- Exterior colours: Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic (late availability) and Blue Ray Metallic (late availability)
2013 CHEVROLET TAHOE HYBRID DELIVERS CAPABILITY AND EFFICIENCY
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid delivers a dramatic improvement in fuel efficiency over non-hybrid models – 29 percent in city driving – with the spaciousness and capability customers seek in a full-size SUV. It offers seating for up to eight and a towing capacity of up to 2,812 kilograms (6,200 lbs) on 2WD models.
The Tahoe Hybrid’s improved fuel efficiency over gasoline-only models is due largely to GM’s state-of-the-art two-mode hybrid system, which helps 2WD Tahoe Hybrid models deliver a city fuel consumption rating of 10.1 L/100km. That’s comparable to the city fuel consumption rating of many smaller cars.
New for 2013 are three exterior colours: Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic (late availability) and Blue Ray Metallic (late availability).
Hybrid system details
GM’s advanced Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS) work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC) technology to enable the Tahoe Hybrid’s efficient performance. This hybrid system not only enables the Tahoe to launch and drive up to 48 km/h on electricity alone, it also allows the 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods.
GM designed the EVT to provide the best combination of city and highway fuel consumption. Used with the Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management, it is an all-purpose system well-suited to providing excellent efficiency and full-size SUV passenger-carrying, cargo-hauling and trailer-towing capabilities.
The EVT is designed to bolt directly to the standard four-wheel-drive transfer case found on the gasoline-only models for true four-wheel-drive capability. The following major components comprise the Tahoe Hybrid’s unique powertrain system:
Electrically variable transmission (EVT): The key to GM’s EVT is its unique assemblage of two 60 kW electric motors, three planetary gearsets and four traditional hydraulic wet clutches. This arrangement allows continuously variable operation, and provides four fixed gear ratios (with operation comparable to that of a standard electronically controlled automatic transmission).
A sophisticated Hybrid Optimizing System constantly receives torque-based data from the powertrain and other vehicle systems, and then determines the most efficient means of propelling the vehicle — either via electric power, gasoline engine power or a combination of the two. The EVT is like having two transmissions in one — continuously variable drive for light-load conditions and fixed-ratio drive for high-load situations.
Energy storage system (ESS): A 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS) provides power to the EVT’s two electric motors. This battery pack is located under the second-row seat, where it takes up virtually no additional space and does not interfere with second- or third-row ingress/egress. The fold-and-tumble capability of the second-row seat remains, and flipping the seat forward provides a flat load floor from the liftgate forward to the front seats.
In addition to supplying power to the EVT, the ESS also provides power to the air conditioning compressor and the Accessory Power Module (APM), which converts the high-voltage supply to 42 volts for the electric power steering system, and 12 volts for the vehicle battery and other 12-volt electrical accessories.
Battery pack durability and reliability are maintained via optimized charge and discharge cycles, as well as a dedicated cooling system that draws air from the passenger compartment. As part of the vehicle’s emission control system, the ESS is warranted for eight years/160,000 kilometres.
Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine: Engineers chose the Vortec 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine for the Tahoe Hybrid because of its favourable torque characteristics. This is especially important because GM engineers adapted the 6.0L V-8 to operate with late intake valve closing (Atkinson-cycle combustion process) for reduced pumping losses and better overall fuel consumption.
Using flat-top pistons, cylinder heads borrowed from GM’s 5.3L high-output V-8 and a 10.8:1 compression ratio, the Vortec 6.0L V-8 produces 332 horsepower (248 kW) at 5100 rpm and 367 lb.-ft. of torque (498 Nm) at 4100 rpm, yet requires only regular unleaded fuel.
The Vortec 6.0L also features continuously variable valve timing to control late intake closing, as well as Active Fuel Management, which allows four of the eight cylinders to be shut off during periods of light load. With the benefit of electric boost, the engine is able to stay in V-4 mode for longer periods in the Tahoe Hybrid.
Auto Stop mode and regenerative braking
A key contributor to fuel efficiency is the gasoline engine’s Auto Stop mode. At vehicle speeds between 0 and 48 km/h, the gasoline engine may be automatically shut down. By leaving the engine off and allowing the vehicle to move only under electric power up to 48 km/h, such as during heavy stop-and-go traffic, fuel consumption is greatly reduced.
The regenerative braking system works in concert with the hydraulic braking system. The system uses a brake pedal emulator, which provides progressive resistance as the pedal is depressed. This consistent pedal feel is very much like that of a standard hydraulic braking system in operation.
Tahoe Hybrid matches its gasoline-only siblings in comfort and convenience, with special attention paid to acoustic details that makes for a very quiet driving experience. Examples include:
While the Tahoe Hybrid bears a close resemblance to other models, styling revisions are made for aesthetic and functional purposes. In addition to setting these models apart from other SUVs, these exterior styling changes help improve fuel consumption:
Mass reduction inside and out
Mass is an important factor in overall vehicle efficiency. Because of the slight increase in curb weight resulting from the various hybrid components, engineers reduced the mass of numerous vehicle components, keeping the Tahoe Hybrid in the same test weight class as its gasoline-only counterparts.
On the outside, an aluminum hood and liftgate (with fixed glass) replace the standard steel units. Substituting an aluminum front bumper beam saved additional weight, as well as using low-mass, aero-efficient, 18-inch cast aluminum wheels.
Additional mass was eliminated by adding a tire inflator kit that takes the place of the spare wheel and tire, jack and tools found on gasoline-only models. Easy to use, the tire inflator kit is conveniently located behind the left-rear quarter trim panel in the cargo area.
Tahoe Hybrid exterior features
Tahoe Hybrid interior features
A unique hybrid gauge cluster includes a special tachometer incorporating an Auto Stop position just above the 0 rpm mark that indicates when the gasoline engine is in shut-down mode. An analogue economy gauge, to the left of the tachometer, helps the driver maintain the most efficient driving style.
Located midway down the centre stack, the standard navigation system’s 6.5-inch full-colour VGA display doubles as a monitor that shows a graphic representation of the hybrid drivetrain’s power flow. This display continuously informs the occupants how the system is sending power to the wheels from the ESS/electric motors, the gasoline engine or both. The screen also displays reverse electrical flow during regenerative braking and whether the vehicle is in two- or four-wheel-drive mode.
Additional interior features include:
Tahoe Hybrid chassis and suspension
The Tahoe Hybrid is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, incorporating a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, leaf-spring rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Features include:
Tahoe safety and crash-avoidance features
Tahoe Hybrid has a strong body structure to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants. Standard head curtain side air bags with rollover protection are featured for all seating rows, while standard seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment.
Additional safety features include:
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Tahoe Hybrid. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Tahoe Hybrid also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.ca.
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