Fuel for thought: How Chevrolet made 2018 Tahoe the most efficient yet
Despite a thumping 5.3L V-8 as standard under the hood, the 2018 Tahoe is one of the most economical large SUVs out there
DUBAI – It’s no secret, the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe is big on convenience, comfort, space, off-road prowess, safety and all-around ruggedness. However, for a full-size SUV that can comfortably ferry up to nine passengers, the 2018 Tahoe is also surprisingly big on fuel efficiency. A highway fuel consumption of 10.3 Km/L is virtually unprecedented in the segment, especially for a 4x4 that is powered by a potent 5.3L V-8 delivering a substantial 355 horsepower and 520 Nm of torque.
So how did Chevrolet engineers manage to make this large SUV, with awe-inspiring performance and towing capability so frugal? The answer lies in the ingenious technological solutions the development team have deployed.
To make the V-8 as efficient as possible, Chevrolet engineers added a trio of Active Fuel Management™ technologies that work in perfect harmony to cut fuel consumption without adversely affecting performance.While Direct Fuel Injection meters the optimum amount of petrol for efficient combustion, Variable Valve timing technology allows for continuous control of valve opening and closing. This enables better engine breathing, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The highlight though is General Motors’ intelligent cylinder deactivation technology. This flagship technology, allows four cylinders to be shut off when operating under lighter loads. In essence, the 5.3L V-8 can also act as a four-cylinder!
For instance, during a highway cruise when the power from all eight cylinders isn’t required, the system can deactivate four cylinders to reduce fuel consumption. However, when extra power is called upon, say for an overtaking maneuver, all eight cylinder awaken to provide the propulsion required. Impressively, the process is virtually seamless and the transition almost unnoticeable. So, during a day’s driving the V-8 indiscernibly switches operation from four-cylinders to eight cylinders.
Furthermore, the engine is mated with General Motors’ trusty six-speed Hydramatic automatic gearbox, which has optimized shift points to reduce fuel consumption even further, making the Tahoe’s drivetrain one of the most efficient in class.
An innovative feature that further helps conserve fuel is the standard active aero shutters. Two electronically controlled shutters behind the grille of the Tahoe open and close depending on the engine’s air requirements. This allows for the aerodynamics of the vehicle to be adjusted in real time to ensure a path of least resistance, thereby enhancing fuel economy as well as refinement.
Another technology that helps reduce the 2018 Tahoe’s fuel consumption is the available Adaptive Cruise Control. This feature enhances cruise control by allowing the vehicle to automatically follow a detected vehicle at the driver-selected following gap, reducing the need to frequently brake and accelerate. Frequent braking is one of the reasons for unnecessary fuel waste, and the 2018 Tahoe solves that problem while enhancing the driving experience by making it less stressful and safer.
The sum of all these clever parts is a full-size SUV that offers everything one would expect in terms of on- and off-road performance, space, comfort, practicality and towing ability, while returning the fuel efficiency of a family sedan.
This makes the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe one of the most efficient SUVs in its class.