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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Report: GM Wants $2.4 Billion in Canadian Aid for Next-Generation Buick Regal

Next-Generation Buick Regal

David Thomas from Kicking Tires: If you think domestic automakers are only hitting up U.S. taxpayers for help, go north of the border. Canada's National Post newspaper reported today that General Motors is asking the Canadian government for $2.4 billion in aid. In exchange, it promises to bring a new Buick model — the Regal, which is already sold in China — to its Ontario plant for North American distribution. GM says it will position the Regal to compete with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, but doesn't say what its new LaCrosse — set to debut in Detroit next month — will be positioned against.