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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Saturn Teases with Aura Tidbits

In addition to announcing the name of Saturn's upcoming midsize sport-utility, Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak also confirmed that Saturn's 2007 midsize sedan, scheduled to enter production during summer 2006, will carry the name "Aura." The new sedan takes its name from the acclaimed concept car that also heavily influenced its interior and exterior design.