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2013 GMC Sierra Hybrid Stands Alone In Full Size Truck Market

June 9, 2013
2013 GMC Sierra Hybrid Palm Springs

2013 GMC Sierra Hybrid

2013 GMC Sierra Hybrid Palm Springs

The 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid is the only hybrid in the full-size truck segment, and ideal for anyone working in Southern California.  Compared with comparable, non-hybrid models, the GMC Sierra Hybrid delivers 33 percent greater city fuel economy and a 23.5-percent improvement in overall fuel economy, all with the capability customers want in full-size truck, including a 6,100-pound trailering capacity.

GM’s advanced Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS) work in conjunction with the standard 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC) technology to enable the Sierra Hybrid’s efficient performance.  This hybrid system enables the Sierra to launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone, and also allows the 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods.

GM designed the EVT to provide the best combination of city and highway fuel economy, and as anyone in the Coachella Valley knows, rising fuel prices are a larger factor than ever before.  Used with the Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management, it is an all-purpose system well-suited to providing excellent economy and full-size pickup passenger-carrying, cargo-hauling and trailer-towing capabilities.

The EVT is designed to bolt directly to the standard four-wheel-drive transfer case found on the gasoline-only models for true four-wheel-drive capability.  The Sierra Hybrid’s unique powertrain system comprises the Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT), an Energy Storage System (ESS), and Vortec 6.0L V-8 with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC).

The key to GM’s EVT is its unique assemblage of two 60 kW electric motors, three planetary gearsets and four traditional hydraulic wet clutches.  This arrangement allows continuously variable operation, and provides four fixed gear ratios with operation comparable to that of a standard electronically controlled automatic transmission.

A sophisticated Hybrid Optimizing System constantly receives torque-based data from the powertrain and other vehicle systems, and then determines the most efficient means of propelling the vehicle; either via electric power, gasoline engine power or a combination of the two.  The EVT is like having two transmissions in one, continuously variable drive for light-load conditions and fixed-ratio drive for high-load situations.

Engineers chose the Vortec 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine for the Sierra Hybrid because of its favorable torque characteristics.  This is especially important because GM engineers adapted the 6.0L V-8 to operate with late intake valve closing for reduced pumping losses and better overall fuel economy. Using flat-top pistons, cylinder heads borrowed from GM’s 5.3L high-output V-8 and a 10.8:1 compression ratio, the Vortec 6.0L V-8 produces 332 horsepower at 5100 rpm and 367 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm, yet requires only regular unleaded fuel. The Vortec 6.0L also features variable valve timing to control late intake closing, as well as Active Fuel Management, which allows four of the eight cylinders to be shut off during periods of light load.  With the benefit of electric boost, the engine is able to stay in V-4 mode for longer periods in the Sierra Hybrid.

The interior of the cab features a unique hybrid gauge cluster and includes a special tachometer incorporating an Auto Stop position which indicates when the gasoline engine is in shut-down mode. Located midway down the center stack, the navigation system’s seven-inch full-color VGA display (3HB models) doubles as a monitor which shows a graphic representation of the hybrid drivetrain’s power flow.  This display continuously informs the occupants how the system is sending power to the wheels from the ESS/electric motors, the gasoline engine or both.  The screen also displays reverse electrical flow during regenerative braking and whether the vehicle is in two- or four-wheel-drive mode.

Additional standard interior features include dual-zone automatic climate control, SiriusXM Satellite Radio standard on all models, Bluetooth phone connectivity, two auxiliary 12-volt power outlets, three-passenger rear bench seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. You no longer have to compromise style, power and efficiency for better gas mileage.  Whether you’re environmentally conscious or are looking to save money in the long run, the 2013 GMC Sierra Hybrid is ready for any job site in the greater Palm Springs area.

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