• Nov 8, 2007
Embargo breaking has become another phenomenon that's equal parts corporate ignorance and now, just journalistic necessity. Farago over at The Truth About Cars has officially made it his mission to bust open any automaker-imposed embargo he finds, and his opening salvo is to publish a pic of the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. While we agree with Farago that our first duty is to serve the readers, we could think of bigger bombs to drop than this vehicle.

Regardless, the nitty-gritty of the "fuel-efficient" 'Slade involves mating the 6.0-liter V8 to a host of energy-saving technologies. To begin with, the engine features Active Fuel Management and a "late-intake valve closing" system, which, when partnered with a new electrically variable transmission with start/stop tech, regenerative breaking, a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride storage system, a 42-volt variable-assist power steering setup, an electrically-driven 300-volt air-con unit, plus a new exhaust and resonator, boosts fuel economy by... wait for it... 50-percent. As Mr. F. points out, that brings the average in-town fuel consumption up to 18 mpg from 12. Despite the improvement from egregious to simply bad fuel economy, GM believes the Escalade Hybrid will be hit with eco-conscious celebs. Somehow we doubt it.


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  • 38 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Speaking of zero credibility, a 50% increase in fuel economy is actually very significant, and 18 mpg city is a very good number for a vehicle of this size.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How about a diet too? We're talking a premium SUV here, it should offer /some/ lightweight material tech.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Instead of the gasoline engine, pair the hybrid system with the diesel that GM announced last week and you'll probably see city of MPG in the 26-30 range. Now that really turn some heads.
        • 7 Years Ago
        the diesel would not work with the twomode hybrid system. it cannot handle that much torque, which would literally tear the transmission apart.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, they could put a diesel engine in that hybrid vehicle. The problem is it would add the $4000-$6000 premium the diesel is likely to command. When coupled with the already expensive hybrid systems it becomes so complex and expensive it just wouldn't sell very much.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Eco-friendly" and "american V8" and usually 2 things that don't go together....
        • 7 Years Ago
        How's the Vette supposed to weigh 3200lbs if you're gonna put the huge, heavy Lexus engine in there and a very heavy automatic transmission?
        • 7 Years Ago
        American pushrod V8s are actually more fuel-efficient that most European & Japanese "High-Tech" engines.

        Lexus LS 460
        Engine & Performance
        Engine Type 4.6-liter V8
        Horsepower 380 @ 6,400 RPM [3]
        Torque (lb-ft) 367 @ 4,100 RPM [3]
        Displacement (L/cu in) 4.6/281
        Valves 32
        Cam Type Four-cam
        Electronic Timing Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
        Compression Ratio 11.8:1
        Emissions Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II)
        Performance
        0 - 60 mph (sec) 5.4 [3] [4]
        Top Track Speed (mph) 130 (electronically limited) [3] [4]
        ¼-Mile Acceleration (sec) 13.9 [3] [4]
        Aerodynamic Drag Coefficient 0.26


        Fuel Economy
        City (mpg) - estimated 16 [5]
        Highway (mpg) - estimated 24 [5]
        Fuel-Tank Capacity (gal / L) 22.2 / 84

        2008 Chevrolet Corvette

        Engine EPA estimated MPG city/hwy.
        6.2L LS3 V8
        six-speed manual transmission 16/26
        Six-Speed Paddle Shift with Automatic Modes 15/25
        7.0 LS7 V8
        six-speed manual transmission 15/24

        So, there a 4.6L Lexus developing 380hp getting the same fuel economy as a 6.4L Chevy that develops 60 more hp.



      • 7 Years Ago
      GM really has it backwards.

      First, you put the 4.5L clean diesel in your full size SUV, the one that gets 25% better fuel mileage city and highway. (While making more torque than the 7.0L Corvette Z06 engine, never mind the 6.2L Escalade engine.)

      Then, you put the hybrid technology in there that increases the city fuel economy by 50%.

      I can't understand why no one, never mind GM, has done this yet. It would create a full size SUV that gets the city fuel economy of a Honda Civic, while still being able to tow over 8,000lbs and carry eight (possibly 9 with the front bench seat) people. I would buy one in a heart beat, and so would a lot of other people I know.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Clean Diesels are not clean and as such even when placed in a hybrid do not get any of the tax breaks conferred to hybrids, either to the company that makes them or to the consumer.

        GM and Ford made a Diesel Hybrid working concept years ago (on the taxpayer dollar), but there's no way to sell it due to the circumstances of the taxation.

        Which is fine by me honestly, because Diesels produce 3.5x as much NOx as a gas engine and we have a huge problem with smog (caused by NOx) in my area.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey Paul P.

        The target market may be the reason behind GM's madness. The Cadillac Escalade is first and foremost, an "Urban Assault Vehicle" A very small percentage of these, spend their lives as beasts of burden. These are nothing more than personal conveyence for the well heeled, and a few wannabes from the 'hood. Besides, Chicks dig 'em.

        These have become the conveyence of preference for business execs., movie stars, and pro athletes. Just about anyone who has a fleet of automotive toys, includes one of these in said fleet. These folks are not the diesel crowd. Heavily populated cities like Los Angeles, New York and Miami where the majority of these UAVs live are also not diesel friendly environments either.

