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GM Announces Four New XFE Models.


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DETROIT — General Motors will produce for the 2009 model year special fuel economy models of four of its biggest, thirstiest trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs.

Grouped under the moniker XFE, which Chevrolet has already used on a high-mpg version of the Cobalt small car, the trucks will return 15 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway. That represents a single mile-per-gallon improvement for both city and highway, compared to non-XFE versions with the same 5.3-liter V8 engine.

Unlike the two-mode hybrid versions of the company's big trucks, the XFE models use totally conventional means to achieve their improvements. All XFEs will use six-speed transmissions and a 3.08 axle ratio, and the Silverado and Sierra XFEs get aluminum lower control arms for the front suspension, and an aluminum spare wheel and aluminum 17-inch wheels wearing low-rolling-resistance tires (with higher recommended tire pressure). To improve aerodynamics, the pickups' suspension has been lowered and the XFEs carry deeper front airdams and soft tonneau covers.

The SUVs get the same mechanical changes as the pickups.

The XFE suite of equipment is offered only on two-wheel-drive versions of the trucks and SUVs and only in pickups in the crew-cab body style.

GM has not announced pricing on the models. They will be in dealership showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year.

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The XFE thing is tacky to begin with. GM has too many badges and gimmicks on cars. They should just make a good product, not put SS badges on Malibus, or XFE badges over a 15 mpg truck. Why can't they sell a vehicle on merit, rather than on SS, XFE, Super, special edition, $3500 cash back, $179 a month lease etc. GM sells deals and gimmicks more so than they sell cars.

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>>"Why can't they sell a vehicle on merit, rather than on SS, XFE, Super, special edition, $3500 cash back, $179 a month lease etc. ..."<<

This is how everyone does it, welcome to the industry.

Lookit bmw- instead of making the hi-HP motor an option, not only do they give it a lame-ass badgefest of 'M's, but the car gets whalloped with fake scoops & bloated air dam bumpers and tacky , shaky exhaust tips and 'powerdome' hoods- none of which make a single solitary contribution to performance, which is what the model is supposed to be all about. At the same time, while still calling out 'Injected' on every vehicle's badge like it's 1975, having 4-WD is a yet another separate model! But that's what buyers want- lame stuff and a plethora of badges. You know, like 19 speakers and 10-way power seats- chinsy junk.

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>>"Why can't they sell a vehicle on merit, rather than on SS, XFE, Super, special edition, $3500 cash back, $179 a month lease etc. ..."<<

This is how everyone does it, welcome to the industry.

Lookit bmw- instead of making the hi-HP motor an option, not only do they give it a lame-ass badgefest of 'M's, but the car gets whalloped with fake scoops & bloated air dam bumpers and tacky , shaky exhaust tips and 'powerdome' hoods- none of which make a single solitary contribution to performance, which is what the model is supposed to be all about. At the same time, while still calling out 'Injected' on every vehicle's badge like it's 1975, having 4-WD is a yet another separate model! But that's what buyers want- lame stuff and a plethora of badges. You know, like 19 speakers and 10-way power seats- chinsy junk.

There is a lot more to 'M' than just the engines... the suspension, etc. M is to BMW what V-series is to Cadillac or AMG is to Mercedes. The best of the best in each model range. Nothing wrong with 19 speakers or 10 way seats either.

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The XFE thing is tacky to begin with. GM has too many badges and gimmicks on cars. They should just make a good product, not put SS badges on Malibus, or XFE badges over a 15 mpg truck. Why can't they sell a vehicle on merit, rather than on SS, XFE, Super, special edition, $3500 cash back, $179 a month lease etc. GM sells deals and gimmicks more so than they sell cars.

gm already has the best fuel efficency for all fullsized vehicles, so what more merrit do you want? they are trying to fill capacity and fill consumers garages... complain if u want, but what else would you do... keep the product as it was, and assume the war on oil is over, might as well play chicken with iran...

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There is a lot more to 'M' than just the engines... the suspension, etc.

You missed my point- smk was complaining about extraneous badging and packages. M3-model's bodywork is extraneous- no performance benefit from having it. In other words, the superfluous was added, instead of the car beig sold on the merits of it's hardware alone (engine, suspension). Just relating apples to apples for him.

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Marketing 101: figure out what you want the message to be and then trumpet it. GM has trumped Toyota and Honda on many models, yet the media continues to portray GM as the purveyor of gas guzzlers.

I am glad to see GM getting some of its mojo back and stick it to the Japanese. GM has been taking it up the ass for far too long.

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There is a lot more to 'M' than just the engines... the suspension, etc. M is to BMW what V-series is to Cadillac or AMG is to Mercedes. The best of the best in each model range. Nothing wrong with 19 speakers or 10 way seats either.

I'd say the M models are even more so than AMG or V-series. Cadillac and Mercedes drop i an a huge engine, flashy wheels, and beef up the suspension. The M3 has a carbon fiber roof to cut weight and lower the center of gravity. The M's are a bit more race car inspired, AMG and V-series cars are heavy.

