|The Envision concept plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
GM introduced the Buick Envision plug-in hybrid SUV concept vehicle in China; it will appear on the Shanghai GM stand at Auto Shanghai 2011. The Envision is equipped with a 2.0-liter SIDI intelligent direct injection turbocharged engine complemented by a pair of electric motor generators in the Envision’s dual automatic/manual eight-speed transmission.
A high-performance lithium battery and a solar energy roof with optical equipment serve as an alternative energy source independent from the engine. When the vehicle is being started, parked and running at low speeds, the Envision runs solely on electric power. When the vehicle needs more power or the battery is running low, the engine automatically kicks in to provide a Smart Charge for the battery.
When greater power is required, such as during sudden acceleration and uphill driving, the engine serves as the main power source, with the generator providing additional power.
The vehicle can be plugged into a standard outlet to recharge the battery. Additional electricity for the battery is produced by the solar roof.
The Envision’s compact, lightweight chassis is composed of carbon fiber, magnesium and aluminum. Mounted on an MRC electromagnetic suspension with the energy-recycle function, it offers one of the fastest magnetic ride control systems in the world. Damping can be actively regulated according to road conditions to optimize handling.
With the Envision’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system, the torque output of each wheel can be adjusted at any time.
GM says that the Envision merges Buick’s global design language with Chinese aesthetics for the SUV segment. The Envision was developed jointly by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), said Shi Hong, Director of Buick Marketing at Shanghai GM.