GM Promises Up To 50 Percent Better Towing For Next-Gen Hybrid Pickups

GM Promises Up To 50 Percent Better Towing For Next-Gen Hybrid Pickups

With the first generation of the two-mode hybrid Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups arriving in showrooms, GM is already promising big improvements in pulling performance from its next-generation gas-electric haulers.

“We’re going to see substantial improvements in towing capability in our next hybrids,” said Gary White, GM North America vice president and vehicle line executive for GM Full-Size Trucks. “We think we can raise towing by up to 50 percent more than today’s (hybrid) trucks. For us, it just makes sense that we want to improve the trailering capability. It’s one of the top reasons people buy a truck.”

We expect GM's next-generation hybrid full-size pickups to arrive by 2013.

GM’s 2009 two-wheel-drive hybrids are rated to tow up to 6,100 pounds, and four-wheel-drive models can tow up to 5,900 pounds. That means a tow rating of up to 9,000 pounds is possible in GM’s next-generation hybrids. A conventional GM 6.0-liter gas V-8 crew cab half-ton is rated to tow up to 10,600 pounds with an optional enhanced trailering package.

The two-mode hybrids combine an electrically variable transmission that houses two 60kW electric motors with a multi-displacement 6.0-liter V-8 gas engine. Depending on engine load, the electric motors alone can drive the truck up to 25 mph. As the V-8 kicks in, the electric motors seamlessly support it, individually or in tandem, at low and high speeds, helping the engine enter fuel-saving four-cylinder mode sooner and stay in it longer to achieve better fuel economy. Two-wheel-drive versions are EPA rated at 21/22 mpg city/highway, and four-wheel-drive versions are rated at 20/20 mpg city/highway.

White said today’s GM hybrid half-tons are limited in towing capacity by two factors: cooling requirements for the trucks' sophisticated electronics, and torque limitations in some of the transmission’s gear-set changes.

How will GM realize its improvements in capability, along with another expected jump in fuel economy? Could GM’s future hybrid pickups evolve from today’s two-mode parallel hybrid architecture to a plug-in, series-hybrid powertrain, similar to the Chevrolet Volt’s so-called E-Flex system?

“E-Flex is an option that’s on the table,” White said. “I don’t know if the current system, the one that’s in (today’s) trucks, could evolve enough. One of the things you might consider is E-Flex.”


I would love a series hybrid pickup! Just don't let it compromise on range, performance and towing!

That sounds great, lets just hope they follow through with that promise!

Question is, when it break down wander how much the bill gonna be??? Still the Diesel is better without Hybrids!! Not much more in MPG. They better put out a longer Warry....on the Hybids model.

I had a 2007 partial hybrid GMC and currently own a 2009 Sierra Hybrid. I LOVE it. I'm normally a Toyota man, but I switched to GMC for my pickup needs, since GM is the only manufacturer to offer a full hybrid powertrain. With its 8yr/100,000 warranty on all hybrid components, I'm confident GM will take good care of me if I were to have any problems...but none so far. I get at least 20mpg in pure city driving. My most favorite pickup ever.

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