Buick Plug-In Hybrid SUV Coming in 2011

General Motors has announced that it will introduce a Buick plug-in hybrid vehicle in the 2011 model year.

Unlike the 2011 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car, the yet-to-be-named Buick crossover will use a more traditional dual-mode hybrid powertrain, similar to the one found in the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid, but with a smaller 3.6 liter V6 flex fuel engine and a high capacity lithium-ion battery pack. With half the capacity of the Volt's battery pack, the new Buick is expected to be able to be driven just 10 miles at low speeds on electric power alone. General Motors says it can be fully charged in five hours using a standard household electric outlet.

General Motors claims the new Buick will be the world's first plug-in hybrid SUV available from a major manufacturer.

Although it is not mentioned in the announcement for the vehicle, the accompanying teaser photo of the new Buick indicates that it is likely a rebadged version of the previously planned Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid that was cancelled when General Motors decided to sell that brand.

Conventional versions of the new Buick will also be available with a choice of either a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder or 3.0 liter V6 gasoline engine.

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