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The GMC Graphyte — A hybrid SUV concept vehicle

Graphyte shows off at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit

Click to see more photos of the GMC Graphyte.

GM unveiled its GMC Graphyte concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show. It is a two-mode hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV) that will improve fuel economy by 25 percent over a similar SUV. The new hybrid system in the Graphyte will be available in some 2007 GM full-size SUVs.

The Graphyte shows how a great-looking, powerful vehicle can also use less fuel and produce fewer emissions. This saves money, conserves resources, and helps the environment.

The GMC Graphyte's hybrid system works two ways:

  • One mode uses electric motors for low-speed, stop-and-go driving. This is the kind of driving done in cities and suburbs. The gasoline engine helps out, but the electric motors provide a lot of the power needed.

  • Another mode uses more power from the gasoline engine when the driver needs to accelerate, or when towing something like a boat. The gasoline engine provides the power and torque needed to get the job done. Meanwhile, electric motors power other things on the vehicle, like the air conditioning.

The Graphyte uses Active Fuel Management (AFM). This means that when the gasoline engine is running, the Graphyte can turn off some of the engine’s cylinders when they aren’t needed, such as cruising on the highway or at a stop light. When the driver wants to accelerate or do something that needs more power, like climb a hill, all of the cylinders turn back on.

Driving the Graphyte may seem more like operating a video game controller than a traditional vehicle because it uses by-wire controls. Instead of a shift lever that moves to select a gear, the driver simply pushes a button to select “Drive,” “Reverse,” or “Park.” The console of the Graphyte has a screen that shows how the hybrid system is working. Another screen shows feedback from the vehicle's satellite navigation system.

New technology helps make driving safer in the Graphyte. The Graphyte is equipped with OnStar and its latest Advanced Automatic Crash Notification system. In the event of a crash, this system can automatically give emergency service providers (police, ambulance) important information about the crash.


The two-mode hybrid system, explained

Active Fuel Management (AFM)

By-wire technology


More information:

Mode: method of operation; i.e., a "mode of transportation."

Torque: a force that tends to rotate or turn things.
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©2005 General Motors Corporation
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