New GM Full-Size SUVs Could Get Hybrid, Diesel Options
Higher Gear Counts for Transmissions Also on the Way
With the introduction of its 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade full-size SUVs, General Motors didn't exactly shock the market with the announcement of the 5.3- and 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8 engines and six-speed transmissions, the same as introduced in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. But, according to Automotive News, the powertrains introduced at the launch of the vehicles is not the end of the story.
Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, said the large SUVs may soon be receiving eight- and possibly even 10-speed transmissions, as well as other powertrain variations, such as hybrid and possibly even diesel variants. The hybrid versions of the last-generation SUVs were never big sellers, and although the models got significantly better city fuel economy than the conventional models, the difference in highway fuel economy was minimal, and the added cost was substantial, making many shoppers question the option's value.
Prior to GM's 2009 bankruptcy and reorganization, the company had completed development on a new 4.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 destined for the 1/2-ton trucks that featured narrow-angle cylinder banks, reverse-flow heads, dual overhead cams, and a compacted graphite iron block. The engine was designed to fit into the space where a conventional small-block gas V-8 would fit. The intriguing engine was even announced for production at GM's massive Tonawanda engine plant in upstate New York. It's unknown if the shelved V-8 diesel will be put into production, or another diesel powerplant might be used.
Luke did not give any specific timeline for when these changes would appear in the new SUVs.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)