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... when the battery is depleted, the Gen 1 continues to be propelled by its electric motor, using battery power for acceleration and generator output for cruising, and the Gen 2 becomes a gas hybrid car using an automobile engine for propulsion.
Well, gen1 has both serial and parallel modes once battery is depleted. Parallel (power split) is Prius-like in operation and does result in some engine torque going to the wheels (just less than gen2 can do).
 

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I thought Gen1 never sent torque to the wheels, maybe power directly to the electric motor driving the wheels, rather than through the battery?

Gen2 can send torque to the wheels, but the battery is still critical, i.e. at most it's driving like a hybrid where both the battery, via a motor, and engine, are contributing torque.
Common misconception (that refuses to die, even on enthusiast forums). Power-split mode happens above 36mph whenever large torque isn't demanded. So pretty much all the time, unless you're hill climbing of accelerating heavily, when it will shift to series mode (and then back to parallel once demand reduces). If you're cruising on a 40mph road or 70mph highway, you're in power-split. Some of the engine torque is consumed by the generator, but some is also physically transmitted through the generator's shaft into the ring gear. Just in gen1, this alone cannot drive the car, you need MGB also providing reaction torque in this mode for the car to work. So the engine alone can never physically drive the car, but it can (and very often does) physically assist.
 
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