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LAIAS: 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

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2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
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  • The only hybrid full-size pickup
  • Silverado Crew Cab body style; 2WD and 4WD
  • GM’s patented 2-Mode Hybrid system delivers 40-percent improved city fuel economy and 25-percent combined fuel economy gain
  • All-electric drive up to 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • 6.0L V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management and late-intake valve closing technology
  • 6,100-lb. (2,767 kg) towing capacity (2WD)
  • Cruising range of more than 500 miles
  • On sale in late 2008

LOS ANGELES – Affirming its commitment to fuel solutions and truck leadership, Chevrolet announced the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, a full-size pickup that achieves 40-percent greater city fuel economy and a 25-percent improvement in overall fuel economy. It is expected to be the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup on the market, besting the current V-8 leader – the non-hybrid Silverado.

Partnering General Motors’ patented 2-Mode Hybrid system and a powerful 6.0L gas V-8, the Silverado Hybrid delivers highly efficient performance while maintaining full-size pickup capability. The hybrid system provides all-electric driving at low speeds, allowing fuel savings to be realized even when the truck is fully loaded or towing a trailer. Silverado Hybrid can tow up to 6,100 pounds (2,767 kg).

“The Silverado Hybrid is the newest example of Chevy’s heritage of truck innovation, which stretches back 90 years, and exemplifies Chevrolet’s commitment to fuel solutions,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “Silverado Hybrid will deliver fuel economy comparable to many small and midsize trucks that are equipped with four- or six-cylinder engines – all while delivering the capability customers expect of Chevy full-size trucks.”

The Silverado Hybrid goes on sale in late 2008 and is based on the award-winning Silverado platform that was introduced for the 2007 model year. It will be offered in the Crew Cab body style; 2WD and 4WD models. Each model features Silverado’s “Pure Pickup” trim and comes standard with several popular features, including StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, a locking rear axle and a trailering package.

“Silverado has one of the broadest and deepest lineups of models, configurations and capabilities,” said Peper. “The Silverado Hybrid adds to the breadth and depth of offerings, while carrying the core elements that make Silverado one of the most well-equipped and safest trucks in the market.”

Silverado offers dual-stage frontal air bags and head curtain side air bags; and is the only full-size truck with five-star side impact ratings in federal crash tests.

Hybrid details

The Silverado Hybrid’s fuel-saving performance is derived from GM’s advanced Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS), which work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC) technology. GM’s hybrid technology system not only enables the Silverado to launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone, it also allows the 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods.

With GM’s 2-Mode Hybrid system, the electric power used to propel the vehicle is generated by the hybrid system itself. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity that is stored in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy is used to move the vehicle and the regenerative braking cycle is renewed.

The 2-Mode Hybrid system provides seamless, dependable power on demand in an efficient package. In fact, its electric motor is less than half the size of those in single-mode hybrid systems. This technology was developed and is still used in fleets of hybrid transit buses in more than 70 North American and European cities. Scaled-down for use in passenger vehicles, the 2-Mode system delivers fuel savings where it is needed most – in large vehicles with high levels of capability. It is a core part of GM’s energy diversity efforts, which are centered on reducing dependence on petroleum, improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and minimizing the automobile’s impact on the environment.

With the fuel mileage savings of the hybrid system and Silverado’s 26-gallon (98-liter) fuel tank, the Silverado Hybrid has a cruising range of more than 500 miles – enough to drive from San Francisco to San Diego.

Quiet and smooth

Integration of the hybrid system on the Silverado is seamless – the battery pack is located in the chassis, beneath the rear seat – and perceptible only in what it lacks: noise.

The Silverado Hybrid is exceptionally quiet,” said Mark Cieslak, vehicle chief engineer. “From a passenger’s perspective, the refinement of the hybrid system is quite evident throughout the driving experience, and showcases itself when the vehicle is moving under electric power.”

Contributors to the quiet driving experience include:
  • New exhaust system and resonator tuned for the 6.0L engine’s Active Fuel Management operation
  • Additional engine intake induction tuning for reduced interior noise and pleasing sound quality
  • Low-rolling resistance, “quiet-tuned” P265/65R18 tires for reduced road noise
  • Electrically driven 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off. Includes the standard tri-zone HVAC system
  • Electrically driven 42-volt variable-assist power steering reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems
  • Energy Storage System (ESS) cooling system internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds when the fan could more easily be heard by the occupants
Along with quietness, the Silverado Hybrid also delivers exceptional driving smoothness, thanks to specifically tuned shocks for its Z85 suspension and a new, hydraulic body mount. Located on the passenger-side of the chassis, the hydraulic mount provides a dramatic improvement in highway driving smoothness, particularly on rough or choppy road surfaces.
“The hydraulic mount makes a dramatic improvement in ride quality,” said Cieslak.

