2008 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: 2008 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

Friday, November 09, 2007

2008 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

2008 Cadillac Escalade HybridThe 2008 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid will debut today the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami. It won't show up in dealerships until the summer, but some of your favorite celebrities will be getting them sooner, I'm sure.

The Escalade will be the third 2 mode hybrid from GM to hit the streets following the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon Hybrids, which started production this week.

Expect the Escalade hybrid to improve its mileage to 20 mpg in the city, or about a 50% gain over the 12 mpg from the 6.2-liter V-8. Highway mileage should stay the same, although the engine will shut off half of the valves when cruising on the highway. It also comes with GM's Active Fuel Management. Most of the city driving gain comes from being a full hybrid, capable of getting up to 25 mph on electric power alone.

Which, believe it or not, is very impressive. Since the Escalade Hybrid was designed No aerodynamic changes were made to the Hybrid, and no weight reduction was made in the bodywork, it's still a 3-ton truck.

The two-mode hybrid system has a 300-volt nickel metal hydride battery pack, which can be recharged through regenerative braking. The other half of the engine will be powered by the standard 6.0-liter V8. Together, the hybrid engine will produce 332 hp and 367 lbs-ft of torque. It will come in two or four-wheel drive modes.

The battery pack is located under the second row, so no captain's chairs, just a bench seat. When driving at low speeds, the cooling fan adjusts itself to a quieter setting so as to reduce cabin noise.

This Cadillac is not for everyone. Although GM has not released a price, yet, rumor has it closer to $70,000 than it will be to $60,000. GM is hoping to sell a few thousand of this luxury hybrid a year.

Although there will be a hybrid badge, very little has otherwise been changed. There's a new exhaust system and resonator tuned for the fuel management operation, which cuts down on noise. The climate system is tri-zone. The 300-volt A/C compresor runs off the electric motor, so you can still be cooled off even when the gas engine is turned off. There is a 42-volt variable-assist power steering which the engineers estimate gives you a fuel savings of 1/2 mpg.

Oh, and don't forget the 22-inch wheels.

Press Release follows:


MIAMI – Cadillac announced the world premiere of the Escalade Hybrid, the world's first fuel-saving hybrid applied to a large luxury SUV. Powered by an innovative, fuel-saving 2-Mode Hybrid system, Escalade Hybrid will deliver more than a 50-percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving – all while delivering the same distinctive style, segment-leading features and full-size capability that have made the Escalade an icon.

"Escalade, already the sales and style leader among large luxury SUVs, now adds the desirability of a fuel-saving, technically advanced hybrid system," said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. "The arrival of Escalade Hybrid means that consumers can now use less fossil fuel, reduce emissions and still enjoy the benefits of a full-size luxury SUV."

The Hybrid goes on sale in the summer of 2008 and is the newest example of Escalade's technology leadership.

"No other manufacturer offers a hybrid than can seat eight luxuriously while simultaneously carrying or trailering lots of cargo comfortably," Taylor said. "And no hybrid delivers the dramatic presence that is synonymous with Escalade."

Escalade Hybrid is available in 2WD and 4WD configurations. It delivers up to 6,000 pounds (2,722 kg) of usable towing capacity on 2WD models and 5,700 pounds (2,565 kg) on 4WD models. All of Escalade's standard comfort and convenience features are included. This includes an eight-inch, touch-screen navigation system that displays performance readouts of the 2-Mode Hybrid system on the screen.

Escalade Hybrid extends Cadillac's leadership in the large luxury SUV category. Escalade sales have grown in the face of changing sales trends and increased competition. In fact, Escalade sales increased 22 percent in September over year-ago sales. Other models in the Escalade lineup include the extended-length Escalade ESV and the versatile Escalade EXT luxury-utility truck. The Hybrid model is available with the standard Escalade body style.

Patented 2-Mode Hybrid technology
The Escalade's 2-Mode Hybrid system allows it to return exceptional fuel economy in both city and highway while delivering the capabilities of a true luxury SUV. In city driving, this advanced hybrid power system enables Escalade to launch and drive low speeds on electricity alone. As additional power is demanded, the system blends output from the battery and gas engine smoothly.

GM's patented 2-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. AFM enables the V-8 engine to seamlessly shut off half of its cylinders when less power is needed, such as during highway cruising. This new hybrid system not only enables the Escalade Hybrid to drive low speeds on electricity alone, it also allows the 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical four-cylinder mode for longer periods.

The key to Escalade's 2-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.

The 2-Mode Hybrid system provides seamless, dependable power on demand in an efficient package. In fact, its electric motor is less than half the size of those in single-mode hybrid systems. This technology was developed and is still used in fleets of hybrid transit buses on the streets today in dozens of major North American cities. Scaled-down for use in full-size SUVs, the 2-Mode system delivers fuel savings where it is needed most – in large vehicles with high levels of capability. It is a core part of GM's energy diversity efforts, which are centered on reducing dependence on petroleum, improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and minimizing the automobile's impact on the environment.

Cadillac's smooth and quiet power
Acoustic details specific to the Hybrid model ensure it delivers the superior luxury that has been an Escalade hallmark since its inception. The details include:
• A new 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.

Escalade aesthetic
The Escalade Hybrid retains the qualities that have made it the leading large luxury SUV and a standard-bearer of Cadillac's overall product renaissance. It is instantly identifiable as a Cadillac and incorporates styling cues from the landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a detailed signature grille, front fender vent ports and layers of chrome accents.

The Escalade's warm and inviting interior features a premium layout. 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.

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


Anonymous said...

I don't think there is nothing more interesting to buy than greener technologies inside a cool large SUV like this Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, although I still do not this large SUV would be good for the pocket of people with common economy. It's nothing like Cadillac Sixteen Concept, but seeing this Escalade Hybrid, this GM innovation packed with cool looks, surely will put more guarantees to attract those who can afford good looks and also love greener technologies.


Unknown said...

It seems like that's exactly the type of customer GM is looking for. I'm not sure it's the best strategy, but I'm not an insider when it comes to their business decisions, either.

I would think that prices on a new and expensive system would start coming down when more are sold, right? So, if you limit your targeted sales to a select group of people, how are you going to bring the supply cost down?

It maybe that GM is not looking to bring the cost down quickly (or doesn't think they can do so at a rapid pace).

Anonymous said...

Maybe now my wife will let me drive an Escalade....

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