Large GM SUVs to feature diesel engines and hybrid powertrains

Article by Anita Panait, on October 14, 2013

Over the next few years, General Motors' up-and-coming redesigned large sports utility vehicles will feature diesel engines, hybrid powertrains and high-geared transmissions, Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, remarked when introducing the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. He said that there are "some interesting" powertrain technologies coming on the SUVs over the next few years.

The next-generation Escalade and the extended ESV model are set to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2014. In the eight years since the last redesign, GM only sought to enhance the looks of the SUVs to keep them fresh. Luke remarked that the "competition is tough" in the luxury SUV segment where the Escalade competes. Luke indicated that a higher-geared transmission would eventually replace the Escalade's carryover six-speed that will be used during the launch.

GM is working on a rear-wheel-drive eight-speed transmission and a rwd 10-speed gearbox. According to Luke, GM is mulling a hybrid, despite the fact that a hybrid version of the current generation Escalade was terminated for the 2014 model year, after years of weak sales. Luke added that GM also is "considering" a diesel engine.

Thanks to its completely new design, the fourth-generation Cadillac Escalade is immediately identifiable. Likewise, many of the changes made on the new Escalade redesigned flagship SUV are found inside the cabin, in which luxury meets the latest technology.

Bob Ferguson, senior vice president for Global Cadillac, remarked that the premium brand’s growth sets the ideal stage for the new Escalade to advance forward. He quipped that the 2015 Escalade is entirely new and elevated – in terms of design and technology. Ferguson noted that their aim is for the Escalade to gain the leadership position among luxury SUVs.

Since its launch, the Escalade has been considered as the standard among luxury SUVs, thanks to its proven formula of bold design, dynamic capability and luxurious accommodations for up to eight persons. Since the first through the third generations, the proven attributes of the Escalade have enabled it to earn an iconic status. By adopting design and technical elements from the brand’s product expansion, the 2015 Escalade should be able to further raise its status.

Cadillac intends to commence production of the fourth-generation Escalade in the spring of 2014 in Arlington, Texas. The product range line will include the standard Escalade model and the extended-length ESV edition. Compared to the standard model, the ESV is longer by around 20 inches – with a wheelbase extended by 14 inches -- 355 mm. This allows the Escalade to maximize space for third-row passengers as well as offer 60 percent more cargo room behind the third-row seat.

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Topics: gm, suv, diesel, engine, hybrid

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