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2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Road Test
2009 Escalade Hybrid gets lift from latest technologies
By Bill Roebuck
With a more dramatic design and enhanced technology for its large luxury SUV line in 2009, Cadillac also can boast about its Escalade Hybrid, the world's first fuel-saving hybrid in this segment. The impact of the hybrid powertrain is significant, as it delivers up to a 32 per cent fuel economy improvement in city driving.
Powered by GM's two-mode hybrid system, this vehicle can still seat eight luxuriously while simultaneously carrying or trailering loads of cargo. The Escalade Hybrid includes a 4WD configuration for all-weather handling prowess, plus it delivers up to 2,540 kg (5,600 lb) of usable towing capacity.
Many buyers choose the Escalade for its presence, and with the hybrid option, that presence can be significantly enhanced.
Did you know that input for the last Escalade redesign came from big-name entertainers and sports celebrities? As traditional Escalade drivers, their influence was thought to reflect the desires of like-minded buyers.
The Escalade Hybrid is easily 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. It has an MSRP of $93,390.
Nearly all of Escalade's standard comfort and convenience features are included as standard equipment on the hybrid model, including a touch-screen navigation system that displays power flows of the two-mode Hybrid system.
In city driving, this hybrid power system enables the Escalade to launch and drive low speeds on electricity alone. As additional power is demanded, the system blends output from the battery and gas motors.
A key contributor to the Escalade Hybrid's fuel economy is the gasoline engine's Auto Stop mode. Once the vehicle reaches 0 km/h, the gasoline engine is automatically shut down. By leaving the engine off and allowing the vehicle to move only under electric power, such as during heavy stop-and-go traffic, fuel consumption and emissions are greatly reduced.
The hybrid battery pack is located under the second-row seat, where it takes up virtually no additional space and does not interfere with second- or third-row ingress/egress.
On the highway, the V8 engine can seamlessly shut off half of its cylinders when less power is needed.
The Escalade Hybrid also features fully blended regenerative braking to capture energy that would otherwise be lost during vehicle deceleration; braking energy is converted to electrical energy and stored for future use.
To ensure a quiet, smooth ride, a new exhaust system and resonator are specially tuned for the engine. The air conditioning system can cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off.
With top truck power and a world of Cadillac amenities blended with the latest fuel-efficient technology, the Escalade Hybrid lets you act famous in more ways than one.
Posted Jan. 19, 2009
Manufacturer's website: www.gmcanada.com