General Motors is set to introduce a plug-in rechargeable midsize crossover sport utility vehicle in its Buick lineup, in 2011, according Tom Stephens, vice chairman of global product development.
The new vehicle, he says, will be about the size of a Chevrolet Equinox SUV and will deliver double the city gas mileage of a similar-sized conventional SUV.
The current Equinox equipped with a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive delivers 22 miles per gallon in city conditions.
It will feature a new plug-in rechargeable version of GM's two-mode hybrid powertrain currently used in larger SUVs and pickup trucks. The current version does not allow for recharging by plugging in.
The plug-in SUV was originally meant for the Saturn brand but GM is currently under a deal with Penske Automotive Group to sell the brand, he added. Stevens was speaking at a Center for Automotive Research Management briefing.
The new Buick will run on a 3.6-liter V-6 engine and two electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery made by LG Chem of South Korea.