Next-Gen Saturn Astra to Offer Hybrid Option

General Motors engineers are developing a hybrid version of the company's next-generation Astra compact car to be sold by Saturn in North America and Opel in Europe.

Motor Authority writes that in a conversation with German magazine AutomobilWoche, "a GM engineer revealed the new car will be based on the latest version of the Delta FWD compact platform, which will eventually spawn 13 different models including a new baby Saab. The hybrid system GM will use for the Astra is a conventional two-mode hybrid, similar to the set-up used in the Toyota Prius."

Not so, says AutoBlog Green. The eco-friendly auto news site says that a two-mode hybrid system "is probably far to expensive to be practical in the Astra. Much more likely is the second generation mild hybrid system that was shown in an Opel Corsa at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The 2nd gen BAS system will use a stronger alternator starter and a lithium ion battery. This will allow it to be coupled to smaller engines and be more useful."

Motor Authority reports that GM will launch both the Saturn and Opel versions at the same time. The new model will reportedly be available in 2010.

Source: Motor Authority, AutomobilWoche, AutoBlog Green

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