Wednesday, May 20, 2009
WTF? The baddest green machine out there.
This weekend I came across the ultimate in mixed branding - the Hybrid Escalade. With a hybrid option to the standard Cadillac Escalade, it is now possible to eek out an astonishing 20 MPG out of this 8 passenger transport. With a base price of $74k (as opposed to the base of $63k for the regular Escalade) this might master from Detroit certainly targets the upper income range for car purchasers. From a fuel consumption point of view, the improvement, as I understand it, is somewhere from 14mpg to 20mpg - or about 6mpg. At 15,000 miles/year, this is 321 gallons/year savings. At $3/gallon, that's $963/year, which would probably not make this justify the price premium.
But the real question is: does the "Hybrid" badge do anything, from a marketing point of view? Most hybrids have a halo effect (and, if you can drive in the carpool lane, a time-saving benefit as well). With the MANY "Hybrid" badges plastered on this vehicle, clearly the hybridization matters, but reaction from many indicates that this vehicle is more one of amazement and scorn.