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GM Hybrid Vehicles Buford GA

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Colonial Buick Pontiac GMC
(770) 962-1200
850 Collins Hill Rd
Lawrenceville, GA
 
Baranco Buick Pontiac GMC
(770) 985-3333
4355 Stone Mountain Hwy
Lilburn, GA
 
Carl Black Buick Pontiac Buick GMC Isuzu
(770) 475-9500
11225 Alpharetta Hwy
Roswell, GA
 
Lou Sobh Buick Pontiac GMC
(770) 941-0099
1301 Thornton Rd
Lithia Springs, GA
 
Boomershine Pointiac-Buick-GMC
(770) 980-6771
2150 Cobb Pkwy Se
Marietta, GA
 
Hardman Pontiac Buick GMC
(770) 718-3100
1592 Browns Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA
 
Pontiac Buick GMC Baranco
(770) 985-3333
4355 Stone Mountain Hwy
Lilburn, GA
 
Bellamy Strickland Chevrolet GMC Buick
(770) 954-3000
145 Industrial Blvd
Mcdonough, GA
 
Critz Buick GMC
(912) 447-0019
7000 Abercorn St
Savannah, GA
 
Cronic Buick & Pontiac GMC Chrysler Jeep
(770) 227-4271
2515 N Expressway
Griffin, GA
 

GM Introduces More Hybrid Models

There’s a lot going on with hybrids these days. In January at the Detroit Auto show, Toyota announced their new third-generation Prius, and Honda re-introduced their hybrid, the 2010 Insight. But for a lot of drivers, these four-cylinder sedans just won’t cut it.

For people who need more room or power, GM is now building full-size hybrid SUVs and trucks and I’ve just driven three different full-size models; the blinged-out Cadillac Escalade SUV and two pickup trucks, the GMC Sierra, and the Chevy Silverado.

Now normally, if one mentions the model names Escalade or Sierra or Silverado, people automatically think “gas hog.” But these full-size trucks deliver better city mileage than a sub-compact Scion tC coupe with a four-cylinder engine.

These three new GMs all use the same hybrid powertrain that has come from years of development that first bore fruit in 2008 with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrid SUVs. These were the first production vehicles to feature what GM calls an electrically-variable transmission (EVT). Within a case that looks like a traditional automatic gearbox, GM (along with partners Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Chrysler) managed to package two motor/generators and four fixed gear ratios.

When acting as motors, the EVT helps propel the these hybrids. As the SUV coasts or slows, the EVT goes into generator mode, transforming kinetic energy into electricity via regenerative braking. Countless hours of seat time went toward blending the EVT’s regen braking with the physical braking systems, and the transitions between the two are indistinguishable. The recaptured energy goes from the EVT for chemical storage in a 300-pound, 300-Volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack that resides under the second row seats.

Ahead of the EVT and in place of the a standard non-hybrid engines (a 403-horsepower 6.2 liter V-8 in the Escalade and a range of V-6 and V-8 engines in the pickups), there is a lightweight 6.0-liter all-aluminum V-8. To enhance efficiency, the engine utilizes cylinder deactivation (so it can run in V-4 mode) and variable valve timing (that enables the late closing of the intake valves to reduce pumping losses). The 6.0-liter produces 332 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration remains strong thanks to the immediate torque of the electric motors (184 lb-ft each) and a high-performance axle ratio.

A control unit manages all of the above elements using software that is much improved over the initial batch of GMC and Chevrolet SUVs. The result is that the new 2009 hybrids run strongly and smoothly. About all that’s lost compared to the non-hybrid, and this is particular to the Escalade, is the intoxicating exhaust note of the 6.2-liter that comes standard in the Cadillac.

The sensation of driving the hybrids is a bit odd if one expects a traditional experience. In easy-going driving, the engine RPM and exhaust note don’t correspond linearly to accele...

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