2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. Click image to enlarge

Related articles on Autos
2008 Chicago Auto Show
Test Drive: 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

Manufacturer’s web site
General Motors of Canada

Share this story on Facebook

Join the official Autos Facebook group

Discuss this story in the forum at CarTalkCanada

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery:
2009 Cadillac Escalade

Surrey, British Columbia – Cadillac calls it the world’s first full-sized SUV hybrid, and according to them, its two-mode hybrid drive system contributes to a 32 per cent decrease in fuel consumption around town and at least a 25 per cent decrease overall.

The 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is the newest and priciest member of the Escalade family, one that also includes the gas-powered standard-length Escalade, the extended-wheelbase ESV SUV, and the pickup truck-like EXT model. All Escalades sold in Canada come with all-wheel drive.

Two-mode hybrid technology

BMW, Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz collaborated in the development of this vehicle’s two-mode hybrid system; in the Escalade it is mated to a special 6.0-litre V8 gasoline engine and GM’s new electrically variable transmission.

The two-mode hybrid system has advantages over existing hybrid technology in that it provides better highway fuel efficiency and also permits trailer towing. It can supply V8 engine power, yet its fuel consumption is similar to that of a four-cylinder engine.

2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. Click image to enlarge

“Two-mode” refers to its two variable transmission gear ranges. One is used primarily for low-speed city driving and a second for high-speed highway driving. A computer decides the most suitable mode of operation and optimal gear ratio depending on what’s expected: quick acceleration, power to pull a trailer or optimal fuel economy.

The first mode of the system is designed for low speed and light loads. It can operate with electric power only, engine power only and any combination of engine and electric power. When the first mode operates, the gas engine is shut off for extended periods of time and it moves exclusively under electric power at low speeds.

The second mode is mainly used at highway speeds. In addition to electric assist, the second mode uses active fuel management, cam phasing and late-intake valve closure, to allow even more efficient engine operation. Full eight-cylinder engine power is provided when conditions demand it, such as passing, towing or climbing a steep grade.

Pages: 1 2 3 All

Connect with Autos.ca