GM to introduce two new hybrids at the Chicago Auto Show

GM will showcase two new hybrid pickup trucks, the Sierra Two-Mode Hybrid pickup and the Denali XT concept, at the Chicago Auto Show, which will open to the public on Saturday, 9 February, after two days of media previews. GM is banking on the idea that truck buyers will be eager to embrace the green-power phenomenon.

The Sierra Hybrid pickup, a full-size hybrid pickup is the GMC version of the hybrid Chevy Silverado revealed at the LA Auto Show late in 2007, and should be available for sale by the end of this year.

The Sierra will be the next in line from the house of GM vehicles to get the company's two-mode hybrid system, after the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon SUVs and the Chevrolet Silverado pick-up.

A vehicle powered with two-mode hybrid system can run without the petrol engine at low speed, like single-mode hybrid systems now used by Toyota, Honda, Ford and others. At higher speeds it uses both engines for extra power; the two-mode system is also better for towing.

GM says the Sierra can drive up to 50km / h on electricity alone, which is stored during braking and cruising in a 300V battery. When the petrol engine is used, the hybrid system helps the six-litre, V8 run for longer in its more economical four-cylinder mode.

The Denali XT concept is built on a car-like unibody subframe rather than a conventional truck chassis for a smoother ride and lower fuel consumption; it's GM's first vehicle to combine a flex-fuel engine with a hybrid system.