BMW and Mercedes can sell a car on merit, even Toyota can sell on a reputation for reliability. I wish GM spent more time making a class leading car, and less time putting body kits or SS/GXP packages on stuff like G6s and Impalas, which are just rental cars.

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1 mpg might not look big because, well, it's just 1 mpg. But if you do the math, like GM did, the numbers are impressive. 5% and 7% increases are big. The changes GM did to these vehicles did more than the BAS did for the Silverado a couple years ago. GM being able to say we have the best mileage is big and them being able to solidify this fact is even better. New challengers are coming out. If GM didn't do anything when their crown was threatened, we would be bitching. The changes they made to these vehicles didn't require any special engineering since they are already doing these things with the hybrid version of these vehicles. It's a good, proactive move on GM's part.

I do wish GM would have do more to the Tahoe and Yukon. They didn't use the lighter seats, get rid of the spare tire, or use the aluminum hood and liftgate from the hybrid. Maybe they have a good reason on why they didn't.

Anyways, good job GM.

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You missed my point- smk was complaining about extraneous badging and packages. M3-model's bodywork is extraneous- no performance benefit from having it. In other words, the superfluous was added, instead of the car beig sold on the merits of it's hardware alone (engine, suspension). Just relating apples to apples for him.

Apples to apples would be BMW selling a low resistance tires, manual transmission 328i with an XFE badge on the back. Maybe they can do a Corvette XFE, the manual Corvette gets 1 mpg better than the automatic.

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You missed my point- smk was complaining about extraneous badging and packages. M3-model's bodywork is extraneous- no performance benefit from having it. In other words, the superfluous was added, instead of the car beig sold on the merits of it's hardware alone (engine, suspension). Just relating apples to apples for him.

It's not superflous, it's part of a total package. A performance model has to look the part...M buyers don't want their car looking like just another leased 328i..

Edited by moltar
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1 mpg might not look big because, well, it's just 1 mpg. But if you do the math, like GM did, the numbers are impressive. 5% and 7% increases are big. The changes GM did to these vehicles did more than the BAS did for the Silverado a couple years ago. GM being able to say we have the best mileage is big and them being able to solidify this fact is even better. New challengers are coming out. If GM didn't do anything when their crown was threatened, we would be bitching. The changes they made to these vehicles didn't require any special engineering since they are already doing these things with the hybrid version of these vehicles. It's a good, proactive move on GM's part.

I do wish GM would have do more to the Tahoe and Yukon. They didn't use the lighter seats, get rid of the spare tire, or use the aluminum hood and liftgate from the hybrid. Maybe they have a good reason on why they didn't.

Anyways, good job GM.

Percentages make it look like a bigger increase than it is...1 mpg is not anything of significance, and in real world driving, I doubt if drivers would notice any difference from the regular ones. They are still just heavy gas-guzzling trucks.

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i was hoping something different, but this isn't bad news. this will certainly help sell trucks to people that barely use trucks. i bet it would be easy to make them look pretty bad ass since they're lowered some already.

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Apples to apples would be BMW selling a low resistance tires, manual transmission, lower gears, and revised engine calibration 328i with an XFE badge on the back. Maybe they can do a Corvette XFE, the manual Corvette gets 1 mpg better than the automatic.

Fixed your post if you were trying to mock the Cobalt XFE. XFE means Xtra Fuel Economy and that's what these changes to the trucks give the consumer.

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Percentages make it look like a bigger increase than it is...1 mpg is not anything of significance, and in real world driving, I doubt if drivers would notice any difference from the regular ones. They are still just heavy gas-guzzling trucks.

Percentages don't lie. Walmart is spending millions of dollars to get 1 more mile per gallon out of their truck fleet. Should we tell them they are wasting their money because 1 mpg is not anything of significance and they wouldn't notice any difference? That 1 mpg for them is a 15% improvement. Does their percentage matter, and not GM's?

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Percentages don't lie. Walmart is spending millions of dollars to get 1 more mile per gallon out of their truck fleet. Should we tell them they are wasting their money because 1 mpg is not anything of significance and they wouldn't notice any difference? That 1 mpg for them is a 15% improvement. Does their percentage matter, and not GM's?

Gotta say he makes a point there....

Money saved is money saved.

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I am all for gas mileage improvements, but I wouldn't make a special edition of a car and add even more badges to the car for 1 mpg.

To prove my point that GM does too many gimmick inspired special editions, the Hummer H2 "Black Chrome limited edition" came out today. What's the point, Hummer sales are dead, a chrome package isn't going to change that.

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I am all for gas mileage improvements, but I wouldn't make a special edition of a car and add even more badges to the car for 1 mpg.

To prove my point that GM does too many gimmick inspired special editions, the Hummer H2 "Black Chrome limited edition" came out today. What's the point, Hummer sales are dead, a chrome package isn't going to change that.

If they are going to improve the mileage, make the changes across the board...no special edition, just standard equipment.

