• Aug 4, 2010
Let's try this again, shall we? General Motors has announced that it will jump back into the mild hybrid game by the third quarter of 2011. Larry Nitz, the company's director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering, made the announcement at a seminar in Traverse City, Michigan, though he declined to comment on exactly which models would get the fuel-saving tech next year. Nitz did say that at least one American model and one Chinese model would be a mild hybrid by the end of 2011, which leads us to believe that the tech will work its way into the Buick lineup.

GM walked away from mild hybrids after Saturn was sent to the company's scrap heap. At the time, both the Chevrolet Malibu and the Saturn Vue wore the tech, but with the Vue out of the picture, the company couldn't justify the cost of investing in the drivetrains. Unlike a full hybrid, mild-hybrid vehicles can't cruise along on just electric power. Instead, the system allows the gasoline engine to shut off when the vehicle is stopped. The electric motor then starts the engine again when the accelerator pedal is depressed.

If we were guessing, we'd say that GM will debut the rebirth of the tech on the Buick LaCrosse – a model that has enjoyed equal success in China and has the potential to revitalize the brand in the U.S.

[Source: Autoweek]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow that Buick is a beautiful vehicle
        • 4 Years Ago
        The stickers can easily be removed by the dealer upon purchase. It has always been that way.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Guys, I am pretty sure this is just a photoshop. They are speculating that the LaCrosse will be the first to get this. No announcements have been made on which cars are getting BAS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wonder if they sell it without the huge "HYBRID" sticker on the sides...
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...except for that stupid hybrid sticker. I hate how GM does that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Considering GMs presence in China, I'd say you hit it head-on with your hypothesis.

      I also agree that the 4ATs were a problem with the last go-around, but I wonder how much the EPA cycle really gets from a mild hybrid (even with the 6AT). Real-world benefit aside, I think that if the benefits don't show up on the EPA numbers, people won't but it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they can get enough volume and markup to justify the investments, offering this kind of tech in Buick but not generally in Chevrolet might be a great way to help distinguish the Buick brand, which may also make it easier to charge more for the hybrid or mild hybrid systems, which may also make it easier to justify the investments.

      Look at how nicely that worked out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mild hybrids really aren't worth the price. Ever notice how almost every hybrid on the road is either a Fusion, Camry, or Prius? It's because they pay for themselves (if you own a car for its full life) unlike mild hybrids.

      It would be nice to see stop-start though...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, when the BAS hybrids were in production, Consumer Reports found that the Vue Green Line had the fastest payback of any hybrid on the market. The Malibu and Aura were also found to be "winners" (i.e. you come out ahead in paying for the technology):

        http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/autos/0809/gallery.consumer_reports_hybrids/index.html

        My wife drives a 2007 Vue Green Line and it gets excellent mileage and since it has the 2.4 vs. the 2.2 in the base 2007 Vue, it has decent acceleration, also. (I think this setup works better in the Vue than the Aura and Malibu). Thankfully, it doesn't have the gigantic gaudy "Hybrid" stickers they put on some of the 2008 up models. I'd never have bought it in a million years if they did. Actually our main motivation in buying it was that ABS with traction control, alloy wheels, and body color mirrors and door handles were part of the package. With the tax credit, it was actually a little cheaper than a comparably equipped base Vue.

        I think it's pretty definite that the new hybrid is the Regal. Way back in 2009 when GM announced all their future product plans they said that Oshawa was getting a "Hybrid Variant of the Short Wheelbase Mid-Sized Sedan" for 4Q 2011.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lucerne is probably too big for the BAS. It will most likely go in the Regal. It should also be noted that this is the next-gen BAS, not the one that died with Saturn. The new BAS was shown a couple years ago with a lithium battery and more powerful motor/generator.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What happened to the 2-mode systems that never came? Come on GM, I know we're talking about hybrids here, but you gotta get some balls and go full hybrid! Build some more 40mpg midsize sedans so we can have more V8 everythings!
        • 4 Years Ago
        They have come. The Silverado, Sierra, Yukon, Tahoe, and Escalade all have them.

        They're still working on the FWD versions, though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      *tumbleweeds*
      • 4 Years Ago
      this is interesting, i own a 08 malibu hybrid and a couple months ago it died b/c the battery pack was leaking acid and had to be fully replaced (under warranty). anyways they now have a recall for it as of last month. i guess i'm not the only one. hopefully they fix this stuff before bragging about their new hybrid line.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not bad.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Put 2 wks on a Saturn hybrid. The car, and I, were never quite sure of what was happening.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Only one model? that's silly.

      It would be easy and cheap to implement a mild hybrid system across the line. Or at the very least, stop and start, which would be incredibly cheap to implement.

      GM would know how to do it best.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Economy of scale reduces the price of the components though.
        A system like this can be much cheaper if you eliminate the alternator and starter. It's all in the engineering. The price of electric drive is also continuing to drop.

        The problem with the other mild hybrids has been price and a lack of engineering. Let's not bring Honda's hybrid tech into this, it's a joke!

        Nobody's done it yet.. but a lot of companies are talking about hybridizing their entire line. GM has probably done the most research into electric drive of any major automaker, so they are a fitting candidate to take the first leap.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It probably SEEMS silly, but the IMA-type hybrids have never been never big sellers.

        Even if the components are shared, all of the powertrain configurations need to be validated and certified separately - for every model. It's an expensive process. Since mild hybrids don't really command much of a price premium, it's possible that the bean counters may have figured it would cost them less to keep it to as few models as possible. the target would have been high volume models, but with a large enough price tag that the incremental price increase of the IMA stuff wouldn't kill the deal. Using that criteria, I would say that the only two models that would make sense would be the Malibu and the Impala. They may move more Impalas, but I think the Malibu has the better demographic targeting for hybrid drivetrain tech.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Depends on how this is implemented.

      If it costs almost nothing extra and gives a couple of extra MPG, then great, go for it... but why only on ONE model?

      If anything some kind of hybrid technology should be implemented across the board on almost all cars, but that's still many years away. It should get to the point where having some kind of hybrid tech will be not unlike power windows/doors are today... it will be a "given" that it's included with the car.
    • Load More Comments