AutoBlog Drives a Buick/Saturn Vue Plug-In Hybrid Prototype

Saturn Plug-In Hybrid Vue

Sam Abuelsamid from Autoblog: We had a chance for a quick drive of a development prototype for Buick's upcoming plug-in hybrid crossover this week at the GM proving ground. The prototype was still wearing its Saturn grille and badging as that was the original intent of the program. When Rick Wagoner announced in late 2006 that the company would develop a plug-in hybrid, it was intended to the be the Vue. Of course, at that time, Saturn still had a future as part of GM but we all know how that turned out. The two-mode hybrid system that was scheduled to go into production late last year lives on but is now paired with an 8 kWh lithium ion battery pack supplied by LG Chem. According to Larry Nitz, director of hybrid powertrain development, this is half of a Volt pack repackaged to fit under the rear cargo floor.

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The Outlook for Closed Saturn Dealerships

Closed Saturn Dealership in Pompton Plains, NJ

Automotive News estimates that nearly 70 Saturn dealerships have closed this year as a result of the bad economy and GM's decision to sell the brand. What will happen to these 70 stores? There is an interested buyer: Kia. While the South Korean car company is buying up a number of closed dealerships around the country, it has a particular interest in acquiring Saturn dealerships.