Toyota is the undisputed king of hybrid technology at the moment, that???s a fact - just don???t go telling GM. General Motors??? Baltimore Transmission Plant today officially began production of what they are calling the auto industry???s most technologically advanced hybrid transmission.
The 2-Mode Hybrid transmission will debut in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid, the industry???s only full-size hybrid SUVs. GM???s Arlington, Texas, assembly plant will begin building the hybrid vehicles next month.
???This 2-Mode Hybrid transmission is not only shifting the gears in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon Hybrids, it's also helping shift GM's efforts to reduce gasoline consumption and emissions into overdrive,??? said John Buttermore, GM Powertrain vice president, global manufacturing.
Next year, the Baltimore Transmission Plant will begin building 2-Mode Hybrid transmissions for another five hybrid vehicles, including the Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV and the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Crew Cab full-size pickups.
GM???s 2-Mode Hybrid transmission reduces fuel consumption by providing electric-only launch and drive capability, engine-off at idle and during vehicle deceleration, electric boost to assist the petrol engine and capturing electric energy during vehicle deceleration.
The key to GM???s 2-Mode Hybrid transmission is its unique combination of two electric motors and four fixed gears, packaged within the same space as a conventional automatic transmission. This arrangement allows electrically variable operation, as well as providing four fixed gear ratios, providing advantages in combined (city and highway) fuel economy, dynamics and towing capability.