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Surprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover
The speculation was true, Buick is getting a Vue...and Plug-In!
www.gminsidenews.com
August 6, 2009
By: Nick Saporito



For the past several months rumors have been floating around the Internet that General Motors would be giving Buick a variant of the Saturn Vue crossover. Nothing solid ever came out of said rumors, so much so that most of GMI's own sources were not clued in by the rather surprising announcement out of GM today. GM is officially announcing that Buick is getting a smaller crossover; including a plug-in hybrid model. Even more shocking and to add to the confusion: the above press image (released by GM) shows an obvious rebadge of the Saturn Vue. But is that the real Buick?

GM says this new Buick product is going to go on-sale in late 2010, we assume as a 2011 model. Then, sometime in 2011 they will be launching a plug-in hybrid version of the product based on the Two-Mode hybrid system that was available in the Saturn Vue. Obviously the plug-in is the main logic for keeping a Vue variant around. Most of the development work of GM's (was to be) first plug-in hybrid, the Saturn Vue, is already well underway and close to completion. GM did not want to post-pone their first plug-in to market or have to start over on developing another.

In addition, GM is claiming that the new Buick will be good for "30 MPG or better" on the highway thanks to utilizing GM's new direct-injected engines. We suspect the Buick will get the same 2.4L DI ECOTEC and the 3.0L DI High-Feature V6.

The remaining question in all of this is what about the design? Even our own sources at GM are not sure if the image released of the supposed Buick plug-in are the real deal or just a PR move to generate buzz for the plug-in model. Several sources, both private and within the media have stated that the Buick is going to be a "heavily revised" Vue. The one area that is getting a near unanimous agreement is that the Vue's interior is getting a redesign for the new Buick.


GM Press Release said:
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - General Motors' plug-in hybrid technology will be introduced in a new Buick crossover vehicle in 2011, Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman of product development, announced here today during the Management Briefing Seminars.

The yet-to-be-named Buick crossover will launch in late 2010 offering a family of fuel-efficient direct-injected gasoline engines, followed in 2011 by the plug-in hybrid model.

"Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover," said Stephens. "This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game."

A new Buick for a new customer

The new five-passenger crossover will build on the success of the Buick Enclave, offering the brand's finely crafted execution and premium driving experience in a fuel-efficient package.

"Some customers who have been drawn to the Enclave were looking for something a little smaller, but they didn't want to give up craftsmanship or a quiet ride to get there," said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "We believe this new Buick will excite those customers, and will continue to broaden the appeal of the brand."

The Buick crossover will be powered by an Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine with an optional 3.0L direct-injected V-6, and is expected to deliver 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway. Final fuel economy estimates, as well as additional vehicle details such as name and pricing, will be announced later.

Plug-in hybrid model


The Buick plug-in hybrid is expected to be the first commercially available plug-in hybrid SUV produced by a major automaker.

The Buick plug-in hybrid has the potential to achieve double the fuel economy of comparably-sized SUVs on short trips. This significant boost is achieved by combining a modified version of GM's proven 2-Mode Hybrid system with advanced lithium-ion battery cells and charging technology developed for GM's Voltec system, which will debut in the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle in late 2010.

"LG Chem - the supplier of our battery cells for the Volt - has also been selected to supply the lithium-ion cells for the new Buick plug-in hybrid, and its Troy, Mich.-based subsidiary Compact Power will supply the pack," Stephens said.

The Buick plug-in hybrid will use the same manganese-spinel based chemistry and polymer battery cells as the Volt. The 8 kwh battery - containing half the energy of the Volt battery pack - will be packaged in a rectangular-shaped box under the cargo floor.

The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in four to five hours by simply connecting the vehicle to any standard 110V household electrical outlet. By recharging rather than refueling, the Buick plug-in hybrid significantly improves fuel economy and reduces petroleum use. In early testing, the plug-in hybrid is capable of electric-only propulsion for more than 10 miles at low speeds.

On the road, GM's 2-Mode plug-in hybrid system can use any combination of electric or gasoline engine power to move the vehicle, depending on the driving conditions. This differs from GM's Voltec technology, which provides the Volt with up to 40 miles of emissions- and petroleum-free electric-only propulsion, and an overall range of more than 300 miles with its flex-fuel engine-generator.

In addition to the lithium-ion battery pack, the Buick plug-in hybrid's powertrain features two powerful electric motors, sophisticated electronic controls and battery management systems and an efficient direct-injected 3.6L V-6 flex-fuel engine.
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

Nick is this going to be based on the updated Theta platform underpinning the next Equinox and Terrain?

