2010 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has finally added the 2-Mode Hybrid powertrain to its top-level GMC Yukon Denali. There aren't any mechanical changes to the gas-electric drivetrain that's been available since 2008 in the standard-grade Yukon and its platform mates, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade. All of which means we'll see a 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine with 332 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque and up to a 6,200-pound towing capacity.

According to GM, the hybrid hardware is mostly contained in the 2-Mode Electrically Variable Transmission, which features twin electric motors powered by a 300-volt nickel metal hydride battery pack. Expect EPA fuel economy ratings of 21 city, 22 highway for two-wheel drive models and 20/20 when equipped with four-wheel drive.

As far as mechanical changes go, the Denali Hybrid will bring the first application of GM's MagnaRide suspension system to the Yukon. As you'd expect in a top-level SUV, the Denali Hybrid will come fully loaded straight from the factory – the only three options will be a sunroof, rear-seat entertainment DVD system and side blind spot alert mirrors. Hit the jump for the full press release.



New for 2010

* New exterior colors: Taupe Grey Metallic and Sheer Silver Metallic replace Blue Granite Metallic, Silver Birch Metallic and Deep Ruby Metallic
* USB connectivity in center console, enabling stored audio files to play through the audio system and battery charging for some handheld devices

The GMC Yukon Hybrid broke ground with the world's first production 2-Mode full hybrid propulsion system, which on the 2WD model offers 21 mpg in city driving – a 50-percent improvement over non-hybrid models. The lineup now includes the distinctive Yukon Denali Hybrid, which infuses a new level of luxury into the efficient utility vehicle.

Along with exceptional fuel economy, the Yukon Hybrid and Yukon Denali Hybrid deliver full-size capability – up to 6,200 pounds (2,812 kg) of towing capacity (2WD) and standard eight-passenger seating capacity.

Yukon Hybrid models are built on GM's full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and a premium interior that bolsters the vehicle's comfort, quality and capability. Wide front and rear tracks enhance handling and lower the center of gravity for a more confident road feel.

The Yukon Hybrid was designed with safety in mind. It delivers a 360-degree safety system of occupant protection and crash-avoidance technology, with features such as standard StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology. For 2010, the long list of standard safety features is enhanced with the addition of front seat-mounted side air bags on all models.

Yukon Denali Hybrid details

The Yukon Denali Hybrid rides on unique 22-inch, eight-spoke, flangeless chrome wheels that make a stylish Denali appearance statement.

Inside, designers filled the cabin with luxurious amenities such as standard 12-way power, heated/cooled leather-appointed perforated front seating and heated, second-row, leather-appointed bench seating. Buyers may choose an Ebony or Cashmere interior. The only three options on this fully equipped vehicle are a sunroof, rear-seat entertainment DVD system and side blind zone alert mirrors.

Enhanced connectivity includes standard OnStar with Directions & Connections and Turn-by-Turn Navigation, navigation radio with rear camera system, a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System and three years of real-time XM NavTraffic.

A comprehensive safety package of crashworthiness and crash-avoidance features includes front- and side-impact air bags, anti-lock brakes and StabiliTrak with traction control. The Yukon Denali Hybrid also is equipped with GM's MagnaRide suspension, the first application of this advanced technology in a Yukon. MagnaRide uses magnetic particles in the shock absorber fluid to adjust the damping rate of the shock absorbers – based on road conditions and vehicle dynamics – to help keep tires in contact with the road.

Patented, industry-leading hybrid technology

The Yukon Hybrid's fuel-saving performance is derived from GM's advanced Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS), which work with the standard 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC) technology. GM's hybrid technology system not only enables the Yukon to launch and drive up to 27 mph (43 km/h) on electricity alone, it allows the Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods.

As part of the vehicle's emission control system, the ESS is warranted for eight years/100,000 miles.

In the Yukon Hybrid and Yukon Denali Hybrid, the hybrid system itself generates the electricity to propel the vehicle. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors in the hybrid system create electricity and store it in the 300-volt battery. This electricity helps move the vehicle.

The hybrid system provides seamless, dependable power on demand in an efficient package. In fact, its electric motor is less than half the size of those in single-mode hybrid systems. This technology was developed and is still used in fleets of hybrid transit buses in more than 70 North American and European cities. Scaled down for use in passenger vehicles, the two-mode system delivers fuel savings where it is needed most – in large vehicles with high levels of capability. The two-mode system was first introduced on the 2008 Yukon Hybrid. It is a core part of GM's energy diversity efforts, centered on reducing dependence on petroleum, improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and minimizing the automobile's impact on the environment.

Quiet and smooth

Integration of the hybrid system on the Yukon is seamless – the battery pack is beneath the second-row seat – and delivers a quiet driving experience. Contributors to this include:

* Specific exhaust system and resonator tuned for the 6.0L engine's Active Fuel Management operation
* Additional engine intake induction tuning for reduced interior noise and pleasing sound quality
* Low-rolling resistance, "quiet-tuned" P265/65R18 tires for reduced road noise
* Electrically driven 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the standard, tri-zone HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off
* Electrically driven 42-volt variable-assist power steering reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems
* Energy Storage System (ESS) cooling system internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds.

Along with quietness, the Yukon Hybrid also delivers exceptional driving smoothness, thanks to specifically tuned shocks.

Trailering performance

In addition to increased fuel economy, the Yukon Hybrid's electrically variable transmission also provides tremendous trailering capability, enhancing driving smoothness and quality when towing.

Electric drive is enabled up to 27 mph (43 km/h), saving fuel even when the truck is towing a trailer.

The EVT incorporates grade braking and tap up/tap down shift control. It also benefits towing on curves or lower-speed back roads, as exceptionally smooth gear transitions eliminate the "shift shock" torque disruption that can occur during abrupt shifts, such as when slowing or braking.

In addition to the eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the Yukon Hybrid's Energy Storage System, GM's five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty continues to make GM a better choice for customers. GM's coverage focuses on the complete ownership experience and includes other provisions that competitors do not offer, including transferability to the next owner, more complete coverage of parts, and coverage for new and certified used vehicles. In addition, GM offers complementary courtesy transportation and roadside assistance.

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