First Drive: 2009 Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid (Visit this link)
The Vue 2 Mode Hybrid is pretty self-explanatory: it's a Saturn Vue, and it's the first non-GMT900 ride to get the 2 Mode hybrid setup. It'll slot above the existing Saturn Vue "light" hybrid (née Green Line) in the lineup, targeting drivers who desire fuel economy on par with the four-cylinder hybrid, but want more power and/or towing capacity. The 2 Mode Vue's gas engine is a direct-injected version of the widely-used 3.6L "high feature" powerplant. In this case, it makes 262 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque and only front-wheel-drive is available. It works in concert with the hybrid sysyem, which incorporates a pair of 55 kW electric motors, a 300V battery, regenerative braking and the 2 Mode transmission, which sports two electronically variable modes and four fixed mechanical gear ratios to optimize efficiency at both lower, around-town speeds and highway velocity.