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Apples to apples would be BMW selling a low resistance tires, manual transmission 328i with an XFE badge on the back. Maybe they can do a Corvette XFE, the manual Corvette gets 1 mpg better than the automatic.

It's already quite common in Europe, where gas prices are twice as high.

Ford - ECOnetic

Opel - ecoFLEX

VW - BlueMotion

SEAT - Ecomotive

Fiat - Eco (no badge)

BMW - EfficientDynamics (no badge)

These "eco" models all save consumers money without compromising too much on performance or paying too much upfront.

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How about GM just make the full size SUV's and Trucks get 1/1 mpg better across the board, and not bother with the badge?

Then have a press release saying that for 2009 they have performed various enhancements to improve mileage by 1/1 on their line of SUV/Trucks, without any extra costs or changes to the customer. They could tout their commitment to continually improving efficiency, rather than silly marketing gimmicks.

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Well, it must be working: the National Post did a piece on the GM trucks getting better gas mileage - that's a ton of advertising for FREE.

That's the kind of marketing that works. It may sound stupid to us, but the media (and the public) lap this kind of crap up.

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How about GM just make the full size SUV's and Trucks get 1/1 mpg better across the board, and not bother with the badge?

Then have a press release saying that for 2009 they have performed various enhancements to improve mileage by 1/1 on their line of SUV/Trucks, without any extra costs or changes to the customer. They could tout their commitment to continually improving efficiency, rather than silly marketing gimmicks.

Because some of the changes they made would be unwanted by some consumers? As one person pointed out, the gearing they used for good fuel economy will hurt acceleration, which some consumers may care more about. I would say it would be better applied as a package instead of a model, and it seems odd to only offer a fuel economy model in crew cab form...

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This proves that the two mode hybrid doesn’t do anything for highway mileage. It comes completely from aerodynamics, low resistance tires, gearing, and dieting ;-) I applaud GM for engineering this easy fix, and I hope they can keep the additional cost under $500 as it would pay for itself in roughly two and a half years for the average consumer.

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This proves that the two mode hybrid doesn’t do anything for highway mileage. It comes completely from aerodynamics, low resistance tires, gearing, and dieting ;-) I applaud GM for engineering this easy fix, and I hope they can keep the additional cost under $500 as it would pay for itself in roughly two and a half years for the average consumer.

It seems absurd they would charge anything extra for this... these improvements should be standard.

Edited by moltar
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It seems absurd they would charge anything extra for this... these improvements should be standard.

I can understand your point of view, but if it was a free upgrade it may cut into profit margins as aluminum parts cost more than steel (especially for something the size of a 17" rim). I think this a small leap forward, and as a $500 option it would be a bargain and hopefully a popular option package (take dat OPEC!).

Edited by DavidCL2
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I can understand your point of view, but if it was a free upgrade it may cut into profit margins as aluminum parts cost more than steel (especially for something the size of a 17" rim). I think this a small leap forward, and as a $500 option it would be a bargain and hopefully a popular option package (take dat OPEC!).

It seems absurd to pay $500, even $100 for a trivial 1 mpg increase.

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It seems absurd to pay $500, even $100 for a trivial 1 mpg increase.

With my basic calculations, assuming $3.50 a gallon, $500 would pay for itself (jumping from 16mpg combined to 17mpg combined) in just under 40,000 miles with a saving of 147 gallons of fuel at a saving of $515. This is a no brainer option, unless their is a usability/performance detriment.

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With my basic calculations, assuming $3.50 a gallon, $500 would pay for itself (jumping from 16mpg combined to 17mpg combined) in just under 40,000 miles with a saving of 147 gallons of fuel at a saving of $515. This is a no brainer option, unless their is a usability/performance detriment.

Of course, in reality, most drivers don't see the EPA estimated mileage... I really doubt if people will really see a 1mpg improvement. I'm skeptical...they will probably still get a combined 15mpg or so...

Edited by moltar
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Of course, in reality, most drivers don't see the EPA estimated mileage... I really doubt if people will really see a 1mpg improvement. I'm cynical...they will probably still get a combined 15mpg or so...

True dat! I bet there is still a ~.85 mpg increase with these options though. I wonder are lower resistance tires referring to a special rubber compound, or is it marketing for thinner tires?

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True dat! I bet there is still a ~.85 mpg increase with these options though. I wonder are lower resistance tires referring to a special rubber compound, or is it marketing for thinner tires?

Hmmm..I wonder...because it seems like hybrids usually have 'lower resistance tires' and they usually seem narrower than regular tires.

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  • 1 month later...
Don't forget that they have a 6-speed in them now compared to the 4-speed of a year ago. You can not get 3.08 gears with a 4-speed this year.

I don't see anything sluggish about 3.08s. I've have several cars with them, or steeper. My Caprice has 2.56 or 2.93, IIRC. Moves like a bat outta hell. Do all of these SUVs have drag strip 4.11 gears to get their bulk moving? That's pathetic.

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