As gas prices continue to rise, hybrid powerplants are growing in popularity. While these powertrains are more commonly found in smaller vehicles, conserving fuel is just as important when it comes to full-size pickups. No better example than is the 2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 Hybrid.
The Silverado Hybrid appears to be identical to the standard Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, save for the "Hybrid: 2-Mode" badging at the base of the A-pillar. Other visual cues are the revised front fascia, lower air dam, and tonneau cover for the pickup bed. These elements work together to improve aerodynamics for this 5200-pound truck.
The real story here is the hybrid powertrain, which starts with a 6-liter V8 with cylinder shutoff technology that allows it to run on 4 cylinders under certain circumstances, to save fuel. That engine is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission coupled with planetary gearsets that allow for continuously variable gear ratios. This setup is combined with twin 60-kilowatt electric motors for a total of 332 horsepower and 367 pound feet of torque sent to the rear wheels, or available 4-wheel drive with low range.
Fuel economy for the rear wheel drive Silverado Hybrid is 21 miles per gallon city, 22 miles per gallon highway, while those opting for the 4 wheel drive model will get 20 miles per gallon in both city and highway driving.
The Silverado Hybrid has standard seating for six; with split fold 3-passenger benches for both rows. The interior is outfitted like GM's well-equipped SUV's, with dual zone climate control, and a 6-speaker, CD/MP3 stereo system with steering wheels mounted audio controls as standard equipment.
For towing, a trailer hitch platform with 2-inch receiver and 7-wire harness are standard, and can pull up to 6400 pounds.
Standard safety equipment includes 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, StabiliTrac stability control system, backup sensors, and a full array of front and side impact airbags.
Base MSRP for the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is $38,000. A fully loaded model will top out at around $50,000. The Hybrid components are backed by an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty, while the rest of the powertrain gets GM's standard 5 years and 100,000 miles.
With over 6,000 pounds of towing capacity, seating for 6, and over 20 miles per gallon, the Chevy Silverado Hybrid provides an amazing amount of versatility while displaying powertrain technology that might find its way to all trucks of tomorrow, today.