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.]