Some hybrid vehicles are unmistakable in that everybody knows they are hybrids, while others are much more discreet, having badges as their only identifiable clue. Then there are the unmistakeably un-green vehicles on the road, such as the obvious Hummers, Escalades and Navigators of the world. But, is it possible to combine the two? Can a company take a vehicle that has a very non-green image, make it a hybrid and have it gain acceptance in the green-friendly crowd?

The answers to those questions are yes and we'll see. Yes, GM is taking it's outlandish Escalade model and adding a hybrid drivetrain, and a sophisticated one at that. The vehicle will feature a 6.0 liter V8 engine with cylinder deactivation and attach it to a new transmission which also accepts motive power from two electric motors. The motors are capable of driving the vehicle under certain conditions without aid from the gasoline engine. Cadillac is also hinting that there will be a different front end on the vehicle, possibly one with better aerodynamics to complete the fuel efficiency theme?

The other question will be answered in 2008 when the hybrid Escalade goes on sale as a 2009 model. Will the vehicle be gobbled up by stars with a desire to be coddled while they portray a green image, or will it see duty as a family hauler for the wealthy who want to make a dent in their environmental impact? We'll see, won't we? One thing that I can't imagine is that people who can afford to purchase a hybrid Escalade will be all that worried about how much they can save filling it up, but what do I know? I can't afford the vehicle or its gas bill!

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[Source: Car and Driver]


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