GM is about to start selling the fuel-sipping XFE (which stands for Xtra Fuel Economy) versions of its 2WD 2009 Chevy Silverado, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Sierra and GMC Yukon full size SUV’s and trucks that were designed to increase the brand’s competitiveness now when people finally start to count every penny in the face of the crisis that promises to be the worst in American history since the Great Depression.
Even without expensive hybrid drivetrains, these dinosaurs from the times of cheap oil may return 7% to 5% better fuel economy their standard siblings.
The Chevy Tahoe XFE can achieve 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway numbers, which is about 1mpg better for both the city and highway driving.
The models with XFE badge are equipped with a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed transmission, but are lighter and feature much lower coefficient of drag comparing to the standard models.
In fact, GM says that its Chevy Silverado XFE and GMC Sierra XFE sport a “Best in Class” 0.412 coefficient of drag are close to the 0.349cd of the hybrid-powered Tahoe and Yukon.
The vehicles’ aerodynamics was significantly improved with such enhancements as extended front lower air dam and lowered suspension and revised chassis tuning. Extra fuel economy also comes courtesy of intensive mass reduction efforts.
The XFE range features lots of parts made of lighter aluminum, including lower control arms and wheels. Even the engine features a mass-reducing aluminum cylinder block and heads. Low rolling resistance tires finish the picture.
Well, that’s fine, but I guess that all these enhancements must come as standard on the future generations of GM’s SUVs and trucks if the automaker still wants to keep selling these heavy monsters of the past.