( Worldcarfans ) - Cadillac engineers have been caught testing an Escalade Hybrid prototype in the Nevada desert. Unlike the Tahoe and Yukon Hybrids, the Escalade Hybrid won't feature any unique styling cues to set it apart. It's driver will have to rely on the relatively subtle badging to announce their eco-consciousness to their friends. Those Hybrid badges were covered with electrical tape on the desert-bound test models. Despite the tape, it was easy to read the raised "Hybrid" lettering when viewed from the right angle. A peek inside the cockpit revealed a large green Hybrid insignia on the Escalade's tachometer.
Two electric motors will assist the Escalade's V8 engine, resulting in a 25% increase in fuel economy. Cadillac is expected to get the Escalade Hybrid to showrooms this fall.
The Escalade's two-mode hybrid system is described further in this GM Press Release: The two-mode is patented hybrid technology with two modes optimized for city and highway driving. In the first mode, at low speed and light loads, the vehicle can operate in three ways: electric power only, engine power only or in any combination of engine and electric power. When operating with electric power only, it provides all the fuel savings benefits of a full hybrid system. Leaving the engine shut off for extended periods of time and moving under electric power at low speed is key to reducing fuel consumption in heavy stop and go traffic. The second mode is used primarily at highway speeds. In addition to electric assist, the second mode provides full eight-cylinder engine power when conditions demand it, such as when passing, pulling a trailer or climbing a steep grade. The second mode integrates sophisticated electronic controls, such as Active Fuel Management, cam phasing, and late-intake valve closure, allowing even more efficient engine operation.