August 29, 2005

Windsor plant to supply Saturn hybrid transmissions

Windsor, Ontario – GM has selected its Windsor, Ontario transmission plant to supply transmissions for the new “mild hybrid” Saturn Vue, due in 2006, and other future GM models that will use the Belt Alternator Starter hybrid system, as reported by the Green Car Congress. The plant currently builds four-speed automatic transmissions for the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G6.

The new transmission will be an altered version of the four-speed. Its main feature is an auxiliary electric hydraulic pump, which will keep the clutch engaged and prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards on an incline. The hybrid engine shuts off at stoplights and restarts as soon as the brake pedal is released. The auxiliary pump bolts to the side of the transmission housing. The mild hybrid engines also require a strengthened serpentine belt to withstand higher torque routed through the alternator/generator.

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