CTS Cadillacs get the newer technology because they are RWD. Seems to me the flagship should be getting the top of the line treatment and not the left overs from the Vue-ick... interesting.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're totally right JCrew, that doesn't make any sense for the ATS and CTS to get a new an improved hybrid system and the XTS to get an old out dated one pulled out of the parts bin.... but that's OK, you made that up, so it doesn't have to make sense! Hell, you could make up that the XTS hybrid system will not be gas/electric... rather it's a gas/unicorn hybrid!

        The imagination is a wonderful thing!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'll refer you to my first comment and then The Other Bob's response to that comment to see where this started out. I figured it would be used in the XTS and found it odd that it was not mentioned in the article. Then The Other Bob correctly pointed out, it is for RWD applications and the XTS is a FWD platform, thus leading to the thought that this electric motor as discussed in this article would not be used in the XTS. Is that easy enough for you to follow? GM can use it anywhere it wants and I am sure they will be proud to tell us if,when, and where they do be it on a RWD, FWD, or AWD platform.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The XTS is fwd-based, so the application discussed in this article would not work in that car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @alex - keep off the crack... direct quote from Autoblog's interview with GM regarding the XTS powertrain:

        Last week when we spoke with GM hybrid spokesman Brian Corbett about the company's plug-in two-mode hybrid program (PHEV), he told us that while no production announcements were being made yet, the system would first go into a premium brand vehicle and it would show up in one of the Detroit concepts. We now know that the XTS Platinum is that concept in question. We had an opportunity to briefly drive one of the Vue prototypes last summer and the XTS Platinum concept is equipped with the same system including the direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 that is now widely used in GM vehicles.

        Feel free to ride one of your Unicorns off a cliff.
        • 5 Years Ago
        oh so because GM didn't say that their concept car had this previously unannounced smaller electric motor, the production version (which is 3 years away) won't either. sounds like bulletproof logic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gee, let's see ... I could buy a GM SUV for 32K; or a hybrid SUV for 45K - just to save 2 MPG.
      Seriously folks, even if that is not true, that is the public perception. GM: it's been 40 years since you made all the cars in the world. You don't anymore. You can't just make a car (aka: diesels with gas innards) and think we'll buy it just because it says GM. So ... when are you going to wake up to that fact?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Oldsmobile diesel engine was what, 30 years ago? Thank you for mentioning this though, as I believe people DO remember that engine and it makes them shy away GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finding it hard to keep track of the contradictory Cadillac stories.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nobody bought the system because it was stupid.

      You either pay for gas or you pay for the hybrid system - hopefully nothing goes wrong with it.

      That is the FUNDAMENTAL problem with going green, THE problem greenie idiots don't understand. It seems to go green, you end up paying the same amount you would have used to "save" whatever it is you would have used.

      When going green costs less AND saves money than you will see more Americans caring. Why should I fork over money to save something, when the money I fork over is equal to or greater than what I would have spent NOT trying to save something?

      Now, I will give you silly libs time to digest my FACTS.

      It is a wonderful marketing scam though. Take green ziploc bags. They advertise they cost the same as ordinary bags EXCEPT they are made with 25% less plastic and with wind power.

      HA! So I save you plastic AND energy and for that you charge me the same?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey, I'll keep it simple. Glad GM is further developing the 2-mode hybrid transmission. This should be of little or no surprise knowing that BMW is using their variation of the 2-mode in a version of the X6 SAV. Though only mentioned a hand-full of times in the past year or so, GM engineers have stated that work was continuing on a smaller version of the 2-mode hybrid transmission to use in smaller SUVs and eventually use in full- & mid-size cars.

      I guess it would make sense to start with the RWD vehicles b/c the engine would have to be mounted longitudinally to connect to the transmission. And only RWD/AWD systems can be mated to the 2-mode transmission.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know GM is determined to be "different" with its hybrids--the dual-mode GMT900s, the BAS "mild hybrids"--and not simply follow in Toyota's, Honda's and Ford's footsteps, but I really wish they'd just swallow their pride and put a conventional hybrid system in a FWD compact or midsize. The market has spoken, and for now, that's the kind of hybrid it wants.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LS2, sure, replacing every Tahoe on the road with a Tahoe Hybrid would save more fuel than replacing every Corolla with a Prius. The average consumer isn't thinking about it in terms of collective benefit or percentage gain; they're just looking at raw numbers. Take a 20 MPG Tahoe Hybrid and a 45 MPG Prius, which one are they going to think represents the more salient mileage gain?

        It's also hard to sell the consumer on the fact that they'll be saving more money on gas vs. a hybrid family sedan when the vehicle itself costs $50K.

        Same problem for the BAS hybrids. The Aura Green Line only improved mileage by 2 MPG (24/32 vs. 22/30 for a base 4-cyl Aura), and with no special styling or tech features to set it apart, the comparison was all too easy to draw.

        I did flub on the Fusion though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Has the market had the informed option to choose between various hybrid / alt drivetrains from various manufacturers?

        Or are (were) the hippie tree-hugger sheep simply buying Toyota because it's not American and "green"?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The GMT900 saves more fuel than two Priuses. How is it not an unambiguous fuel savings?

        The Fusion doesn't get 45mpg. It's not even rated at 45mpg. It's rated at 41mpg and in real-world figures seems to get the same as the 34mpg rated Camry hybrid. And by the way, it doesn't seem to be selling all that well either. So if we're going to say the market is the ultimate arbiter of what is worth doing the Fusion hybrid probably doesn't make the cut.

        If you think the BAS hybrids show GM is "ornery" when it comes to hybrids, I have to disagree. The BAS hybrids are the same as the original (and current) Insight in operation. GM followed right along with the flow, just for some reason people decided the BAS hybrids were not financially worth it (correct) and didn't do the same math on the Honda Insight or Prius for that matter. Note that the market at large seems to be treating the new Insight with the same skepticism as the GM BAS hybrids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Were do you get your infomation? The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is not 10K more than the regular Escalade with same equipment? It is not even $4,000 more? Plus you can receive a $2,500 tax credit from the government. That would almost cover the cost! It is also rated at 20/21 vs 12/19......thats a huge difference! Hybrid's are much better in the city traffic not highway. The Mini Cooper Convertable gets less miles per gallon!!!!!! Get your facts straight!
        • 5 Years Ago
        2010 Escalade base MSRP: $62,495
        2010 Escalade Hybrids base MSRP: $73,425

        Even with the tax rebate, that's an $8,430 difference.

        Also, that marketing tidbit about the MINI Cooper Convertible is no longer accurate. It was true when MINI was selling the old-gen convertible alongside the redesigned hatch (2008), but a 2009-2010 MINI Cooper S Convertible is rated at 23/32 MPG--and the non-turbo model gets 30/37. Which is quite a lot more than 20/21.
      • 5 Years Ago
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