Cadillac Escalade May Soon Have A Hybrid
|Topics: Cadillac Escalade
June 29, 2007
The auto industry is doing its earnest to come up with fuel efficient and environment-friendly vehicles. After all, the demand for such automobiles has been increasing in the past years. With that in mind, it is no surprise that existing nameplates are now being offered with hybrid versions. The Toyota Camry, Ford Escape, the Honda Accord and the like are now being marketed with hybrid variants.
Even the large SUVs from General Motors are now being offered with hybrid versions. The GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe have their own hybrid powertrains. The latest nameplate though to be rumored to be having a hybrid variant is the iconic Cadillac Escalade. This full-size luxury sport utility vehicle is known for its gas-guzzling engine that is why seeing a hybrid version of the Escalade is a surprise to many.
It was reported recently that a hybrid version of the Escalade is being tested by General Motors’ engineers at the Nevada Desert. While the vehicle being tested is just a prototype, the fact that Cadillac has already produced a more fuel efficient version of the Escalade means that the car manufacturer may soon be mass producing hybrid Escalades.
According to reports, the prototype being tested by engineers in the deserts of Nevada only has a few badges to signify that it is a hybrid vehicle. What this means is that the hybrid version of the Escalade looks just like the ordinary Escalades that we see today. Inside the vehicle, a more revealing badge on its tachometer shows that the vehicle is indeed a hybrid.
According to General Motors, the Cadillac Escalade’s internal combustion engine will be assisted by a couple of electric motors. Unlike the smaller Ford Escape Hybrid, the Escalade will need more power and torque to push its huge frame. The two electric motors will result in an increase in fuel efficiency by 25 percent. This means that those people who can afford this SUV with its Cadillac Escalade header will not be troubled by the increasing prices of gasoline as compared to those who own a conventional gasoline engine-powered Escalade.
The Escalade Hybrid will be using General Motors’ two mode hybrid system. According to General Motors, the first mode of the hybrid powertrain is used during low speed and light load operation. During these circumstances, the Escalade can be powered by electric power only, engine power only, or by a combination of electric and engine power.
The first mode gives the Escalade the increased fuel efficiency that one would expect from a hybrid vehicle. When using electric power only, the engine is automatically shut off thus no fuel is consumed. Using electric power only is common on city driving when abrupt stop and go traffic is experienced.
The second mode is used during high speed operations. The couple of electric motor provides increased fuel economy as well as it provides power and torque thus reducing the demand on the internal combustion engine of the Escalade. Other fuel saving technologies that are incorporated into the engine of the hybrid Escalade are cam phasing, late-intake valve closure and Active Fuel Management system. All these technologies provide better fuel efficiency for the hybrid vehicle.
No release dates have been confirmed by General Motors for the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. It is expected though that the hybrid Escalade will be introduced as a 2009 model year vehicle.
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