New Plug-in Hybrid Buick Crossover Slated for 2011

Today, GM announced it would launch an all-new five-passenger Buick crossover in late 2010. The bigger news is that the crossover will get a plug-in hybrid model in 2011. The crossover itself shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s likely to be based on the popular Chevy Equinox and upcoming GMC Terrain. GM said it will feature the same fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine as those two models.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain, however, is not lifted entirely from the upcoming Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. Instead, GM will be using its 2-Mode Hybrid system first utilized in large SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe and the never-sold-to-the-public Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid.  The Buick plug-in will use two electric motors teamed to a 3.6-liter V-6; it’s flex-fuel compatible, which means it can run on E85 ethanol.

That system will be matched to an advanced battery pack that is lifted from the Volt, but the power delivery will shift from engine to motor depending on driving conditions. The Volt will utilize an electric motor to power the wheels at all times; the teamed engine will work like a generator to recharge the batteries that power the motor.

GM says the new Buick plug-in will get double the fuel economy on short trips of similar-sized SUVs. That’s because when fully charged the Buick will be able to travel up to 10 miles on the electric motor before the hybrid system kicks in. The hybrid can fully recharge in four to five hours using a standard 110-volt household outlet.

Putting this technology into a Buick rather than a Chevy or GMC makes sense since the premium nameplate will likely make the sticker shock of such a system a little easier to swallow. GM’s full-sized SUV hybrids were priced and equipped like top trim levels, so consumers wouldn’t see a significant spike in sticker price. However, sales of those vehicles have been tepid. The smaller Buick could look a lot more attractive to hybrid shoppers than a hulking SUV.

Editor's Note: The photo above has been lightened to show off the lines of the hood which were shadowed. The original photo is below.




If those Buick Hybrid photo's are accurate, it seems to me to look exactly like a Equinox/Vue! I was hoping and had read that the "New GM" was never going to rebadge again...what is going on?!

Original sheth


The Equinox and Vue are NOT the same. I don't understand why people have such a hard time understanding that. They don't share dimensions or even a platform. The Equinox/Terrain are on the exact same platform which is an evolution of the previous Theta platform.

This Buick will be a revised version of the Vue which is on the older, heavier theta platform. The Vue looks nothing like the 2009 or 2010 Equinox and is smaller than both. This is a "rebadge" of a model that is going to disappear in 2011 and my guess is the interior will be substantially changed to make it a Buick.

we've read elsewhere that it may indeed be the current Vue and Not the newer Equinox, but I think that's because people are assuming that was the stillborn 2 mode that they want to recycle.

However, they could almost as easily use the newer platform. Especially if they want better interior quality etc.

Original sheth

The pic released by GM suggests its going to be a slightly modified Vue since that light cluster and front end is identical to the Vue. I just hope they update the interior.

Dave Wuss

GM rebadging an old vehicle and putting either unproven (Volt) or unimpressive (2-Mode) technology in it proves to me that GM still has a long way to go. Having it debut under the Buick name plate is a recipe for disaster.

You know on second look you're right. they're nearly identical except for the grille obviously. I liked the Vue so nothing wrong with that.


While I know that responding to you is a mistake as it only encourages you further, I have to ask...

Do you even know what 2-mode means?

Are you really suggesting that car makers should never use new technologies? That somehow by using an "unproven" (I.E. new, cutting edge, state of the art) technology, that somehow GM is stuck in the past?

Do you even listen to yourself?

Dave Wuss

"While I know that responding to you is a mistake as it only encourages you further, I have to ask..."

I agree as it only proves your lack of discipline and intelligence however I won't reward you with answers to your remaining witless questions.


i wouldnt call two-mode unimpressive at all. in fact, its probably one of the best hybrid systems out there along with Toyota's synergy drive and the system put into the Ford Fusion and Escape.

the two-mode system allows for vast improvements in fuel economy in the largest vehicles, the ones that need it the most, which is something that Toyota's system simply does not have the ability to do. the largest they can put onto the system as of now is the 3.5L v6 in the RX400h. i imagine that will change as time goes on.

it seems like both systems are working at different ends at this time, with the two-mode system starting in large, V8-equipped models, while Synergy drive started with the smallest four cylinder engines.

that said, for its system to be truly usable and successful, GM needs to adapt the two-mode system to a four cylinder engine, or at least the 3.0L V6 in the Equinox.

Original sheth

"Do you even know what 2-mode means?"

He does not. He doesn't know much as far as I can tell. The 2 mode Vue was supposed to get 27mpg in city with a V6 which is very impressive.

Dave Wuss

Kool Aid Guzzling Moment:
While traveling through Toronto last week I read an interesting story in The Ontario Daily Bulletin. The article said GM accidentally installed stabilizer bars, from the Buick LaCrosse, onto several dozen Camaro's. GM caught the problem when a shift employee noticed the rear camber specs were off. Unfortunately for GM this shift employee worked the second shift not the first so several dozen Camaro's went through the production line and were prepped for transport. GM was able to locate all of the Camaro's within their supply chain. When the Daily Bulletin asked for more information GM changed their story by denying the event ever took place even though the story was originally reported by a GM employee and GM originally confirmed the incident to be true.

Now that's quality for you - Priceless!


This so-called report is dubious at best for a multitude of technical reasons associated with the design and assembly of these cars.

Further, automakers don't confirm this type of stuff to the media. It's not news, it's manufacturing.

Finally, this is a perfect example of quality control: a problem was identified, a resolution was determined, and a solution was implemented.

I do like the style of the Bare Necessity concept. None of what they are producing look like the ones I just mentioned.

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