Expanding on the mileage-making design tweaks introduced on the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Coupe and Sedan, General Motors will offer "Xtra Fuel Economy" (XFE) variations of its Chevrolet Silverado/Tahoe and GMC Sierra/Yukon for 2009. The XFE option will only be available on certain rear-wheel drive vehicles equipped with the 5.3-liter Flex-Fuel V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission. Production of these pickups and SUVs is slated to begin sometime in the fall.
The newest members of the XFE family incorporate a number of aero, mechanical, and mass-reducing enhancements to help bump their EPA city/highway numbers from 14/21 mpg to 15/21 mpg -- gains of seven and five percent, respectively, over their comparably equipped non-XFE counterparts. All share a common 3.08:1 rear axle ratio, lightweight aluminum wheels -- including the spare -- and low-rolling resistance tires as well as a lowered suspension with aluminum lower control arms. Other functional items include an auto-locking rear differential and a trailering package. Despite their econo orientation, tow ratings on Tahoe and Yukon XFE variants remain unchanged while the rating on the mileage-making Silverado and Sierra actually rises from 6,600 to 7,000 lbs.
Chevy will offer the XFE package on the Silverado LT Crew Cab and Tahoe LS and LT trims while GMC will get it on the Sierra SLE Crew Cab and Yukon SLE and SLT.