GM Gives Trucks the XFE Treatment

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
gm gives trucks the xfe treatment

While any move to improve fuel efficiency in full-sized trucks is a move in the right direction, you have to wonder if GM's straining at gnats while swallowing camels with their latest move: XFE versions of Silverado, Sierra, Tahoe and Yukon. The press release brags the changes make them "the most aerodynamic full-size pickups in the industry." To accomplish this, they'll install a soft tonneau cover on the pickups and extend the front air dam, lower the suspension, revise the chassis tuning, use aluminum in the wheels and engine and install low rolling-resistance tires. And what's the gain for all these changes? One whole mile per gallon on both the city and highway ratings, which "reflect[s] GM's quick adaptation to an evolving market that remains a very important segment." They haven't said how much all these changes will cost, but just like with the hybrid versions. it's bound to take a while to offset the additional cost with fuel savings.

Click here for PDF of press release

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  • Pmd1966 (of GM) Pmd1966 (of GM) on Aug 12, 2008

    Bought my first truck in 1972, a 1970 International Harvester 1/2 ton 2wd. V8, 3 speed manual trans. No P/S or P/B. I haven't owned a car since then. 7 trucks in 36 yrs. Since then I have been involved in one accident. I was t-boned in a parking lot by a guy in a car. I live in Michigan, and I have never been upside down or on my side. Trucks handle like trucks, they get poor gas mileage. I accept this. I buy and drive what I like, not what someone else thinks I "need". I don't criticize cars, I just don't like them. Each vehicle has different attributes and shortcomings. Drive what you like.

  • KixStart KixStart on Aug 12, 2008

    netrun: "And yeah, they’re hybrid SUV’s look like $60k fartbombs right about now. I’m eager to hear how Lutz spins that one." Lutz has, somehow, forgotten that they exist. Someone who writes press releases at GM, however, is occasionally forced to acknowledge they exist. From GM's August 1 Sales Report: GM hybrid vehicles continue to gain in popularity in the marketplace with 228 hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe and 123 GMC Yukon 2-mode SUVs delivered. There were 349 Chevrolet Malibu, 29 Saturn Aura and 362 Vue hybrids sold in July. For the month, a total of 1,091 hybrid vehicles were delivered, with 5,467 hybrids sold so far this year. Dude, that's the third straight month of decline. “We’re working hard to change perceptions and gain awareness of GM as the leader in advanced propulsion technology and fuel efficiency,” LaNeve added. “Customers can experience that each time they visit a dealer’s showroom to see the full lineup – including five hybrid models -- that provide industry-leading value, great fuel economy and the best warranty coverage of any full-line automaker. We don’t just talk about technology, fuel efficiency and value – we have the cars and trucks available today to back it up.” Not just one, two or even three hybrids that don't sell but five, count 'em, five hybrid models that don't sell! And, pretty soon, a sixth hybrid model that won't sell! Why don't they just bag it?

  • Rtz Rtz on Aug 12, 2008

    They need to do things like this all the time to their models to keep them fresh and different. I'll be looking for these on the street.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Aug 12, 2008
    To me, this is how fuel economy should be sorted out. Competition. The free market. Not re-election focused government intervention.... Any idea what the mileage of these vehicles would have been had there not been a minimum standard? I'd bet a lot worse than they are now. As for election year BS, neither candidate is really addressing what is needed: A moon-shot like dedication to reducing national energy use, a serious push to develop alternative sources and nuclear capacity, and a well planned method to increase domestic production of oil. By well planned, I mean a careful review of potential sources for production that are based on sound science, not on what is best for ExxonMobil.