        I know making a diesel would endear these barges to others who would not look at them now, but I doubt that it would be a large enough number to make it a profitable venture.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It will be a hit for those who have a need for such a vehicle. Let's face it, as much as we hate those big vehicle, there are some people who need the room and/or to haul things. Many contractors use them as multi purpose vehicles. But some families will buy them because gas prices is no problem for them. Now those are ones we frown upon!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Minivans have more room than the Escalade (and other similar 4x4s)
        Let's see: 2008 Honda Odyssey. Max cargo capacity = 147 cu ft.

        2008 Escalade: 109 cu ft
        2008 Escalade ESV: 137 cu ft

        In fact, the last few contractors that came to my house had minivans. I guess they are not that style conscious.

        So the argument that someone needs a giant 4x4 for the interior capacity is clearly bogus.
        But for towing the Slade is better. And more stylish to some eyes for sure.

        The Ody gets 17/25 by epa. So slightly worse than the hybrid Slade in the city but better on the highway.

        Having said this, there are obviously people who have an emotional need to drive something like this, so having the hybrid option is good. Saving 50% of a lot of gas (the consumption of a regular Escalade) is better than saving 50% of a little gas (the consumption of a Honda Civic).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Problem is, No one NEEDS an Escalade. Some people may find a Tahoe moderately useful, but no one needs the drag-queen variant. That said, most of the target demographic could give 2 $#!+s about fuel economy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Eco-minded Ballers? Politicians, maybe. This makes LS600h look smart. If it serves as a testbed for new tech, its great. Otherwise, its like putting low-fat mayo on a BLT.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Amen to comment one. RF has an agenda- to promote RF. They are not the ones I would choose to compliment or castigate, as mere acknowledgment will only spur them on to new lows. FWIW, I believe 18 to be damn respectable for this size of vehicle, too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dear Blogger,

      It's interesting to note that the Liberals, who fear being judged and loathe anyone who is judgmental, are themselves so anti-SUV. Why such strong convictions from a group of people who claim that there is no universal good, bad, right or wrong?

      Liberals say “Don't be Judgmental, yet they hate SUV's, and hate George Bush. They say “Celebrate Diversity” yet they hate SUV's, and hate Conservatives. They say “Be Open Minded”, yet they hate SUV's, and hate anyone who doesn't subscribe to their politically correct Group Think.

      Myself, I am judgmental, like any rational being. Yet, I don't "hate" those big vehicles, as Mr. John Dee phrases it. In fact, I rather like them. They tend to be comfortable and spacious. I don't drive a big one because I don't want it. But, as an open minded Libertarian, I figure as long as I am not harmed by another man's actions, to each his own.

      I assume that the SUV hatred is based on the theory of man made Global Warming. Fact: the planet is warming. Fact: It has warmed and cooled in the past, with much greater Deltas. Fact: it has yet to be determined that the actions of man (burning fossil fuels) is the sole cause of this period's planetary warming. All of this combined undermines the Liberal's hatred for SUV's, rendering it unwarranted at best, hypocritical and irrational at worst (political ambition and raw avarice brings out the worst in people -are you listening Mr. Gore?).

      Finally, and this is the important bit: If it is demonstrated in an OBJECTIVE court of law that an SUV's owner has somehow picked my pocket or broken my arm, I expect recompense. Until then, I'll just go along my merry little life, not hating others for values that happen to differ from my own. I might even plant a couple more trees this year...

      Please remember that this is America, land of the free. Be judgmental, be accountable, but accept that others have different values. Vote to protect your property and your person, and to promote personal responsibility and accountability, just in case SUV's ARE proven to cause personal and property damage. And for all you Liberal types who hate, and hate, and hate: read John Locke, Ayn Rand, and Milton Friedman. You'll live a happier life.

      Of note: My V6 Pathfinder gets 16.5 city, and about 20 hwy. Even my 2550 lbs. MX5 gets about 25 mpg average. Suddenly, the Caddy's numbers don't look all that bad. Still, $60k+ is not worth it to me. It may be to others, and GM knows this.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I posted this on TTAC,
      OK here are my thoughts on embargoes.

      1. They do serve the reader in one way. They’re actually getting official, fully informed information. When it’s leaked, broken etc, some of the sites that run with it don’t have the actual release, they’re going off of what’s on a blog etc. How does that serve a reader or consumer? Not well. Not good journalism.

      2. There is only one reason publications break embargoes. Traffic. Meaning Money. You name the site that’s why they’re doing it. you’re making a point on this site but still I doubt you’ll argue with the bump in traffic.

      My #1 point was proven here. I'm thinking that the Escalade does have low weight materials because both the Tahoe and Yukon Hybrids use them. That's bad information.

      And yes if this gets 18/20 mpg what are we sneezing at? And remember this is the FIRST application of the two mode system. Does no one think it will improve with time?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not sure why people make LS600hl comments in reference to this vehicle. The LS600hL gets worse fuel economy than the normal non-hybrid version, this gets 50% better fuel economy. There's no comparison.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, that's a lot better economy than the pre-production numbers suggested. I remember hearing about improvements in the 20-30% range. I hope it doesn't cut down on any towing / hauling capability too much.
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