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Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid  (Source: General Motors)

GM vice chairman Bob Lutz
GM's full-size hybrids crack the $50k barrier

The hybrid news is coming in at a furious pace from the boys over at General Motors. Earlier today, the company showed off its second generation Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid pickup which features the new 2-mode gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain.

Now, the company has priced out its new Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid full-size SUVs. The Tahoe Hybrid will be priced at $50,490 for 2WD models and $53,295 for 4WD models. The slightly up-market Yukon Hybrid will be priced at $50,945 and $53,755 in 2WD and 4WD models respectively.

As with the previously announced Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, the two full-size SUVs feature GM's 2-mode hybrid system which is backed with a 6.0 liter V8 engine. The SUVs can travel up to 30 MPH under electric-only power and can tow up to 6,200 pounds in 2WD guise (6,000 pounds for 4WD models).

As reported by DailyTech in late September, the Tahoe Hybrid and Yukon Hybrid are rated at 21 MPG/22 MPG and 20 MPG/20 MPG respectively for 2WD and 4WD models.

"We promised to apply our most advanced technologies to vehicles that can save the most fuel, and we are delivering on that promise with the Tahoe and Yukon Hybrid SUVs," said GM vice chairman Bob Lutz. "The gasoline-only Tahoe and Yukon SUVs already offer best-in-segment fuel economy. Now, consumers can choose GM's patented 2-Mode Hybrid technology that delivers the same city fuel economy as the 2008 Toyota Camry with the base four-cylinder engine. The difference is that the Tahoe and Yukon can seat eight people and can tow up to 6,200 pounds."

For comparison, a 2008 Toyota Camry CE has a base price of $18,470 and is EPA rated at 21 MPG/31 MPG (city/highway) for the manual and automatic.

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By clovell on 11/14/2007 3:06:48 PM , Rating: 3
I kept reading the article, waiting patiently for the other shoe to drop. $50k is just... wow. Just so you can feel good about saving the environment - I mean, cuz let's face it, you're not doing it to save money. If a person could afford to be so noble, wouldn't it be better to donate some of that money and build houses or give food to needy people?

I mean, the sooner we industrialize the third world, the sooner they can implement technology that will reduce pollution. =/

RE: Hah
By mdogs444 on 11/14/2007 3:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Ive been saying for a while now that Hybrids to not allow you to save money. Sure you may get a few MPG more, but you are paying thousands more for the Hybrid technology - and not to mention how much more expensive it is to fix.

I would rather have the regular gas guzzling environmentalist killer any day of the week. Even if I had 50k for a Tahoe hybrid, id still rather buy the regular V8 Tahoe.

RE: Hah
By clovell on 11/14/2007 3:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well, in certain cirmstances, I can understand (like serial hybrids) - I'd love to have a Chevy Volt. I may actually have a chance to save some money like that.

RE: Hah
By mdogs444 on 11/14/2007 3:39:20 PM , Rating: 1
The Volt is a nice concept. However, its only feasible for a certain target market. Its not a family car, its not meant for long trips, etc.

Also, we have not seen the results of your electric bill on that car, the car insurance prices, etc.

Seeing as how I only fill up once every weeks in my Grand Cherokee SRT-8, I could really care less if gas was $2, $3, $4. I mean, sure it would be nice to have cheaper gas. But even if gas goes to $5/gallon, I am not going to make a change to a small car that, in my opinion, is not as safe or luxurious enough vehicle as what I currently have.

RE: Hah
By clovell on 11/14/2007 4:05:25 PM , Rating: 1
I like a car that's nimble. I have a nice minivan for family trips and a smaller car for my commute (32 miles round-trip).

The Volt can take long trips. Electricity would cost less than gas. There's a decent chance that maintenance will be less and most could still be performed at home.

Insurance shouldn't be much different than ICE vehicles. The only thing I'd be concerned about is safety. Some smaller vehicles do pretty well in terms of safety, but they aren't Chevys.

The Volt could work for me, definitely. Personally, though, I'd sooner have a slightly used M3 for the same cost - the 2008s look amazing.

RE: Hah
By mdogs444 on 11/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Hah
By Operandi on 11/14/2007 4:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
Your Cherokee SRT-8 is also only feasible a certain target market (a very small one at that), as all vehicles are. The Volt on the other hand should have pretty broad appeal for anyone looking at smaller cars.

It is suited for long drives, and electricity will always be far cheaper than gas.

RE: Hah
By mdogs444 on 11/14/2007 5:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that my choice (model) in the car is a small market. However, I think the regular V8 Grand Cherokee 4x4 is a very large target market. Probably one of the best, if not the best, current selling SUV's on the market.

I think the Volt will appeal to people looking for smaller cars, no doubt. But not everyone wants a small car - whether they deem them visually unacceptable by their standards, maybe their aren't large enough, safe enough, etc who knows.

I wasn't putting down the volt, just saying that its not a car that would serve my interests - or be what i want to drive anyway.

