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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.
AFAIK, the Gen 1 petrol engine torque does mechanically make it to the wheels under certain conditions. It's not the preferred mode until highway speeds are reached though.
Thanks. I can't remember where I got my original info but like you said, it was wrong. I have rewritten the intro and referred people to Wikipedia for the technical details.
Details here: Text description for each; pictures in articles; etc.

Voltec drive unit has four basic modes of operation
 
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