Cadillac launches new Escalade Hybrid

Sorry for missing this one...this news dropped on the same day my first child was I was a bit distracted. We're working to get one of these for a full-blown driving review - so stay tuned. The 2009 Escalade Hybrid (available in standard Escalade form for now, no EXT or ESV to start) is packing GM's new two-mode hybrid drive that provides a 50% boost in highway mileage. This for a $3600 premium over a comparable non-hybrid Escalade (for a MSRP of $71,685). Power running boards and 4-wheel drive are the only options. This should give Escalade buyers an option beyond picking a smaller vehicle for reducing their fuel bills. Read on for the press release:DETROIT, Mich. – The launch of the world’s first hybrid applied to a large luxury SUV, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, begins this month. Achieving a 50-percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving, Escalade Hybrid arrives at Cadillac dealerships in the United States with an MSRP of $71,685. That represents a premium of only $3,600 over a comparably-equipped Escalade. “In a changing marketplace emphasizing fuel economy technology, Cadillac is proud to be the only luxury brand offering a hybrid in this segment,” said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. Escalade Hybrid features GM’s advanced Two-Mode Hybrid technology, enabling EPA fuel economy ratings of 20/21 miles per gallon (city/highway). The hybrid system can operate the vehicle entirely on battery-electric power during idling or low-speed driving situations. Escalade Hybrid also incorporates Active Fuel Management technology that enables the Vortec V-8 engine to operate on only four cylinders in certain driving conditions to save fuel. Escalade Hybrid is offered as a total package, including nearly all available luxury and technical features as standard. The two extra-cost options are four-wheel drive and power running boards.