Praise never hurts, especially when it comes from your peers. So General Motors has reason to feel good about the newest honors for its 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid. The two gasoline-electric models have been named 2008’s Best Engineered Vehicles by Automotive Engineering International.
The magazine, produced by the huge trade organization, the Society of Automotive Engineers, which is based in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, based the award on voting by both editors and readers.
"General Motors has significantly re-engineered its class-leading full-size sport utility vehicles - the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon - with the first application of groundbreaking hybrid technology," Kevin Jost, Editorial Director of Automotive Engineering International, said.
Until recently an also-ran in the emerging hybrid market, GM has begun to make a big push with its so-called two-mode version of the fuel-saving technology. Like hybrids from the segment leader, Toyota, GM’s system can run on either gasoline or electric power, or a combination of both. But the two-mode technology has at least one critical advantage. Prior hybrid systems only operated effectively at relatively low, around-town speeds. The two-modes also yield fuel savings on the highway.
Both the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid are rated at 21 miles per gallon (mpg) for city driving and 22 mpg for highway driving for the two-wheel drive models, while four-wheel drive models achieve EPA ratings of 20 mpg in both city and highway test cycles.
The two-mode technology will roll out on a variety of other GM models, in the coming years, including a version of the Cadillac Escalade. The hybrid system was developed as part of a joint venture between GM and Chrysler, Daimler AG (maker of Mercedes-Benz) and BMW. Chrysler and the other makers are launching two-mode hybrid models, as well.