A hybrid is a hybrid, right? Actually, no.

The word “hybrid” has become a real buzzword. But like so many buzzwords, its meaning, or to be more precise, its range of meanings can get lost in translation.

Hybrids can indicate anything from a system that shuts down gasoline power when braking or at a stop – all the way to a system that mixes both electric and gasoline power to boost power and fuel efficiency. GM’s revolutionary 2-Mode Hybrid System fits in the latter category.

What makes the 2-Mode Hybrid System so sophisticated, as its name suggest, is that it offers two distinct driving modes.

Two Modes are Better Than One

Mode 1 can operate three ways: on electric power alone, on gasoline engine power alone, or with a combination of both. In stop-and-go traffic, the engine may not be needed at all, allowing you to drive up to 48 km/h on electric power, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The electric power is generated by a 300-volt battery pack that is charged through regenerative braking, which also extends brake life.

At highway speeds, Mode 2 kicks in and the 332 horsepower Vortec V8 gasoline engine flexes its muscle. The engine features fuel-saving Active Fuel Management ®that works with electric power to keep the engine operating on four cylinders more of the time. The electric power also adds punch in such demanding situations as passing, towing a trailer or climbing steep grades.

But it isn’t only the number of modes that distinguishes this System. It’s also the way the mode is selected. Unlike many other hybrid systems that select a mode based strictly on the rate of airflow into the engine, the 2-Mode Hybrid System monitors engine torque to continuously adjust for the most effective and fuel-efficient blend of power.

That’s giving a whole new meaning to the word hybrid.


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