The 8/24 San Jose Mercury News reported on their test drive of the GMC Yukon 2-mode hybrid, a full-size sport-utility with as many as eight seats, the capability to tow a boat, that delivers a fuel-economy gain and can run on pure electricity.
The Yukon is claimed to get 25% greater overall fuel economy and 40% greater in city driving than the standard 2008 Yukon with a 5.3-liter V-8, that is rated at 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway (new EPA MPG rating system, which lower MPG estimates for most vehicles). The hybrid is equipped with a 6.0 liter V-8 for better low-end torque.
The gas engine stops when you come to a stop. If you don't gun the engine, you can accelerate to about 30 mph before the gas engine kicks in.
Some of the other features as described in the article are:
The vehicle also includes GM's Active Fuel Management (AFM) system that cuts out half of the V-8's cylinders when they're not needed. (also on regular Yukon)
The 2-mode hybrid transmission - "a piece of art," Micky Bly, GM's director of hybrid powertrain integration says - it fits into the same space as a standard six-speed automatic. It contains two 60-kilowatt motors, and has four fixed gears, three planetary gear sets and four clutches.
It, plus regenerative braking, allows improvements in both city and highway driving, thus the 2-mode designation. In the first mode, either electricity, the gas engine or both operate. In the second mode, at highway speeds, the electric bits boost the gasoline V-8. . . .
The hybrid components, including the 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, add about 400 pounds to the truck's weight. Engineers took out 320 of that by making lighter seats, making the hood and rear hatch out of aluminum and removing some unneeded bits such as the starter motor and alternator.
Designers made the vehicle more aerodynamic, with a new front end, a rear spoiler and even new wheels and running boards that lessen wind resistance. . . .
Prices haven't been announced, but expect the hybrid versions of the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon to be similar to those of its top-line gasoline trim levels. For Chevy, that's the Tahoe LTZ at $45,680. For GMC, that's somewhere between the $39,890 Yukon SLT and the $49,910 Yukon Denali.
"This will not be the most expensive Yukon you can buy," said GMC spokeswoman Monique Brentley.
The question I have is, what would the mileage rating be of the regular Yukon with the weight reduction and the aerodynamic improvements? Its hard to tell from pictures whether the aerodynamic improvements have been made to both the regular and hybrid models. It would seem to me that it would cost less to have only one style. The regular Yukon may be the same as the 2007 model with only minor cosmetic changes.