GM: No Delay for Plug-In SUV

Saturn Vue Green Line Plug-In Hybrid

Kevin Krolicki from Reuters: General Motors is on track to launch a plug-in sport-utility vehicle in 2011 despite scrapping its Saturn brand as part of a sweeping reorganization in bankruptcy, according to the automaker's product chief. "I can tell you that I won't lose one day in terms of customers being able to walk into dealerships and actually purchase a plug-in," GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens said in an interview. Last year GM also announced plans for a plug-in version of its Saturn Vue SUV that would carry a lithium-ion battery pack rechargeable at a standard outlet, reducing the need for gas consumption from its 3.6-liter engine. The Saturn Vue plug-in was being designed with the ability to be driven 10 miles on electric power alone. But GM's plans to launch the rechargeable SUV were complicated by a decision to drop the Saturn brand this year. Stephens said work on the plug-in technology behind the Saturn Vue remained on track. He said the vehicle that would replace the now-scrapped Saturn would be an SUV from one of GM's four remaining brands: Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

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IIHS Awards Saturn Aura Top Rating in Front Offset and Side-Impact Crash Test

IIHS Aura Side-Impact Crash Test

Occupant protection in side impacts of midsize cars is improving as automakers introduce safer designs and add side airbags as standard equipment. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently completed front, side, and rear tests of seven 2008 model midsize cars, both moderately priced and luxury: Chevrolet Malibu, Dodge Avenger, Infiniti G35, Kia Optima, Mitsubishi Galant, Nissan Altima, and Saturn Aura. All earn the highest rating of good for occupant protection in frontal crashes.