2009 Saturn 2-Mode Vue Hybrid to Feature "Friction and Regenerative Brake Control" System

2009 Vue 2 Mode Green Line Hybrid

Earlier this week, Marty Hogan, Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid chief engineer posted an interesting story over at ImSaturn.com about the brake system that was developed for the dual-mode Vue. "The 2009 Vue 2 Mode Hybrid will be equipped with an advanced brake system that stops or slows the vehicle using traditional friction braking, regenerative braking, or any mixture in between," he wrote. "The brake system has been specifically developed with to work with the powertrain to provide the maximum fuel economy with every stop."

So what's the difference between friction and regenerative braking? "Friction braking stops the vehicle by pressing brake pads against the wheel’s rotor when you apply the brakes," explains Hogan. "This friction creates energy in the form of heat, which is normally lost to the surrounding air." In contrast, "during regenerative braking, the hybrid system’s electric motors reverse their direction and become generators. This slows the vehicle and captures the kinetic energy that ordinarily would be lost, and converts it to electrical power. This power is sent to the Nickel Metal Hydride battery whenever it is not fully charged. When the battery is fully charged, the computer that controls the brakes directs the system to conduct friction braking." Importantly, Hogan says that Saturn's system will allow "for more stops to be handled with regenerative braking. That means more energy is saved and less fuel is consumed."

Read Marty's full post over at ImSaturn.com. Production of the 2009 Saturn 2-Mode Hybrid Vue is "on schedule" and will begin later this year.

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Detroit News: Saturn is GM's Brand for the Future

Saturn Astra XR 3-Door

As part of it's coverage of General Motors' 100th anniversary, the Detroit News profiled Saturn and discussed the brand's past, present, and future. Saturn is "in the middle of a transformation," five-time Saturn owner David Hyde, an automotive historian at Wayne State University, told the newspaper.