2010 Escalade Platinum Hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: 2010 Escalade Platinum Hybrid

Monday, March 30, 2009

2010 Escalade Platinum Hybrid

Cadillac added a new choice to their Escalade options. The 2010 Escalade Platinum Hybrid is everything you would expect from a the Platinum Escalade, plus a hybrid motor to up your fuel economy to 20 mpg.

I suspected the Hybrid Escalade might be one of the better hybrids GM has to offer and so far, it looks like that's true. It's hard to say any hybrid is doing well in this economy, but since the Escalade hybrid makes up 30% of all Escalade sales, it looks like the upsell of a hybrid motor to the people interested in spending close to $100,000 on their SUV isn't a hard sale to make.

When the hybrid option costs someone $3,000 more, that extra cost gets lost in the other luxury items being purchased along with the car.

Press Release from GM follows.

DETROIT –Cadillac recently launched the 2010 Escalade Platinum Hybrid, the most technically advanced large luxury SUV yet, blending the exclusive features of the Platinum model with the fuel-saving powertrain of the Escalade Hybrid. It delivers 20 mpg, up to 50-percent improved city fuel economy over non-hybrid models.

“This is the ultimate Escalade, combining the top luxury features of the Platinum edition with the world’s first hybrid on a large luxury SUV ,” said Mark McNabb, North America vice president, Cadillac/Premium Channel. “ Along with the upcoming CTS Sport Wagon and SRX Crossover, the Escalade Platinum Hybrid represents an opportunity for the changing priorities of luxury consumers who want dramatic design and technology combined with fuel efficiency and functionality.”

The Escalade’s two-mode hybrid system allows it to return greatly improved fuel economy while still delivering all the performance, capabilities, style and technology of a true luxury SUV. The limited-edition Escalade Platinum model includes other advanced technologies such as light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps and Cadillac’s advanced Magnetic Ride Control system.

This blend of luxury and fuel efficiency has resonated with consumers as Escalade Hybrid is now the choice of 30% of 2009-model Escalade buyers. I Typically, a hybrid is the choice of 10% or fewer of buyers on vehicles across the auto industry in which there is a choice between a hybrid and a conventional powertrain..

Escalade Platinum Hybrid is available in 2WD and 4WD configurations. It delivers up to 5,800 pounds (2,631 kg) of usable towing capacity on 2WD models and 5,600 pounds (2,540 kg) on 4WD models.

GM’s patented two-mode hybrid technology

GM’s patented two-mode hybrid system consists of an advanced electrically variable transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). These systems work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late-intake valve closing (LIVC) technology.

The key to Escalade’s two-mode hybrid system is that the electric power used to propel the vehicle is generated by the hybrid system itself. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity that is stored in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy is used to move the vehicle and the regenerative braking cycle is renewed.

Providing power to the hybrid’s electrically variable transmission’s (EVT) two electric motors is a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). This battery pack is located under the second-row seat, where it takes up virtually no additional space and does not interfere with second- or third-row ingress/egress.

Additional features of the hybrid powertrain and supporting systems include:

  • Fully blended regenerative braking to capture energy that would otherwise be lost during vehicle deceleration
  • A 6.0L V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management and late intake valve closing (Atkinson-cycle combustion process) for reduced pumping losses and better overall fuel economy. It is rated at 332 horsepower (248 kW) and 367 lb.-ft. of torque (498 Nm) and runs on regular unleaded fuel.
  • Auto Stop mode. Once the vehicle reaches 0 mph, the gasoline engine automatically shuts down, leaving the engine off and allowing the vehicle to launch and drive at low speeds under electric power alone, such as during city driving or while stuck in heavy stop-and-go traffic
  • An exhaust system and resonator specially tuned for the 6.0L LIVC engine’s Active Fuel Management operation. It ensures comfortable interior acoustics and a pleasant exhaust note during both V-4 and V-8 operation
  • An electrically driven, 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off. It includes the standard tri-zone climate system
  • An electrically driven, 42-volt variable-assist power steering reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems
  • The Energy Storage System cooling system’s internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds, when the fan could more easily be heard by the occupants

The Escalade Platinum Hybrid’s battery pack durability and reliability are maintained via optimized charge and discharge cycles, as well as a dedicated cooling system that draws air from the passenger compartment. As part of the vehicle’s emission control system, the energy storage system is warranted for eight years/100,000 miles.

Exclusive Package of Luxury, Style and Technology

In the new Escalade Platinum Hybrid, the hybrid system’s efficiency is complemented by an exclusive package of luxury, style and technology, including:

* A distinctive front fascia and grille patterned after Cadillac’s acclaimed CTS sport sedan
* Unique 22-inch wheels
* Magnetic Ride Control technology
* Light emitting diode (LED) headlamps
* Exclusive interior appointments with Aniline leather
* DVD entertainment system with screens integrated in front-seat headrests

Magnetic Ride Control is the world’s fastest reacting suspension system and gives the Escalade Platinum more precise body motion control. It is a real-time damping system – “reading” the road in 1-millisecond intervals – that replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a synthetic fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly.

The LED headlamps emulate the characteristics of natural daylight much more closely than traditional auto lighting. LEDs are environmentally friendly, with a usable life more than 20 times longer than traditional halogen bulbs.

Inside the Escalade Platinum is the latest example of Cadillac’s 21 st-century return to handcrafted luxury details. The instrument panel, center storage console and door trim are wrapped and stitched by hand. They feature decorative French seams that convey an elegantly tailored look and feel. Materials include rich leather on the instrument panel, with unique wood inlays and aluminum trim.

Aniline leather is unique to the Escalade Platinum and is used to trim the first- and second-row seats. Contrasting-color stitching is used on the French seams for a distinctive, luxurious appearance and the seatbacks feature embroidered Cadillac wreath and crest insignias. The leather-covered seats are comfortable and convenient, with the industry-exclusive power fold-and-tumble second-row seat feature that eases access to the third-row seat.

Additional standard interior features include Platinum-specific door sills and floor mats; a heated steering wheel; and heated and cooled cupholders and a power liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button. Also, the DVD entertainment system adds screens integrated into each front-seat headrest, in addition to the existing roof-mounted screen.

Each front-row headrest screen has its own driver and input controls. The headrest units can be operated independently or in tandem. This system enables passengers in different seats to watch or listen to different entertainment choices. Also including is the acclaimed Bose 5.1 Digital Surround system, as well as the eight-inch touch screen for DVD-based navigation and control of the DVD, CD, MP3 and XM Satellite Radio entertainment.

Evolving Cadillac Fleet of Luxury, Fuel Efficiency and Functionality

The Escalade Platinum Hybrid joins an evolving fleet of Cadillacs that are focused on fuel efficiency and functionality combined with dramatic design and advanced technology. Cadillac will launch the all-new SRX crossover this summer with high levels of functionality and a 3.0L Direct Injection V6 engine that delivers five more horsepower and a 10-15 fuel economy improvement over the 3.6L engine it replaces. The CTS Sport Wagon will also launch this summer with the same fuel efficient engine along with greater functionality than has ever been delivered by Cadillac’s core nameplate.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

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