In this blog, we usually talk about new cars ready to hit the market in the near future. However, older models often fade into obscurity as car companies replace untenable lineups with new technology. The latest replacement involves General Motors dropping the hybrid versions of the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado despite rising gas prices.
The recent decision reflected General Motors’ realization that simply slapping the hybrid tag on a rugged pickup wouldn’t cut it in a market where consumers demand true fuel efficiency. The Silverado and Sierra hybrids never ran on electricity alone and saved drivers only 2 mpg compared to gas-powered trims.
In any event, fans of the aforementioned hybrids won’t have to go too long without their favorite models. GM plans to re-introduce the Silverado and Sierra hybrids in late 2008 with a twist: two-mode hybrid transmission. GM, Daimler-Chrysler, and BMW have joined forces to work on new technology that will give drivers the same smooth electric engine performance they’d get with a Toyota Prius without sacrificing towing capacity and fuel efficiency when driving uphill. Early tests show a 25% increase in fuel economy, enough to convince the more environmentally conscious among us that the technology really does save wear and tear on our planet.
With GM losing its spot as the world’s top automaker to Toyota last week, the lineup shuffle represents one small part of a larger movement designed to bring the heavyweight title back to its rightful owner.
– posted by Taeho Lim