Trying to save its Cadillac Escalade premium SUV from the effects of rising gasoline prices, GM is going to introduce a flex-fuel version of the vehicle. With its engine (the luxury truck will probably use the same 5.3-liter V8 powerplant that animates their current GMC Yukon pickup) modified to run on biofuel, the car will also allow the major American car manufacturer to easier comply with the next-gen CAFE regulations that are expected to seriously increase average mileage for full-size SUVs like Cadillac Escalade, Ford Excursion and, of course, Hummer H2, which is especially hated by the tree-hugging crowd on this side of the Pond.
Together with the Hummer H2 SUV and H2 SUT, Buick Lucerne and other cars, the 2009 Escalade will extend GM’s E85-capable model lineup to “more than 15 … models,” said GM Vice President of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy Beth Lowery.
GM says that the flex-fuel 2009 Cadillac Escalade will be able to run on either ordinary gasoline or E85 ethanol, or any combination of the two.
According to the company, the flex-fuel option will be available to all customers at no additional cost.
The third-generation Cadillac Escalade was introduced just around two years ago and is expected to stay in production for at least five more years. Although, with its base price starting well north of $50,000 mark, the skyrocketing price of gasoline doesn’t seem to be such a serious issue as it is for the kind of folks that run more rustic gas-guzzlers like previous generations of half-ton pick-up trucks, a flex-fuel version of the car will be a very nice option for those guys that feel a little uneasy when thinking about global warming and the role that heavy, fuel-hungry cars play in it. And, while the positive environmental effect of E85 is debatable at best, they will at least support thousands of farmers that sell their corn to refineries for a fairly nice profit.