RE: Hah
By andrinoaa on 11/15/2007 3:18:57 AM , Rating: 1
I cannot let unsubstanciated bulldust go past without comment. You sir are not paying the full amount for your gas. You are not paying for the cleanup bill! Yes, Johnny, there is a bill to pay. If this was included, the price diffential would be much less.

Since when is a family car only for long trips? Why are you chanting this mantra? When gas gets to $10/gal, are you seriously saying you won't go down in size? Are you saying most people in Europe drive unsafe cars? Which part of the world has more deaths on the road? What scientific assesment leads you to this opinion on safety? Are you saying smaller cars cannot be luxurious?
I'd say you got the arguement arse about.
You have swallowed the "AMERICAN" dream, hook, line
and sinker. Just keep spending, they will love you for it.

RE: Hah
By ElFenix on 11/15/2007 3:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
50K before the standard $10,000 discount from every chevy dealer on the planet.

and depending on how it's equipped, it isn't that much of a premium over the regular tahoe.

RE: Hah
By Bloodlust on 11/16/2007 9:40:51 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Let's see....Drop $50,000+ on a hybrid Tahoe or Escalade?

Umm, I'll take the Escalade, thanks! :)

Show me some significant MPG gains and I might consider paying the premium on a SUV or truck.

By dubldwn on 11/14/2007 3:41:26 PM , Rating: 3
The Tahoe Hybrid will be priced at $50,490 for 2WD models and $53,295 for 4WD models

The MSRP of a top-of-the-line 4WD Tahoe LTZ is $38,950. GM wants over $14,000 for the hybrid option? What am I missing here?

RE: $53,295?!
By mdogs444 on 11/14/2007 3:50:17 PM , Rating: 1
Well the pricing is deceiving - the pricing on a 4WD Tahoe ranges from $38k+ for the LS to $48k+ LTZ.

So in a way, you are right that you can get a 4WD tahoe $14k cheaper than a hybrid.

The hybrid is not meant to be cheaper - its just a retarded environmentalist pleaser so you can feel better about getting more MPG or better for the environment. Its like Al Gore buying Carbon Credits.

Personally, I think both are a waste of money because there is no shortage of oil (its not running out), and global warming is the biggest hoax of modern times.

RE: $53,295?!
By dubldwn on 11/14/2007 4:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
To save face, my number came from here:
I think your number is right...but still too much extra for the Hybrid.

RE: $53,295?!
By howtochooseausername on 11/15/2007 2:04:22 PM , Rating: 1
Another brilliant idea by the geniuses at GM.
1. Environmentalists are the only ones who buy fuel efficient cars
2. Environmentalists are willing to pay extra money for a SUV.
3. Therefore lets make an expensive SUV with a hybrid engine. That'll get the public off our backs, and turn around our fortunes.

And you wonder why our domestic auto makers are doing so well.

1. Everyone wants a fuel efficient car. It doesn't have to be a hybrid, just good on gas.
2/3 How much contempt are you showing to your consumer by pricing an SUV like this? Would an environmentalist even buy an SUV? Who is the target for this truck?

What I don't get is wasn't GM producing cars more efficient than the Japanese vehicles back in the 80s?

Is it that hard to make a fuel efficient car? I mean, why not make a car with a V6, and then let the driver turn off the extra cylinders when they don't need the extra power. Give the consumer more control.

RE: $53,295?!
By RU482 on 11/16/2007 9:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
$14k is nothing. Have you been to NYC and seen the Hybrid Electric Buses driving around? Those use the larger version of this drivetrain, and they go for a $100k+ premium over a standard bus transmission.

All in all, GM knows what they are doing here (marketing wise). They are giving people who would be driving a Full Size SUV anyway a chance to reduce emissions and increase in town fuel economy. Even more so, it gives the upper class working husbands a new toy to give their soccer mom wife so she can feel good about helping "the environment" (relative to the 07 Yukon she was driving before)

RE: $53,295?!
By Oregonian2 on 11/16/2007 9:29:30 PM , Rating: 2
Do folk think that adding the Hybrid features shouldn't increase GM's cost to produce the vehicle, and therefore justify needing to be sold for more?

Plus isn't there a tax thingie that makes the increase less "net"?

I love this comment ..
By danfan1587 on 11/14/2007 7:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
"...Too bad Maximum Bob failed to mention that a 2008 Toyota Camry CE has a base price of $18,470 and is EPA rated at 24 MPG /34 MPG (city/highway) for the manual and 24 MPG /33 MPG for the automatic..."

I think GM is missing the point altogether about hybrids. The premium you pay for this beast outweighs the millage gained. According to the 2007 Yukon currently gets 14 city/20 hwy. The article states 20/20 for the 2008 Yukon.

So, Maximum Bob, what the point of a Yukon Hybrid when your not saving that much after you've shelled out $53K?

RE: I love this comment ..
By mdogs444 on 11/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: I love this comment ..
By Ringold on 11/14/2007 10:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't get is the comparison to a Camry..

