A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

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Thread: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member Ming's Avatar
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    A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    GM's surprising new hybrid
    Posted by: Adam Aston on August 16
    BusinessWeek.com
    8/16/07

    After checking out GM’s new entry, I was surprised, practically amazed, and convinced this could be a game changer. The engineering advancements that GM was showing off in the Yukon hybrid GM brought to Manhattan on a recent morning were impressive in their own right — more on that later. Likewise, the scope of GM’s vision to roll out the new system into new models left me more convinced of the company’s commitment to a technology it was dismissive of a few years back. Indeed, GM has been talking about this new so-called “2-mode hybrid” for years. Whether GM could scale it up into full production was a big question, though. The proof sat parked in the guise of an aerodynamically sculpted SUV (that sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but is true) parked outside a restaurant in New York’s art gallery district. It goes on sale later this year.

    The new hybrid design is a smart blend, joining a smart, new organization of the gas-electric drive train with GM's existing engine technology that imperceptibly turns off cylinders at cruising speeds. The combination improves mileage in city traffic and also while cruising on highways. GM pledges this approach will deliver a 20-25% mileage boost overall, even on big SUVs and pickups, and without sacrificing the horsepower American car buyers crave. Given GM's offerings in the hybrid market to date -- so-called mild hybrids like the Chevy Silverado with unimpressive mileage gains -- the new technology is a giant leap forward.

    First the technical details. If you could dismantle a Toyota or Ford hybrid today, you'd find a chunky electric motor connected up to the motor and drive train. Yet if you disassemble a Yukon, you won't see any electric motor. That's because GM was able to sneak a powerful electric generator into the big case that holds the transmission gears. This has many benefits. It saves space, since the transmission case is no bigger, even with the extra electric bits. The design should also make it easier for GM to adapt hybrid drive trains into other cars. And there may energy efficiency advantages in this approach (compared with the Toyota, Honda, Ford design) because it cuts down on the number and complexity of mechanical linkages necessary to join electric motor to gas engine. (Any mechanical engineers out there want to weigh in?). As an added plus, it frees up precious underbody space for batteries, regenerative braking systems, and the other goodies that make hybrids go.

    Source / Continued: http://www.businessweek.com/investin...id_cadill.html
    Last edited by Ming; 08-17-2007 at 05:58 PM.

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Ming
    "Oddly, GM won't be deploying this 2-mode system into any sedans, just SUVs and trucks. Given GM's success (at least till $3 gas) with trucks and SUVs, this makes sense: Americans don't necessarily want sedans, they're just buying more of them now since they get better mileage. If you can deliver a small SUV with car like mileage, who wouldn't opt for the bigger vehicle?"
    I was hoping this would be adapted to at least the midsize and larger cars. So what are the rumored Cadillac hybrid cars going to use? Is there a separate hybrid plan or will those just be mild jokes... er I mean mild hybrids?

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    The Two-Mode system is NOT just for SUV's and trucks.

    The Zeta cars will have the Two-Mode hybrid on them, mated to the 3.6L.

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    I was under the impression that the 2 mode could fit in larger sedans, like the STS or whatever they call its successor.


    I wonder when Mercedes and BMW will begin using this system?


    Also, the author did not mention that the Vue is FWD. I thought this version was certainly adaptable to smaller vehicles.
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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by nsap
    The Two-Mode system is NOT just for SUV's and trucks.

    The Zeta cars will have the Two-Mode hybrid on them, mated to the 3.6L.
    Any idea on a time frame?
    Last edited by CTGentleman; 08-17-2007 at 06:01 PM.

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by nsap

    The Zeta cars will have the Two-Mode hybrid on them, mated to the 3.6L.
    When?

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by CTGentleman
    Any idea on a time frame?
    2011 model-year.

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by nsap
    2011 model-year.
    That seems a little too far off there..
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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Seems like the next 3-4 years consist of some of the biggest product launches and changes in GM history. Problem is they're spread within a pretty short period. I fear a lot of the product will be neglected marketing-wise.

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJamesMc
    That seems a little too far off there..
    Not when the Impala RWD has been pushed back a year....

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by nsap
    The Zeta cars will have the Two-Mode hybrid on them, mated to the 3.6L.
    What a match that would make!... wow....
    Talk about a game changer... sign me up now!

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by CADILLACSIXTEEN
    What a match that would make!... wow....
    Talk about a game changer... sign me up now!
    Suppoedly the Two-Mode Impala will get a 80 HP gain over the base 3.6L Impala and have rather large increases in fuel economy. Price is to rival the Camry Hybrid...that's the target so to speak.

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    This is great - right about the time GM will be starting to ship the new fuel efficient Hybrid SUVs, Toyota is going to ship its new gas guzzler SUV.

    Talk about a great PR move!!!

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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    This two mode system is nothing short of amazing, but I don't see how many people are going to spend $10,000 extra for it. Fuel for a Tahoe sized vehicle is expensive but it going to take some time to make the $10k back then some.
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    Re: A Game Changer: GM's Surprising SUV Hybrid Makes Sense

    "Oddly, GM won't be deploying this 2-mode system into any sedans, just SUVs and trucks. Given GM's success (at least till $3 gas) with trucks and SUVs, this makes sense: Americans don't necessarily want sedans, they're justing more of them now since they get better mileage. If you can deliver a small SUV with car like mileage, who wouldn't opt for the bigger vehicle? This omission may be because the new all-in-one transmission-plus-electric-motor is too bulky to fit into smaller car forms."

    Why is it that no matter what, even in a glowing review, they always have to throw a dig in somehow. Read the last line and if that's not a dig, what isn't?

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