click above image for new pics of the 2008 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

Finally! For months and months we've been hearing that the upcoming two-mode hybrid SUVs from General Motors will have better fuel economy by this or that percent. Today we learned from Automotive News exactly how much better they'll be. The 2WD version of the Tahoe and Yukon Hybrids will achieve 21 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, while the 4WD version will get 20 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. For comparison's sake, the 2008 Chevy Tahoe 2WD gets 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway from its 5.3L V8.

We had a chance to drive GM's pair of two-mode hybrids recently, and we're pretty amazed at just how normal they felt. Since they are true hybrids, both will pull away from stop on pure electric power, which is a bit eery at first. Mash the throttle, however, and you'll be extremely surprised at how fast these hybrids accelerate. Their two-mode hybrid system is mated to a 6.0L V8, which, in combination with an assist from the electric motor, can really move these SUVs down the road. Together they produce 332 HP and 367 ft-lbs. of torque, which also allows for a 6,200 lbs. towing capacity!

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]

GM also spent a lot of time and money reducing their weight by adding an aluminum hood and rear hatch, lightweight wheels, and thinner seats. In fact, we've heard reports that a Tahoe Hybrid will weigh exactly the same as a regular Tahoe, despite the addition of the two-mode system and battery pack, the latter of which is hidden underneath the second-row seats. That's nothing short of amazing.

Of course, the two-mode hybrid system, weight savings and aerodynamic improvements must add a lot of cost to each GMT900 two-mode hybrid. You'd think so, but wouldn't be able to tell based on what GM will charge you for one. The base Chevy Tahoe LS starts at $34,000, while an upper level LTZ model begins at $45,510. Automotive News is reporting that the hybrid versions will start in the low- to mid-$40,000 range, a price we've corroborated with some inside sources who also tell us that the additional to cost to make these vehicles well exceeds what GM will charge for it.

We'll find out more details soon enough, as the Tahoe and Yukon Hybrids will officially debut tomorrow at the Texas State Fair.

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