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Escalade hybrid nears launch

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It could be the biggest oxymoron in the car business: the Escalade Hybrid. The folks at GM are gearing up to launch the machine this month, claiming a 50 percent increase in fuel economy during city driving for a relatively small price premium over the standard model.

The Escalade hybrid boasts high-class styling and amenities riding atop GM's advanced Two-Mode hybrid technology, which it co-developed with BMW and Chrysler. This sophisticated setup sees a gas V8 engine mated to an electric drive system to save fuel. It operates in two modes- one for light loads or low speeds, and one for highway speeds.

Fuel consumption is most drastically reduced in heavy stop-and-go traffic when the vehicle shuts off its engine for extended periods and moves exclusively under electric power.

In a nutshell, owners can expect the same power and performance the Escalade is known for, alongside a reduction in fuel bills. They can also expect to be pampered and entertained by a long list of features fitting of a Cadillac model. Features like heated leather seats, three-zone climate control, sunroof, power accessories and a 6-CD changer with high-performance Bose sound are just the start.

"In a changing marketplace emphasizing fuel economy technology, Cadillac is proud to be the only luxury brand offering a hybrid in this segment," said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager.
photo:General Motors