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GM's Larry Nitz discusses Volt, Vue PHEV, 2nd Gen Two-Mode powertrains

Over the course of production development for the past year, the E-Flex engineers have decided to replace the three cylinder with a slightly larger 1.4L naturally aspirated (NA) four cylinder.

Nitz explains that the 1.4L NA four has better brake-specific fuel consumption than the 1.0L turbo when used in steady state mode, as it will be in the Volt application.
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Nitz tells GFF "the objective is to keep the engine off and when the engine comes on, you don't want to know it's on. You want it really smooth and four cylinder is smoother than a three."
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"It's designed to be able to go up Baker Hill," a steep hill between Los Angeles and Las Vegas as well as other mountain grades at reasonable speeds "just with the engine," Nitz explains.


GM has not yet announced an official on-sale date, although company sources have repeated that late '09 time frame. In spring 2007, Cobasys/A123 Systems and Johnson Controls - Saft were awarded development contracts to supply battery packs for the program. Nitz explains that a significant amount of lab testing has been completed on the batteries and the charging integration is working and is now being refined.


Nitz tells GFF that a second generation Two-Mode system is currently under development. The current variants are used on the full-size GMT900 trucks and the GMT319 Saturn Vue. "We're looking at some additional applications there and lots of applications under consideration with the new fuel economy initiative," says Nitz. "We're going to see a lot hybrids in a lot of different applications."

The second generation system "will get a lot more applications" and will likely launch in the 2012-13 time-frame. Cost reduction will be the "No. 1" effort for the Gen 2 system
 

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Two Mode Version Deuce.
Coming soon to a mid-size General Motors vehicle near you.
 

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The two mode gen II being cheaper will make this technology a lot easier to package into the cheaper vehicles and more importantly, lower cost = much less time to recover costs.

The 1.4L engine sounds like a prudent decision for the Volt gas engine. Unlike the current (boom tish) all electric vehicles which will always suffer from limited range and longer time to recharge, the gas engine in the Volt makes it a viable option as your only vehicle which also means the pricing won't be as much of a hinderence.
 

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We have some clarification from GM on the Volt. Nitz calls it an E-Flex system for the Volt, PHEV for new Pluggable Vue. Thanks for the clarification.

What will be peculiar for the Volt is when the engine is in "Steady State Mode" and charging the batteries, the driver depresses the accelerator pedal the engine will not rev up. I am sure drivers will get use to it. The new 1.4Liter engines, I take it is a normally aspirated engine with options for E85.
 

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GM needs to have 2 mode hybrids for both mid size and compact A.S.A.P. If I read this
correctly, they won't be ready soon. Does anyone else here have any insight on this?
Toyota and Honda are unfortunately way ahead of the curve as usual. GM is behind
in bringing 2 mode hybrids to passenger cars. This is inexcusable. This is where the
focus needs to be. Not on 2 mode hybrid pickups and SUV's. They will have a limited
market going forward. Another case of GM not understanding the market conditions.
 

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GM needs to have 2 mode hybrids for both mid size and compact A.S.A.P. If I read this
correctly, they won't be ready soon. Does anyone else here have any insight on this?
Toyota and Honda are unfortunately way ahead of the curve as usual. GM is behind
in bringing 2 mode hybrids to passenger cars. This is inexcusable. This is where the
focus needs to be. Not on 2 mode hybrid pickups and SUV's. They will have a limited
market going forward. Another case of GM not understanding the market conditions.

????

Toyota and Honda have 2 mode type systems?

They're putting them into passanger cars?

Before 2012?

Inexcuseable? GM is spending a fortune on these technologies and working hard and fast as they can. Call Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Hyundai, or Kia and find out how their programs are going.
 

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????

Toyota and Honda have 2 mode type systems?

They're putting them into passanger cars?

Before 2012?

Inexcuseable? GM is spending a fortune on these technologies and working hard and fast as they can. Call Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Hyundai, or Kia and find out how their programs are going.
Not to mention that it took Toyota three generations before the Prius took off and Honda has only had moderate success with theirs.

I still think the 2-mode is being produced in limited numbers to make absolutely certain it works perfectly in extended real world conditions to avoid any concerns about producing Gen II in volume.
 

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I'd love to see two mode hybrid Tahoes, Silverados, and Hummers that DON'T effect the the off road and towing performance of the vehicles.

Like the Auto 4 wheel drive system on the full sized vehicles? Why did GM do that? No one else had something similar at the time.
It didn't seem like much, but it started a trend. I think the two mode hybrids will do the same.



Also....The CTS needs to have this as an option, and the "flagship" Cadillac sedan needs to have it standard. Sure, those buyers don't care about fuel economy, but they love the table talk of the technology and their fancy yuppie cars.
 

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????

Toyota and Honda have 2 mode type systems?

They're putting them into passanger cars?

Before 2012?

Inexcuseable? GM is spending a fortune on these technologies and working hard and fast as they can. Call Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Hyundai, or Kia and find out how their programs are going.

Thank you. Ford's postponement of their Toyota reverse-engineered system for the Fusion for the FOURTH straight year is what I call inexcuseable. It is not like THEIR system requires much if any reworking whatsoever to lift it from the Escape triplets, and drop it into the Fusion triplets.
 

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Not sure what ability you are referring to. But the hybrid Camry has a 2 speed design.
Camry Hybrid is the HSD and is the same system as the Prius and the Highlander. Only effective in stop/go traffic and slow acceleration.
 

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Not to mention that it took Toyota three generations before the Prius took off and Honda has only had moderate success with theirs.

I still think the 2-mode is being produced in limited numbers to make absolutely certain it works perfectly in extended resl world conditions to avoid any concerns about producing Gen II in volume.

I wouldn't take Toyota's needing three generations to "take off" as a negative.

Gen 1 was Japan sales only, with very few getting out of that market. Gen 2 production numbers were heavily controlled, and they sold every single car they built very quickly. It wasn't untill Gen 3 that they opened up production to meet market demands.

GM's BAS and 2 mode SUV's aren't exactly setting any sales records themselves. BAS Malibu's do not compete with the Camry Hybrid, and the BAS VUE does not compete with the Escape Hybrid. The Tahoe and Yukon Hybrids price ranges put them up into Lexus competition, where Toyota isn't selling their luxo hybrids in any large numbers either. GM needs to get the 2 mode VUE to be on the lots by last week, and at Escape Hybrid pricing, before they'll have a competitive option on the table.
 

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I saw today at a Toyota dealer they had addendem stickers on both the Prius and Camry hybrids for 3k Additional "market adjustment". GM is so missing the boat right now.
 

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Uhhh since when is offering incentives a good thing?
Actually, that means they added $3K to the price to slow demand to meet production...or to take an extra $3K from the idiots paying $100, $200 or more extra per month to own a car that saves them $20 a month in gas over what their previous vehicle cost to drive. There truly is one born every minute!
 
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