|Class||Full-size hybrid crossover SUV|
|Body style(s)||5-door SUV|
The Sequel is powered by a fuel cell powertrain, which includes an electronic control unit and a fourth-generation version of GM's fuel-cell stack. A fuel-cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen fuel with oxygen from air to produce electricity. The only waste by-product of that conversion is water vapor.
The Sequel's fuel-cell stack has a rated power output of 73 kW (98 hp), supplemented by a lithium-ion battery pack rated at 65 kW. One 65 kW electric motor drives the front wheels and individual 25 kW wheel-motors (outboard of the rear brakes) drive each rear wheel, providing total tractive power of 115 kW.
Although this may not sound like much power, electric motors have different characteristics from internal-combustion engines. Specifically, they achieve maximum torque at start-up. Consequently, according to GM's figures, the Sequel will accelerate from 0-to-96 km/h in less than 10 seconds — more quickly than a Hummer H3 and well within the CUV/SUV norm.
Hydrogen storage and, consequently, driving range are major challenges in the development of fuel-cell vehicles. The Sequel stores 8 kg of gaseous hydrogen in three cylindrical, carbon-composite fuel tanks, pressurized to 700 bar (10,000 p.s.i.) and mounted longitudinally beneath the cabin floor. That is sufficient to provide an unprecedented range of more than 480 km between fill-ups, in spite of the vehicle's considerable 2,170-kilogram mass.
The Sequel is just short of five-metres long (4994 mm), on an exceptionally long (3040 mm) wheelbase — the better to accommodate the extremely long fuel tanks. As a result, it is a very roomy vehicle, particularly in the rear seat.
GM has made no commitment to building the Sequel. However, GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz has said he would push the company's strategy board to approve full production of a fuel-cell vehicle as early as the 2011 model year. However, due to the extremely high cost of fuel cells, GM opted to instead build several hydrogen-powered Chevy Equinoxes, as testbeds. It then decided to change its direction of alternative-fueled vehicles, and showed the concept Volt, followed by the production version a year later. As of October 2006, GM has built only two Sequels.
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