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    General Motors Considers Its Powertrain Options For The Full-Size SUVs


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    October 15, 2013

    When General Motors introduced their next-generation full-size SUVs last month, some people were expecting some major changes to the powertrains. What was introduced were the next-generation of V8 engines and that was really about it. However, GM's chief engineer for trucks says changes are coming.

    "We've got some interesting powertrain technologies coming on the SUVs over the next few years," said GM's executive chief engineer for trucks, Jeff Luke.

    For example, Luke hinted that the Escalade's current six-speed automatic will give way to a higher-geared transmission in the future. Under consideration is the return of a hybrid model and the introduction of a diesel model.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    They need some diesels. Also an 8-speed transmission, others had them 5-6 years ago, GM is behind here.

    I agree with making diesels an option on all GM vehicles. But why is an 8-speed necessary?

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    They need some diesels. Also an 8-speed transmission, others had them 5-6 years ago, GM is behind here.

    I agree with making diesels an option on all GM vehicles. But why is an 8-speed necessary?

    Fuel economy and marketing. The Ram has an 8-speed and gets 25 mpg, GM's trucks don't get 25 mpg. Usually an 8-speed is going to return better fuel economy than a 6 speed. Plus it gives them marketing ability. If Hyundai and Chrysler have 8-speeds, and soon someone will have 9 or 10, GM is going to look way behind with a 6-speed.

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    smk, the tahoe, subie ->escalade...none of them will use the 4.3L ecotec3, which is rated at.. 24mpg? with a 6-speed in the silvy.... somewhat apples and oranges... trucks vs SUVs

    a coworker put a dura max in his suburban, has gotten ~22mpg at best he said. but it can tow anything allday and not drop to what his ford box truck gets no matter what.

    i can see downsizing the 'max somewhat(mid 5L?) and slapping an 8speed to it and the true outdoorsy types would buy up the (limited) supply.

    think the 2nd gen 2-mode (or the like) will be beefy enough for the 6.2L, or will it just be offered with the' 6.0L like performance' 5.3L from the first gen?

    an interesting offering would be the 4.3L -2mode combo for the trucks...

    OH idea, baby 'max and 2 mode. Eco-Max! in anything truck/suv.

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    How about a torque monster 4.8L Diesel with a 9 or 10 sp tranny. :D

    I would love to see the VOLT power train in this line up also and CNG options.

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    CNG is an intriguing option. There is a gas station in Pittsburgh that sells it for like $1.97 which I think is a gallon of gas equivalent. So if you are getting about the same mileage but at $2 a gallon vs $4 a gallon, CNG seems pretty appealing.

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    Except CNG has a density (@3000 psi) about 1/4 that of gasoline. So whatever weight is being carried takes up 4 times as much space or offers 1/4 as much range. That is not counting the weight and bulk of the containment system for 3000 psi of pressurized medium -- tanks, fiber wraps, crash protection, etc -- which are considerably more involved than an aluminized or plastic tank of irregular shape holding atmospheric pressure gasoline or diesel.

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    So just finished a conversion adding CNG to a Toyota Land Cruiser. So it is now bi-fuel and it runs so much smoother and better on the CNG than on the Petrol.

    CNG is standardized at 3600 PSI, you loose no MPG unlike Ethanol, E85 and other green gases that also lower Torque and HP. CNG give more HP and Torque. Type 4 tanks are not that much heavier. Yes if you use a type 1 tank you add hundreds of pounds of weight unlike a Carbon Fiber Type 4 tank or type 3 tank.

    Over all CNG is superior to using LPG, E85 or Ethanol.

    If you add CNG to Diesel it gets even better, Diesel's that are converted almost double their MPG, add considerable Torque and HP and since you run a 50/50 mixture you reduce your fueling cost.

    At Drew mentioned, if you purchase a Home Fueling system such as a Fuel maker FMQ 2-36 you lower your fueling from home.

    I fuel at 85 cents per GGE (Gas Gallon Equivalent). The local Fast Fill's around Seattle run from $1.90 to $2.20 per GGE.

    CNG gives the same MPG so you really do not loose any range unless you are replacing a oversized tank than you will since the CNG tanks do take up a bit more space.

    Yet on full size trucks and SUV's you can easily double your range. I am not done with my Suburban conversion yet, but I have the original 44 gallon Gas tank good for 500+ miles on Petrol and I have added a 42 gallon CNG tank so I should be able to pretty much drive from Seattle to LA without having to stop and fill up or for comfort just stop once.

    GM News, Chevy IMPALA 2014 model will be available as a CNG, CNG/Petrol Bi-Fuel or just Petrol starting in March of 2014. Great news for everyone.

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    I'm all for a small diesel however was really hoping to see them consider the bi-turbo 3.6 being an option. The LS motors just don't (and never have) give the low end torque. They are revvers and not luggers. Problem with diesel will be the premium $$ to get into one due to all the gov't regs.

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