You can fit, what, two Camry's inside a Tahoe? :P

Maybe a (slight) exaggeration, but the Tahoe is practically an Armored Personnel Carrier. A Camry, on the other hand, is a reasonable family car for the common man/woman/family.

RE: I love this comment ..
By gradoman on 11/14/2007 10:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
And funny enough, those gigantic, oversized monsters are filled with how many people?? And how often do you see that single person towing something or hauling cargo?

RE: I love this comment ..
By Spuke on 11/15/2007 5:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
I am definitely not anti-buywhatyouwant but you have to admit, driving a behemoth by yourself is a bit ridiculous. Although, maybe we're just seeing them on the way to or from picking up the neighborhood kids or the family at the airport.

Since a I own a truck and a sports car (that gets 28 mpg BTW) I can relate somewhat to this crowd but my wife and I have thought about buying an SUV many times and we could never come up with a good reason to buy one. We don't need multiple seating, the tow ratings are WAY lower than trucks, and unless you buy a Suburban or Excursion, there's just not enough room for 5 or more people and lots of stuff. The size of most SUV's is deceptive and most really have no more room than a mid to large sedan.

RE: I love this comment ..
By Screwballl on 11/17/2007 3:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
So a possible 6mpg increase... this means that the hybrid portion changes very little if anything in real world usage. How often do people actually drive under 30 mph? Only for a block or two when leaving the neighborhood or maybe in heavy downtown traffic but overall there is little be gained for the extra $$$.

Now give me a way to change my 7.4L GM 454 to get 20 mpg (currently gets 8-10mpg) and this is a bigger step. Until we see 10-20+ mpg, it is just not worth the money.

Target Audience
By Machinegear on 11/15/2007 4:16:15 PM , Rating: 1
Usually when a new car comes out the target audience is evident. A $50k+ hybrid SUV that sells $14k over the V8 model and only gets 20mpg? Only a clown would buy it.

If you have $50k burning in your pocket and a SUV in your wet dreams, buy the V8 version then stop over at Toyota and buy a new Corolla for $14k (37mpg highway).

GM looks like they just don't understand innovation or market demand (Hummer anyone?). I see it now... the next advanced development from GM will be the hybrid Corvette, where you have the ability to pedal the car forward with your feet.

RE: Target Audience
By Spuke on 11/15/2007 5:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
There are people that would buy this even at $50K. And, quite frankly, they aren't in the same market as the Corolla buyer. More than likely this buyer would already own a diesel dually and possibly a sports car.

RE: Target Audience
By ZaethDekar on 11/15/2007 5:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
That pedaling car would be fun. Specially if its someone with the prostetic enhancement legs. WOoo! Talk about crazy ;) Or why don't they have the normal engine, a pedal engine, and then electric motors. That way when you run out of gas, you have the passenger start pedaling to charge the electric motors and your off again. THen you also install a propane tank so you have normal gas, pedal, and propane. Three types of fuel and if you are really buff you can get infinate MPG.

gas-electric hybrid is funded by big oil
By GeorgeOrwell on 11/15/2007 5:48:29 PM , Rating: 1
Honda, Mercedes, Jeep, BMW, VW and others either offer today or will offer in 2009 clean diesel cars/trucks/SUVs that get better real world mileage than gas-electric hybrids.

These clean diesels also cost a lot less to manufacture vs. gas-electric hybrids, although there is still a premium over a basic gas engine.

In addition, these clean diesel engines will last longer than gas engines or gas-electric engines, creating a further savings if vehicles are not purchased as often.

There are two main reasons why the gas-electric hybrid has been pushed by big oil vs. clean diesel.

First, adding/retrofitting diesel tanks/pumps to existing gas stations would be very expensive.

Second, the diesel fuel standards in the US have traditionally been very dirty. So to produce cleaner diesel fuel, transport cleaner fuel, etc., would cut into profits.

Hence for big oil it is better to push the cost of expensive battery systems onto the consumer to maximize the profit being made by existing fuel refineries, fuel delivery systems, and fueling stations.

In short, "clean diesel = lower profits".

Which of course is why a ugly company like GM is putting so much money into the development of gas-electric SUVs. Because the same people that own GM also own big oil.

This is also why hybrid vehicles do not get substantially better mileage than a basic gas engine car. Because that would also impact oil industry profits. The price premium of a hybrid car is also kept high to reduce the number sold. For if they were cheap enough to replace basic gas engine cars, that would also reduce profits.

It this world, it's all about the money. Nothing else matters.

By Spuke on 11/16/2007 6:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel fuel has already been switched over to the European stuff. Also, there's no need to retrofit gas stations, just enlarge the present diesel tanks.

By Martin Blank on 11/21/2007 4:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
Diesels traditionally sell poorly in the US thanks to a long memory of early diesel engines for consumer cars, which were noisy, dirty, smelly, and notoriously unreliable. This has changed dramatically in the last 25 years, but that information has not been well-publicized.

Personally, I'd love to see a turbo-diesel-backed pluggable hybrid, and would consider buying one if it were available. However, I'm going to be waiting for a few years before that.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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