(8/31/09) On August 6, 2009, General Motors announced a new plug-in hybrid Buick crossover vehicle for 2011. GM Press Release. Next year Chrysler will start taking orders for its Jeep Wrangler. Ford has its Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid in trails with over 20 fleets and may offer a commercial version in 2012. GM planned to compete with its own SUV Plug-in.
Yet less than 2 weeks later, it appeared that the Buick PHEV is dead according to a post at gm-volt.com.
Last year, GM was to be selling a plug-in hybrid Saturn VUE. With battery and product delays, then the sale of Saturn to Penske, the VUE PHEV never happened.
A Buick crossover was to launch in late 2010, followed in 2011 by the plug-in hybrid model.
The new five-passenger crossover was to have been powered by an Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine with an optional 3.0L direct-injected V-6. The proposed drive system may yet find its way into a future GM offering. The cancelled 2-Mode Hybrid was to have used 8 kWh LG Chem lithium-ion battery cells and charging technology developed for GM’s Voltec system, which GM hopes to debut in the Chevrolet Volt in late 2010.
The proposed GM’s 2-Mode plug-in hybrid system would have used any combination of electric or gasoline engine power to move the vehicle, depending on the driving conditions, in contrast to the Volt’s series hybrid system. In addition to the lithium-ion battery pack, the cancelled Buick plug-in hybrid’s powertrain would have used two electric motors and an efficient direct-injected 3.6L V-6 flex-fuel engine.
As GM struggles to recover from bankruptcy, perhaps it has simply decided to focus on one plug-in at a time.