Or will this car TRULY be a rebadge of the current Vue?

I pray that its the former rather than the latter -- if for any reason than the fact that they'd bring a new Buick to market utilizing an older product.

HOWEVER, if it's the latter, then I HOPE that it gets a decent refresh before it hits the market.

I always thought the current Vue was a great looking CUV, but don't like it so very much as to bring it to market as a Buick virtually unchanged. It will take more than a badge swap to convince customers. Remember, GM will be producing the Vue for Penske/Saturn, so any kind of differentiation would then become a necessity.
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

It can't be a rebadged Vue, can it? I thought Penske and GM agreed to keep producing the current-gen Aura, Vue, and Outlook until replacements were arranged.

Or is this the same crossover we saw in the CBS video?
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

I'll say it: "I thought we were getting away from badge engineering?"

There. :brick
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

They don't need the VUE, they need a mini-Enclave. Will the exterior get more than just the waterfall grille treatment? How about new headlights? Some sweep spear? Will the interior get the Enclave treatment? Why does the Terrain exist!? It shouldn't!
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

That's really good news indeed, although I am having doubts about 3.0L SIDI after disappointing fuel economy numbers for the new LaCrosse.

Was a Saturn Vue on the heavy side? If "Buick Vue" will be 4300 lbs, 3.0L SIDI will be a miss.
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

Wife:
-Oh look honey is that a Saturn Vue?

Husband:
-Not sure, I'll have to wait until I can see the back of it.

-Ooooookkkkk.... I'm sure when I see the front end I'll be able to tell.

-Ummmmmmm.

And why are we keeping two "luxury" brands again???? Please note the ""'s because N.A. Buick is far from the level of luxury the world has gotten used to.

Welcome to the NEW GM!!! (Pssst! It's actually the same old GM, run by the same people who were one rung down on the executive ladder before, that made stupid mistake after stupid mistake.)
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

Is this or is this not a re-badge? Better not tell Fritz!
You said it, strider!

And if it DOES go to market as a direct rebadge, someone find Fritz, shake him a few times, then make him sign-off on the G8/Caprice rebadge job.

Seriously - He can't go on and on about "I hate rebadges" and "He can say whatever he wants, but Bob Lutz works for me" nonsense then pull a rebadge job for the "new" Buick.

If he's gonna play that game, then Chevrolet should get equal treatment with an Aussie Caprice.

Can I get an AMEN!?! :)
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

You said it, strider!

And if it DOES go to market as a direct rebadge, someone find Fritz, shake him a few times, then make him sign-off on the G8/Caprice rebadge job.

Seriously - He can't go on and on about "I hate rebadges" and "He can say whatever he wants, but Bob Lutz works for me" nonsense then pull a rebadge job for the "new" Buick.

If he's gonna play that game, then Chevrolet should get equal treatment with an Aussie Caprice.

Can I get an AMEN!?! :)
AMEN.
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

So now we will have SRX and this new Buick going after same customers. Well it looks like new gm is really old GM. We cant get g8 for chevy but we get another crossover. What will be the difference between this and srx. Both will be FWD competing for same customers.
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

You said it, strider!

And if it DOES go to market as a direct rebadge, someone find Fritz, shake him a few times, then make him sign-off on the G8/Caprice rebadge job.

Seriously - He can't go on and on about "I hate rebadges" and "He can say whatever he wants, but Bob Lutz works for me" nonsense then pull a rebadge job for the "new" Buick.

If he's gonna play that game, then Chevrolet should get equal treatment with an Aussie Caprice.

Can I get an AMEN!?! :)
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

I'm glad it is based on the Vue and not Equinox or SRX. It needs to be sized different some how. Buick should also get a SIDI 3.6L.

This will not compete with the SRX. SRX is much larger than a Vue. It is like TrailBlazer vs. Tahoe.
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

so basically this is a rebadge of the next generation saturn vue? great just what we need another suv in this world.
Nope. It could end up being a rebadged version of the current Vue, which has really been around since MY2007, as the Opel Antara. So, it's already three years old.

Hopefully, that Buick CUV we saw being made in that CBS video is what we're getting.
 

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Re: Suprise: Buick Getting Saturn Vue Crossover

Let's do the same thing with the G8!!! Don't let it die Fritz!!! You're an idiot if you think that there's no place for it as a Chevy... BUILD IT!!!
 
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