POSTED: Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 9:26pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 12:06pm
You can be green and rugged...
You know, Kermit the Frog was right. It’s not easy being green. Mainly because, well, it’s so wussy. Well now there’s a vehicle that proves you can be both butch and responsible…the Chevy Silverado Hybrid.
That’s right, there’s no need to go all Brokeback Mountain there cowboy, just to get better mileage. And the formula is easy. Take one Silverado crew cab, add one two-mode hybrid system connected to a big honking V8 engine, plaster hybrid badges all over it, and viola…you have a two-ton Prius.
The truck itself is pretty near bulletproof. The Silverado is as good as American trucks get, and that is the best in the world. There’s nothing about this truck that screams out your affinity for Al Gore, but GM claims it does get 25% better fuel economy, which should please both the former Veep and your bank account in the bargain.
Inside, it is the roomy, practical Silverado it has always been with a big center console that holds only a little less than an American Tourister steamer trunk and a killer sound system with satellite radio and OnStar standard. A vinyl bed cover is standard with the hybrid model, hiding a roomy, standard pickup bed.
Under the hood is the 6-liter Vortec V8 with cylinder deactivation that operates on 4 pots when cruising. Right beside it is the Hybrid drive unit which consists of two electric motors and a 300-volt battery pack.
The transmission is a very sophisticated version of a continuously variable gearbox, but can be locked into one single gear ratio for freeway hypermiling.
All this complication gives you an EPA rating of 21 miles per gallon city…22 highway versus 14 and 19 for the regular 6-liter model. We saw an average of 18 around town, which begs the question. Since the Hybrid loses 2600 pounds of towing capacity and 200 pounds of payload capacity, why not get a smaller V8 and better mileage.
So, cowboy, you’ll spend from $38 to 47,000 for your green mobile and luckily, it looks so standard that no one will ever know about your inner Ted Danson.