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GM's new full-size SUVs could get diesel, hybrid options

The General is exploring several new powertrain options for its large \'utes.

General Motors may soon offer its redesigned full-size SUVs with a range of intriguing new powertrain options, a senior engineer at the automaker has revealed.

Speaking with Automotive News, Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, stated that diesel engines, hybrid powertrains and advanced transmissions are under consideration for the new-generation Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.

"We've got some interesting powertrain technologies coming on the SUVs over the next few years," Luke said.

If GM decides to go the diesel route, it's unclear what oil-burner the company would offer for its SUVs. GM could conceivably use the 4.5-liter turbodiesel V8 that it was developing for light-duty pickup and SUV applications before financial difficulties spelled the end of the project in 2009.

That mill, which was teased in a Chevrolet Suburban concept at SEMA in 2011, was rumored to make in the neighborhood of 300 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque.

"Grand Cherokee is doing [a diesel]," Luke said."We're watching."

Details are also scarce on the hybrid setup GM is exploring, but we do know that the automaker is currently developing both eight- and ten-speed automatic transmissions. Either could eventually replace the six-cog unit used in the 2015 SUVs.

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