Update: Why The SRX Hybrid Was Killed
June 2, 2011
By: Nick Saporito
Update: Apparently some have misinterpreted our piece as stating that there was a technical "problem" with the SRX PHEV's battery pack. That is not the case. As stated in the below original article, the battery was "not seeing the efficiency gains that GM expected from it." The heart of any hybrid system is the battery pack used to store the vehicle's energy. In the case of the SRX, the lithium ion pack that GM had engineered into the vehicle was not meeting the efficiency requirements GM management set for the vehicle program. That does not constitute a technical problem with the pack, but rather that said battery pack failed to churn out GM's efficiency targets when mated to the SRX.
Late last week news broke that the unannounced, but long-known SRX plug-in hybrid had been canned. The reasoning for the last minute about-face was never reported by the mainstream press, but GMI has since learned what led to the demise of the stillborn Cadillac hybrid.
According to sources familiar with the program, GM management elected to decommission the SRX PHEV because the vehicle’s battery was not seeing the efficiency gains that GM expected from it. A similar issue led to the demise of the proposed Cadillac XTS hybrid system nearly a year ago.
Both the SRX and XTS were slated to use a tweaked version of GM’s Two-Mode Hybrid propulsion system. The revised system was expected to utilize a lithium ion battery back in place of the current system’s nickel-metal-hydride pack. It was also expected to see revised operating modes, possibly adding more modes to the current system. Topping off the new system was to be a plug-in option, similar to the recently-launched Chevrolet Volt.
The SRX PHEV was slated to launch sometime in the 2013 model-year.
GMI’s sources stated that GM has discontinued working on that particular hybrid program entirely; however GM has a new hybrid system that has already been in the works that will replace it.
Sources familiar with GM’s hybrid plans state that GM has been working on an all-new version of the Two-Mode system that should be ready for utilization in the 2015 model-year. The new system is said to have four fixed modes and take several cues from the Volt’s Voltec (formerly known as E-Flex) system. So instead of putting out an expensive, inefficient system in 2013, it sounds like GM will just wait another year or two and utilize the all-new system.
In addition to the PHEV system, the 2013 Cadillac SRX was also expected to receive an all-new interior and other additions. As far as GMI knows, those additions are still expected to launch as planned.