First Look: 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 Two-Mode Hybrid
By: Mike Levine, General Motors Press Release Posted: 02-03-08 00:01 ET
Photography: General Motors
© 2008

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Last fall we saw the debut of the industry's first full size two-mode hybrid pickup, when the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 bowed at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Salon. Now it's the GMC Sierra 1500's turn to show-off its greener side.

Like the Silverado, the Sierra also promises 40% greater fuel economy in the city and a 25% improvement in combined city and highway fuel economy.

The two-mode system is much more sophisticated than the previous mild hybrid setup we drove in the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid. It's focused around two electric motors housed inside the transmission and was co-developed with Chrysler, Mercedes, and BMW.

The Sierra can drive up to 30-mph on electricity only, which is stored in a 300-volt battery under the rear seats in the crew cab. When the gas engine is used, the hybrid system helps the 6.0-liter V8 engine run in a wider power band in four-cylinder mode using GM's Active Fuel Management System. The Sierra can still tow up to 6,100-lbs.

The all new 2009 Dodge Ram will receive the same gas/electric propulsion system next year, but paired with Chrysler's HEMI V8.

Here's GM's press release:

GMC announced the 2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid, a powerful full-size pickup that achieves 40-percent greater city fuel economy and a 25-percent improvement in overall fuel economy while delivering the capability expected of a full-size truck – including a 6,100-pound towing capacity.

Partnering General Motors’ patented two-mode hybrid system and a powerful 6.0L gas V-8, the Sierra Hybrid delivers highly efficient performance, including all-electric driving up to 30-mph. That allows fuel savings to be realized even when the truck is fully loaded or towing a trailer.

“The Sierra Hybrid represents GMC’s commitment to engineering excellence, delivering a fully functional truck that offers a significant improvement in fuel economy,” said Jim Bunnell, GMC general manager. “Sierra Hybrid will deliver fuel economy that is expected to be the best in the full-size pickup segment, exceeding the current mileage leader – the non-hybrid Sierra.”

The Sierra Hybrid goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2008 and is based on the strong and capable Sierra platform that was introduced for the 2007 model year. It will be offered in the Crew Cab body style on both 2WD and 4WD models. Each model is equipped with several standard, popular features, including StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, a locking rear axle and a trailering package. Sierra Hybrid also offers dual-stage frontal air bags and head curtain side air bags, and it is the only full-size truck with five-star side-impact ratings in federal crash tests.

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