GM's plug-in hybrid SUV plans are officially on track for a 2011 debut, product chief Tom Stephens confirmed. In an interview with Reuters, the executive mentioned that despite selling off the Saturn division, which was due to use the hybrid system, the latest generation of the automaker's two-mode hybrid technology will live on and will arrive in two years' time.
After selling Saturn to Roger Penske, Stephens previously indicated that an SUV of one of the surviving GM brands would get the technology first in replacement of the Saturn Vue Two Mode Hybrid (below).
Rumors are indicating the SUV is a new Buick model that was teased in a CBS News report (above). The Buick is said to be based on the current Vue, which itself is a rendition of the European market Opel Antara.
The new two-mode is one element of the larger, eco-friendly, fuel efficient, 14-model product lineup GM officials have promised to the federal government by 2012. GM's next biggest addition is the Chevrolet Volt, due out in 2010.
The original Saturn Vue Two-Mode Hybrid was designed to travel 10 miles on battery power alone and was supplemented by a 3.6L six-cylinder gasoline motor.
"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. "I think there's pent-up demand for the technology."