GM’s Luke: More Powertrain Options May Be Coming for Large SUVs

Now that the sheets have been pulled back on the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade, we know GM’s jumbo-sized SUVs will get largely the same engines as their full-size truck cousins, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, a 5.3-liter and optional 6.2-liter V-8, both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. But more variations may be in the works.

In a quote to Automotive News, Luke said the large SUVs would soon be receiving eight and possibly even 10-speed transmissions, as well as other powertrain variations, such as a hybrid version, and possibly even a diesel. Prior to GM’s 2009 bankruptcy and reorganization, the company was just months away from starting production on a revolutionary 4.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 destined for the half-ton trucks that featured narrow-angle cylinder banks, reverse-flow heads, and dual overhead cams. The engine was designed to fit into the space where a conventional small-block gas V-8 would fit. The intriguing engine was even announced for production at GM’s massive Tonawanda engine plant.

The hybrid option in the last-generation GM SUVs was never a big seller, and although it got significantly better city fuel economy than the conventional models, the difference in highway fuel economy was minimal, and the added cost was substantial, making many shoppers question the option’s value.

Luke did not give any specific timeline for when these changes would appear in the new SUVs.

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