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GM Claiming 40 percent economy gain for Hybrid SUVs

Big Green

GM Claiming 40 percent economy gain for Hybrid SUVs
Posted July 30 2007 01:41 PM by Edward A. Sanchez 
Filed under: Opinions, Trend Observations, Truck News , Chevy

2008 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

According to a story in USA Today, GM is now claiming up to a 40-percent improvement in fuel economy over its non-hybrid counterparts for its new full-size 2-mode hybrid SUVs. Original projections targeted a 25-percent increase.

As icing on the cake, the hybrid models will reportedly be equipped with a special version of the 6.0-liter V-8 engine, larger than the standard Tahoe's 5.3. Add the larger displacement to the added boost of the hybrid motor, and you've potentially got a pretty quick ride.

So, are there any downsides to the new big hybrids? Sure, a few. You take a 2,000-pound hit in towing capacity, and an estimated $10,000 premium for the hybrid hardware. Initial production estimates are a conservative 10,000 units, but could potentially go much higher.

Our Take: It seems Americans have an insatiable appetite for big things. If you can get as good or better economy than the new unibody crossovers, and still have your big, beefy body-on-frame chassis and V-8 power, some may be willing to pay a premium. Would you?

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