All auto manufacturers are thinking "green" these
days and many will showcase their fuel-efficient vehicles at the upcoming 2008
Chicago Auto Show. In this age of broken embargos and leaked specifications, it
comes as no surprise that one of GM's vehicles to be showcased at the show was
The new GMC
Denali XT Concept is based on the same Zeta
platform that forms the basis of the upcoming Pontiac G8 sedan and Chevy
Camaro. The low-slung concept features a fully-independent front and rear
suspension, 23" wheels and a 55" bed with Midgate. The Midgate feature
-- similar in concept to the Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT --
extends the bed to a full seven feet.
The most important part of the Denali XT Concept, however,
is its advanced powertrain. The concept uses a brand new 4.9-liter, 326 HP small-block
V8 engine with direct injection. The new 4.9-liter engine can be powered by
regular gasoline or E85 ethanol and uses cylinder-deactivation to run on just
four cylinders under light loads for better fuel economy.
In addition, the Denali XT concept features GM's two-mode
hybrid system which can also be found on the 2008
GMC Yukon Hybrid, 2008
Chevy Tahoe Hybrid and 2009
Saturn Vue Green Line. GM's two-mode hybrid system allows lumbering behemoths
like the Yukon and Tahoe achieve 20+ MPG in the city.
"Like all GMCs, the Denali XT is functional and
capable, but it blends those traits with a more efficient, sporty driving
experience," said GMC general manager Jim Bunnell. "It is a vehicle
that exemplifies GMC's engineering excellence, as well as GM's commitment to
hybrid and advanced technologies."
The GMC Denali XT Concept foreshadows the production
model which could debut in the U.S. within the next year. Styling will no
doubt be toned down somewhat for the production model, but expect to see many
of the fuel-saving technologies to carry over to the road-going version.
quote: I'm only putting into perspective that these are just babysteps and something will need to change fundamentally before we can call pickups "green".
quote: Saw one in LA a couple of months ago on the 405 with a toolbox and an air compressor in the back.
quote: what excuses will they find to keep making gas engines?
quote: GM plans to ramp up to about a million vehicles per year on this drivetrain within about a decade.
quote: I won't comment on his figure, but he did say "drivetrain". A manufacturer might share a drivetrain across a dozen or more different vehicles.
quote: the $50K tahoe hybrid is based on a top of the line $46K tahoe. and those prices are before $15,000 dealer discounts.
quote: Both of which are taken straight from the Vauxhall VX220 from the UK.
quote: 3) Turbo charger. This also increases efficiency, though I am not 100% sure it can be done on diesel engines.
quote: This is the quickest, cheapest solution to make trucks run at 30-40 miles per gallon and keeping the air clean too.
quote: 1) That runs on diesel (compatible with biodiesel as well, its not hard to convert a diesel engine into a biodiesel engine)
quote: 2) with hydraulic hybrid technology
quote: For road vehicles to be successful with this arrangement both mechanical and hydraulic efficiencies of the pump and motor units must be considerably higher than the current state of the art hydraulic pumps and motors used in industrial, off-highway and aerospace operations
quote: 3) Turbo charger. This also increases efficiency, though I am not 100% sure it can be done on diesel engines
quote: 4) Bluetec catalytic converter technology. This cuts down smog forming emissions by 80%
quote: Another major and expensive proposal is replace as much steel you can with carbon fiber.
quote: If an engine runs on diesel it also runs on biodiesel. No conversion required. Biodiesel can have some issues in cold weather. It is regrettably not a perfect fuel, even though it is a good one.