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2009 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Hybrid Review

September 2009
Filed under: CADILLAC Car News | CADILLAC Headlines

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Cadillac has launched the 2009 Escalade Platinum Hybrid, the most technically advanced large luxury SUV yet, blending the exclusive features of the Platinum model with the fuel-saving powertrain of the Escalade Hybrid. It delivers 20 mpg in city driving " a 50-percent city mileage improvement over non-hybrid models.

“This is the ultimate Escalade, combining the luxury features of the Platinum with the worlds first hybrid on a large luxury SUV, said Mark McNabb, North America vice president, Cadillac/Premium Channel. “Along with the upcoming CTS Sport Wagon and SRX crossover, the Escalade Platinum Hybrid represents an opportunity for the changing priorities of luxury consumers who want dramatic design and technology combined with fuel efficiency and functionality.

The Escalades two-mode hybrid system allows it to return exceptional fuel economy, while delivering the capabilities of a true luxury SUV. The limited-edition Escalade Platinum model includes other advanced technologies, such as light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps and Cadillacs advanced Magnetic Ride Control system.

Escalade Platinum Hybrid is available in 2WD and 4WD configurations. It delivers up to 5,800 pounds (2,631 kg) of usable towing capacity on 2WD models and 5,600 pounds (2,540 kg) on 4WD models.

GMs patented two-mode hybrid system consists of an advanced electrically variable transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). These systems work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late-intake valve closing (LIVC) technology.

The key to Escalades two-mode hybrid system is that the electric power used to propel the vehicle is generated by the hybrid system itself. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity that is stored in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy is used to move the vehicle and the regenerative braking cycle is renewed.

Providing power to the hybrids electrically variable transmissions (EVT) two electric motors is a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). This battery pack is located under the second-row seat, where it takes up virtually no additional space and does not interfere with second- or third-row ingress/egress.

Additional features of the hybrid powertrain and supporting systems include:
Fully blended regenerative braking to capture energy that would otherwise be lost during vehicle deceleration
A 6.0L V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management and late intake valve closing (Atkinson-cycle combustion process) for reduced pumping losses and better overall fuel economy. It is rated at 332 horsepower (248 kW) and 367 lb.-ft. of torque (498 Nm) and runs on regular unleaded fuel
Auto Stop mode. Once the vehicle reaches 0 mph, the gasoline engine automatically shuts down, leaving the engine off and allowing the vehicle to move only under electric power, such as during city driving or heavy stop-and-go traffic
An exhaust system and resonator specially tuned for the 6.0L LIVC engines Active Fuel Management operation. It ensures comfortable interior acoustics and a pleasant exhaust note during both V-4 and V-8 operation
An electrically driven, 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off. It includes the standard tri-zone climate system
An electrically driven, 42-volt variable-assist power steering system reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems
The Energy Storage System cooling systems internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds, when the fan could more easily be heard by the occupants

The Escalade Platinum Hybrids battery pack durability and reliability are maintained via optimized charge and discharge cycles, as well as a dedicated cooling system that draws air from the passenger compartment. As part of the vehicles emission control system, the energy storage system is warranted for eight years/100,000 miles.

In the new Escalade Platinum Hybrid, the hybrid systems efficiency is complemented by an exclusive package of luxury, style and technology, including:
A distinctive front fascia and grille patterned after Cadillacs acclaimed CTS sport sedan
Unique 22-inch wheels
Magnetic Ride Control technology
LED headlamps
Exclusive interior appointments with Aniline leather
DVD entertainment system with screens integrated in front-seat headrests

Magnetic Ride Control is the worlds fastest-reacting suspension system and gives the Escalade Platinum more precise body motion control. It is a real-time damping system " “reading the road in 1-millisecond intervals " that replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a synthetic fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly.

The LED headlamps emulate the characteristics of natural daylight much more closely than traditional auto lighting. LEDs are environmentally friendly, with a usable life more than 20 times longer than traditional halogen bulbs.

Inside the Escalade Platinum is the latest example of Cadillacs 21st-century return to handcrafted luxury details. The instrument panel, center storage console and door trim are wrapped and stitched by hand. They feature decorative French seams that convey an elegantly tailored look and feel. Materials include rich leather on the instrument panel, with unique wood inlays and aluminum trim.

Aniline leather is unique to the Escalade Platinum and is used to trim the first- and second-row seats. Contrasting-color stitching is used on the French seams for a distinctive, luxurious appearance and the seatbacks feature embroidered Cadillac wreath and crest insignias. The leather-covered seats are comfortable and convenient, with the industry-exclusive power fold-and-tumble second-row seat feature that eases access to the third-row seat.

Additional standard interior features include Platinum-specific door sills and floor mats; a heated steering wheel; and heated and cooled cupholders and a power liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button. Also, the DVD entertainment system adds screens integrated into each front-seat headrest, in addition to the existing roof-mounted screen.

Each front-row headrest screen has its own driver and input controls. The headrest units can be operated independently or in tandem. This system enables passengers in different seats to watch or listen to different entertainment choices. Also including is the acclaimed Bose 5.1 Digital Surround system, as well as the eight-inch touch screen for DVD-based navigation and control of the DVD, CD, MP3 and XM Satellite Radio entertainment.

The Escalade Platinum Hybrid joins an evolving fleet of Cadillacs that is focused on fuel efficiency and functionality, combined with dramatic design and advanced technology. Cadillac will launch the all-new SRX crossover this summer, with high levels of functionality and a 3.0L direct injected V-6 engine that delivers more horsepower and a 10-15-percent fuel economy improvement over the 3.6L engine it replaces. The CTS Sport Wagon will also launch this summer, with the same, fuel-efficient engine, as well as greater functionality than has ever been delivered by Cadillacs core nameplate.

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