Additional details specific to the Silverado Hybrid include aerodynamic aids. A slightly deeper front air dam and a hard tonneau cover for the bed reduce air drag, fostering maximum efficiency. The tonneau cover has a three-segment design that enables easy folding or removal.

Trailering performance

In addition to increased fuel economy, the Silverado Hybrid’s electrically variable transmission also provides tremendous trailering capability, enhancing the smoothness and driving quality when towing. Electric drive is enabled up to approximately 30 mph (48 km/h), even when towing, allowing fuel savings when the truck is towing a trailer.

“Along with being very smooth, the EVT always provides abundant torque at all RPM levels for easy towing,” said Cieslak. “It is particularly helpful on grades, as the EVT’s greater ratio spread allows the engine to hold optimal rpm for smooth, steady performance, with no hunting between higher and lower gears.”

The EVT incorporates grade braking and tap up/tap down shift control. It also benefits towing on curves or lower-speed back roads, as exceptionally smooth gear transitions eliminate the “shift shock” torque disruption that can occur during abrupt shifts, such as when slowing or braking.

“All-around driving performance, whether towing or not, is excellent,” said Cieslak. “The smoothness and quietness of the EVT is the icing on the cake that comes with fuel savings.”

Hybrid heritage


The 2009 Silverado Hybrid is the second full-size hybrid pickup from Chevrolet. The previous-generation Silverado was offered as a mild hybrid that professionals found useful as a power generator at worksites.

The new Silverado Hybrid, which features GM’s sophisticated hybrid system answers the needs of a broader range of customers and takes advantage of significant technological advances that have been realized since the previous hybrid was offered. The Silverado Hybrid joins the recently introduced Tahoe Hybrid, which also uses the 2-Mode system.

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If only GM could get the ride height on the new trucks back down. One thing GM trucks always had going for them is a lower ride height without sacrificing wheel travel and ground clearance. The new trucks are embarrassingly high.

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No tuner will be touching that engine bay for a while.

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If only GM could get the ride height on the new trucks back down. One thing GM trucks always had going for them is a lower ride height without sacrificing wheel travel and ground clearance. The new trucks are embarrassingly high.

You must be a short person to be complaining about ride height. This has been a major problem for GM. Look at the crapy Fords and Dodges and you find a truck with plenty of Clearance and offroad capabilities that sit up high the way a truck should be. It is about time GM finally got their trucks sitting up high with a solid view of the road. If you want to sit on the ground get a car or El Camino or import a Holden Version.

Trucks should have at least a 15" clearance from Frame to ground if not more.

Rock on GM.

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No tuner will be touching that engine bay for a while.

That is exactly the kind of Challange a tuner will be looking for. Do not be surprised if we see tuner options at next years Sema show or for sure in 2009 show.

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I'm assuming these (Silverado and Sierra) will get the same gains as the hybrid Tahoe and Yukon despite having less aerodynamic enhancements?

This is excellent news nonetheless!

Now all we need is a light duty diesel to round out the range. :)

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shove that up your ULEV tailpipe and smoke it Toyota!

Edited by Dragon
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is that a subwoofer box in the cab or an electric battery? LOL

why is this truck not here NOW?

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You must be a short person to be complaining about ride height. This has been a major problem for GM. Look at the crapy Fords and Dodges and you find a truck with plenty of Clearance and offroad capabilities that sit up high the way a truck should be. It is about time GM finally got their trucks sitting up high with a solid view of the road. If you want to sit on the ground get a car or El Camino or import a Holden Version.

Trucks should have at least a 15" clearance from Frame to ground if not more.

Rock on GM.

