Heightening the enthusiasm for all 6 of their remaining customers, Buick has announced their upcoming mystery crossover will receive a plug-in hybrid edition within the next two years. Scheduled to launch in late 2010, the as-yet-unnamed Buick XUV is intended to serve as a smaller, more fuel-efficient alternative to the Enclave and will be offered with GM’s Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine and an optional 3.0L direct-injected V-6. In 2011, a plug-in hybrid version will be introduced, effectively becoming the first commercially available plug-in hybrid SUV to be produced by a major automaker.
Borrowing technology from the Chevy Volt, the Buick EV will feature a modified version of GM’s 2-mode hybrid system and advanced lithium-ion battery technology from GM’s Voltec system; all of which will be mated to a 3.6L V6 flex-fuel engine. The Buick EV’s 8 kWh battery will be rechargeable via a standard 110V electrical outlet and, relying solely on electrical power alone, is expected to achieve a range of up to 10 miles while traveling at low speeds. Combined, both power sources will dramatically increase fuel-efficiency and will likely boost EPA ratings well past the standard XUV’s projected 30mpg.
“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 Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman of product development. “This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game.”