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GM Planning Four-Mode Hybrid

Next-gen hybrids could yield big gains for big trucks.

by on Aug.14, 2009

GM's two-mode hybrid has yielded significant fuel economy gains in vehicles like the 2010 Cadillac Escalade, but a more advanced four-mode system is under development.

GM's two-mode hybrid has yielded significant fuel economy gains in vehicles like the 2010 Cadillac Escalade, but a more advanced four-mode system is under development.

If each new generation of computer processor is able to double the speed of the previous one, is it any surprise that GM’s next-generation gas-electric hybrid powertrain for its big pickups and SUVs will be four-mode instead of the current two-mode?

We first heard a four-mode hybrid powertrain was in the works in 2007, during a conversation  with then-vice-chairman and product czar Bob Lutz – now GM’s marketing chief. We’ve picked up a bit more information after our latest visit to GM earlier this week for a product and technology preview.

Good in any mode!

Good in any mode!

“It’s all about any hybrid system,” said John Turzewski, GM’s lead development engineer for full-size truck hybrids. “As you evolve and go through your next generation, it’s cost reduction, smaller, lighter and better packaging. There’s lots of improvement all along those lines.”

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