Australia’s GoAuto received word from a high-ranking GM engineer that there are plans to launch a Chevrolet Cruze plug-in hybrid, which will debut the company’s front-wheel-drive application of its two-mode hybrid system, which was originally slated for a newer version of the Saturn Vue, and stillborn Cadillac SRX plug-in hybrid.
The crossovers were lost in product development because fuel economy and range expectations were not met, but in a smaller vehicle like the compact Cruze, engineers may have better luck in making it work. But what about the Volt, you ask? Well, unlike the Volt, which is an electric vehicle with a gasoline-powered range-extending generator that kicks in after 35 miles or so, the plug-in Cruze hybrid would constantly utilize both gasoline and electric power, much like the Toyota Prius. It also sounds less complex, and could therefore launch at a much more appealing sticker price than the Volt.
As for a launch date, it could be as late as 2014 before we see the fruits of its engineers’ labors. They’re probably really busy with validating the Cruze diesel right now, anyways. As for the trade-off in gas mileage and pricing between the two, it’s honestly far too early to tell.