Posted by: shoji | November 8, 2007

Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

Below is an excerpt from Autoblog on the soon-to-be-released Escalade Hybrid. The ‘Slade and Hummer are targets for their excess, so a hybrid version induces cognitive dissonance.

But if the numbers released by GM are true, then the ‘Slade is a tremendous advance. The technical improvements move it from 12 mpg to 18 mpg (EPA estimate for city driving).

By contrast, a 4-cylinder Honda Accord gets 22 mpg and 4-cylinder Toyota Camry gets 21 mp. A 6-cylinder Accord gets 19 mpg and 6-cylinder Toyota Camry 19 mpg. Neither the Accord nor Camry offer the same amount of space as the Escalade.

Bottom line will be important: how much is the price premium? And will buyers take it? The Prius stands alone as a vehicle only offered as a hybrid, and the others (i.e., Camry hybrid, Civic hybrid) have not carried the green halo.

Embargo, emshmargo: Cadillac Escalade Hybrid released into the wild – Autoblog
Regardless, the nitty-gritty of the “fuel-efficient” ‘Slade involves mating the 6.0-liter V8 to a host of energy-saving technologies. To begin with, the engine features Active Fuel Management and a “late-intake valve closing” system, which, when partnered with a new electrically variable transmission with start/stop tech, regenerative breaking, a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride storage system, a 42-volt variable-assist power steering setup, an electrically-driven 300-volt air-con unit, plus a new exhaust and resonator, boosts fuel economy by… wait for it… 50-percent. As Mr. F. points out, that brings the average in-town fuel consumption up to 18 mpg from 12.

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