Ride height does not equal ground clearance. There is no reason a 2wd truck, or even most 4wd trucks need to have the frame 15" off the ground. I'm an average height, but I've heard tall people complain about the same thing. Maybe the preference for a high ride height has to do with something else. :AH-HA_wink:

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if ride height is a problem, heat up the springs hehe, thats a quick fix for that problem... however you best know what you are doing in the process cause its new springs for you if you dont. i got z71 on my colorado and would still love another 5" on it cause scrubbing crossmembers sucks. on the subject is there any other auto maker in the process of hybrid fullsize vehichles like to this scale in the works or is gm pretty much doin the pioneer stuff in this segment?

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Ride height does not equal ground clearance. There is no reason a 2wd truck, or even most 4wd trucks need to have the frame 15" off the ground. I'm an average height, but I've heard tall people complain about the same thing. Maybe the preference for a high ride height has to do with something else. :AH-HA_wink:

:rotflmao: You crack me up!!! At 6'6" tall and no problem in that other department. I think it has more to do with a big man needing a big vehicle and me being very tired of everyone thinking we have to be in small vehicles, close to the ground and squeezed like a sardine with the rest of the population. :smilewide:

Still you Crack me up! :rotflmao:

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if ride height is a problem, heat up the springs hehe, thats a quick fix for that problem... however you best know what you are doing in the process cause its new springs for you if you dont. i got z71 on my colorado and would still love another 5" on it cause scrubbing crossmembers sucks. on the subject is there any other auto maker in the process of hybrid fullsize vehichles like to this scale in the works or is gm pretty much doin the pioneer stuff in this segment?

I have Heard that Dodge is working on a Full Size Hybrid, but I believe GM will be the first out the door with it. Even Toyota will be behind GM in this area. :pokeowned:

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Dodge isn't working on it. They're using the GM system. It's really not even GM's anymore. GM started the development, and Diamler Chrsyler, BMW, and Mercedes all jumped in on it. It's a joint venture thing, but it started at GM.

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The different partners have different responsibilities. GM developed the initial design and the primary large truck application. Daimerl/BMW are working on a rwd luxury car version, while GM is also working on fwd versions for crossovers and compact cars.

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The different partners have different responsibilities. GM developed the initial design and the primary large truck application. Daimerl/BMW are working on a rwd luxury car version, while GM is also working on fwd versions for crossovers and compact cars.

According the Scott Miller - Head of GM two mode system, "The drivetrain Hardware and Software was developed by GM, BMW. CH, and Di. The application and packaging will differ."

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I love that these companies have combined to develop this system, It should be rock solid!

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Looks sweet. I will be very interested to see what real world gas mileage will be with one of these.

Speaking of real world mileage--for right now where the heck is the 6 speed automatic that's available almost everywhere but in the new Silverado/Sierra??? Truck Trend noted that even the 381 horse Tundra got better mileage (with 6 speed auto) than the Silverado 5.3 (with 4-speed). I thought 6-speed auto was to be available in 08 but don't see it on the order form.....

And wouldn't a light-duty diesel with this hybrid system be sweet?

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I love that these companies have combined to develop this system, It should be rock solid!

In developing these transmissions, I'm hoping that Chrysler was left outside a locked door, beating on it and yelling "Hey guys!!! LET ME IN!.... COME ON! This isn't funny! GUYS?! OK, it's getting really cold out here.... please let me in guys!"

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Speaking of real world mileage--for right now where the heck is the 6 speed automatic that's available almost everywhere but in the new Silverado/Sierra??? Truck Trend noted that even the 381 horse Tundra got better mileage (with 6 speed auto) than the Silverado 5.3 (with 4-speed). I thought 6-speed auto was to be available in 08 but don't see it on the order form.....

And wouldn't a light-duty diesel with this hybrid system be sweet?

I'm not sure a diesel would work well in this type of application. Don't diesels object to frequent start/stops?

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I'm not sure a diesel would work well in this type of application. Don't diesels object to frequent start/stops?

Yes traditional Glow plug diesels do not like start and stop of the engine, but a Direct Injection diesel is able to handle that. I wonder if it has to do with the glow plug that has to heat up before starting for a traditional diesel?

Edited by dfelt
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Yes traditional Glow plug diesels do not like start and stop of the engine, but a Direct Injection diesel is able to handle that. I wonder if it has to do with the glow plug that has to heat up before starting for a traditional diesel?

This hybrid system started it's life in metro buses--Seattle was among the first to take delivery of them. Somehow those diesels don't seem to mind the starting and stopping--and have pretty good track records for reliabilty in fleet use.

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