GM Explains New Hybrid System

General Motors says a new technology will help it provide all-wheel drive in hybrid
applications across its passenger-car and truck lineups.

The system involves putting
electric motors at the wheel hubs to, as GM says, give “sportscar performance, better fuel
economy, unrivaled ride and handling, and enhanced vehicle safety simultaneously.”

GM’s
Larry Burns says the motors could be a key part in making affordable and fuel-efficient
all-wheel drive widely available. In essence, the system would use the motors on the rear
wheels to generate all-wheel-drive power in a normally front-drive car. GM’s motors
generate about 25 kilowatts of power each, the company reported in a press release, but
weight is just more than 30 pounds — all told, hundreds of pounds less than the trimmest
all-wheel-drive systems.

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