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General Motors isn't saying how it plans to do it, but according to our friends at PickupTrucks.com, it is saying that consumers are "...going to see substantial improvements in towing capability in our next hybrids." Right now, the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid can pull 6,100 pounds with their electrically-assisted, multi-displacement 6.0-liter V8 engines. The improvement will be "up to 50% more," meaning a tow rating of 9,000 pounds could be coming this way.

If GM can wring a full 50% improvement out of the drivetrain, that would put the hybrids just 1,600 pounds short of the max towing capacity of the standard gasoline V8 crew cab half-ton with the enhanced tow package. The transmission torque capacity and the necessary cooling systems are the apparently the chief limitations to be overcome, and GM says if the current package can evolve enough, then "one of the things you might consider is E-Flex." And how neat would a Volt pickup be?

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      A Volt pickup has the same snowball's chance as the G8 ST pickup. Actually less chance, since the Volt may never be produced, and the G8 is. Sort of.

      But if you want a hybrid pickup for $55k, go ahead.
        • 6 Years Ago
        GM is jettisoning Saturn, Hummer, Saab, and probably Pontiac - all because they are unprofitable. The Volt will certainly be unprofitable, and GM admits this. How will their Congressional managers permit them to go forward with another losing product? Terrible business case.

        GM recently said that a "key" ingredient to the Volt's success is infrastructure upgrades, which they are 'hoping' will happen in their two target cities - SF and DC. Terrible market support.

        The Volt will be priced near $40,000. Terrible price for an 'economy' car.

        After 40 miles, the Volt will be running on the equivalent of a 72-HP engine, and the first 40 miles will not happen if it is cold outside. Terrible performance for anything built in 2011.

        IF Congress permits the Volt program to continue, they (or the American taxpayers, really) will have to subsidize every sale of this vehicle. Consumers will soon discover that there is no financial reason to buy a Volt, and its performance and complexity - not to mention GM's tenuous standing as a going concern - will scare them off.

        I am aware that GM is working on Volt 2.0. The announcement of the second generation of a car that has not yet been released yet is pure salesmanship. They are trying desperately to keep Congressional support flowing. With all the hoopla surrounding the Volt program, GM is curiously quiet about how it actually performs.

        I would love for the Volt to be successful from all these perspectives, but reality says it can't be. So something will have to give.

        As for the next-generation hybrid pickups, there are probably some GM engineers sweating this publicity stunt.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The volt will never be produced? I'm sorry, you must be mistaken. You are aware that GM is working on the second generation Volt as we speak. If any car will make it to the market, it's this one. And as for the Volt Pickup comment, Autoblog didn't mean a Volt with a truck bed, they meant a pickup truck with the Volt or "Voltec" powertrain.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You forget, gslippy - several members on the automaker review board are environmentalists. I'm sure that they would also vote to pull funding from GM if they didn't show "an honest effort" re: fuel economy, and that also means pickups.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a good idea, especially given the low incremental cost. But it's also time for GM to roll out the two-mode system on their customer SUVs. The Traverse and the Enclave need this as soon as possible.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is important, but I'd prefer a significant reduction in price. That $38,000 price tag is ridiculously expensive. Make it more like $27K and offer it with a smaller regular or extended cab and you'd have something many more people would buy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      An all electric truck would be a great tower with its max torque at 0 rpm. GM needs to offer these trucks with the standalone hybrid option instead of having to pay about 50 grand for every other option minus four wheel drive and a sun room.
      • 6 Years Ago
      All their problems and they're still throwing money at HYBRID PICKUPS? Jesus Christ...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pickups are the highest selling vehicles in the land.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why not, GM already makes pick up mild hybrid and ethanol trucks.

        Do you honestly think that a single individual in USA came into dealership and asked, "Hey is this truck running on ethanol, cause that's what i am using."

        This is YET ANOTHER waist of money by GM, just like a mild hybrid program, ethanol, Volt, Lutz and Wagoners salaries and many many other programs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry S2K, you can make all the fuel-efficient cars you want but it doesn't matter if I won't drive 'em.
      • 6 Years Ago
      but will it have 50% better fuel economy...
        • 6 Years Ago
        But 50% higher price is very likely.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or 50% less H-Y-B-R-I-D badging.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would love to see all trucks and SUVs move to a diesel electric set up where they no longer have transmissions but the diesel engines are coupled directly to a generator which is attached to electric motors driving the wheels. There will be less mechanical losses and the diesel engine will be allowed to run at its peak efficiency at ever power need. Most large construction vehicles have this as well as newer locomotives and they are extremely efficient relative to those non hybrid set ups.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just because you guys don't buy pick up trucks doesn't mean a hybrid pick up truck is stupid.
      Gobs of torque from 0rpm is a very good thing for a truck. and I can see the Volt's battery being utilized since it could probably be hidden away somewhere inside the pick up fairly nicely. They would probably fit some huge electric motor(s) to it that they can't have with the smaller battery pack. It wouldn't fit my needs as a heavy duty truck because my boat weighs waaay too much for a half ton truck and almost too much for my duramax 3/4 ton, but for everything else this would be perfect.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why doesn't GM offer the 1500 hybrid with a V-6 with cylinder deactivation for better fuel mileage?
      Why isn't the Canyon/Colorado a hybrid with a I-4?
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