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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I have my first new car ever, and I love it: a 2006 Saturn Vue. It isn't my first Saturn, though. I had a 1995 Saturn SL2 that I drove into the ground. I bought it used, on the cheap, since it was a rebuild from a wreck. About 7400 original miles were on the odometer, and at $8700 it was too good to pass up, since it was only three years old when I bought it.