Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Breaks Cover
Or, more accurately, TTAC breaks GM's embargo on the new Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. Anyway, let's start with the basics: why? To quote the passively constructed press release, "Two of the biggest trends in the automotive world in recent years have been related to the unique function and fashion of luxury SUVs, and the fuel saving function and fashion of hybrids. These two trends were seemingly in opposition, until now." The fashion of hybrids? Somebody catch that cat and shove it back in the bag! [NB: no animals were harmed in the making of this metaphor.] GM claims Caddy's box-fresh gas – electric SUV achieves a "50-percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving." That would bump-up an urban burbling Slade from 12mpg city to 18mpg. OK, so, how much does it cost? They ain't sayin'. But we now know the hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe demands at least a $13k premium. And even a cursory glance at the tech spec indicates all that gas saving will cost a small fortune. Deep breath. The hybrid Caddy features a 6.0-liter V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late-intake valve closing (LIVC) technology, a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS), an advanced electrically variable transmission (EVT) with stop – start technology, a regenerative braking system, a new exhaust system and resonator, an electrically driven, 300-volt air conditioning compressor, and an electrically driven 42-volt variable-assist power steering system. Perhaps just as importantly, "It is available in two colors, Ebony and Cashmere. Standard features include a distinctive instrument panel; gauges with white needles and blue light inlays with continuously lit, white-LED backlighting; Nuance leather-covered seats; leather-covered door trim and center console; and a power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button." Can you believe they forgot to mention the big ass "hybrid" stencil on the side? Details guy, details!
Labrat on Nov 10, 2007
How many pimp environmentalists are there really? I guess I'm mentally conflicted regarding the notion of a full sized hybrid SUV. On one hand, I think that fuel saving technology is best applied to the thirstiest vehicles, as it saves the most fuel in those applications, as opposed to hybridizing an already fuel efficient Civic. On the other hand, why not just buy a lighter vehicle with a smaller engine, and eliminate the complexities and expense of the hybrid system? My Acadia is several hundred pounds lighter than the Slade hybrid, has the same or maybe more room inside, and the overall gas milage with the 3.6 liter six will probably be the same. It also tows 4500 lb, not much less than the Slade. I guess it doesn't have street cred, though. There I go thinking logical again.
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