The GMC Graphyte uses a system called Active Fuel Management (AFM), which turns off some of the gasoline engine’s unneeded cylinders when vehicle is cruising or when stopped. When more power is needed such as when climbing a hill or towing, more cylinders are turned on automatically. The GMC Graphyte is powered by a Vortec 5300 V8 gasoline engine assisted to two high-torque electric motors and mated to a Hydra-Matic 4L60-E automatic transmission.
The Graphyte uses drive-by wire technology and independent air suspension that allows the vehicle height to be adjusted by 4.7 inches for either road-hugging stability or increased ground clearance. Up front is a strut-type suspension and a in the rear a five-link suspension configuration. The Graphyte also uses 22-inch wheels wearing Goodyear all-terrain tires and is made for off-road 4-wheel drive applications as much as it is for on-road use.
One additional feature that make the GMC Graphyte concept vehicle one of the more interesting hybrid SUVs is that it uses Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN), which communicates critical crash information to OnStar advisors after an accident. Because of this technology, emergency first responders know what to expect before arriving on the scene.
If the GMC Graphyte concept vehicle does ever make it from the trade shows to the showrooms it will be a welcomed addition for many off-road SUV enthusiasts concerned about cutting down on greenhouse gases and lessening our dependence upon foreign oil.
The Graphyte’s two-mode hybrid system uses it’s first mode at low-speeds for stop-and-go driving, which runs mainly off the electric motors with some gasoline motor assistance as needed. The second mode operates at higher speeds such as for highway driving and towing and uses primarily the gasoline engine for power and torque with the electric motors running other systems such as the air conditioning.
Last month GM and Chrysler unveiled the two-mode hybrid system that would see its first application in trucks. The GMC Graphyte is an all-wheel drive SUV fitted with that powertrain. The Graphyte is a styling exercise to express the future look of GMC and their first crossover vehicle due in 2007/2008. Click inside for more info and pictures.
I can only hope this interior is more real than concept, at least for the general layout of the dash and console. The seats are mounted on pedestals instead of tracks to provide more leg room.
It’s an odd looking bird from many angles, but I believe much of its shape will trickle down to the new crossover that GMC plans to build. The Graphyte was built to provide great fuel economy and aerodynamics plays a key role. The 40-degree windshield, headlights and smooth under body cover help cheat the wind.
The seats have a 1-2-3 folding capability, allowing the seatbacks of all three seating positions to be folded flat and indespendent of one another.