Chevrolet unveils new Avalanche with E85 FlexFuel
By Mike Hanlon
February 11, 2006
February 12, 2006 General Motors introduced the latest rollout of its next-generation full-size truck family, the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche, at the Chicago Auto Show. The Avalanche combines the passenger-comfort of an SUV with the cargo capability of a truck and the new 2007 model offers more power, better fuel economy and optional E85 flex-fuel capability. E85 FlexFuel vehicles can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 can contribute to energy independence because it diversifies the source of transportation fuels beyond petroleum, and it provides positive environmental benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Avalanche is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD. A Z71 off-road package will be offered later in the model year. At the start of production, Avalanche will be equipped with an efficient 5.3L V-8 delivering 320 horsepower (238 kw) and 335 lb.-ft. of torque (463 Nm), along with Active Fuel Management technology, which seamlessly switches between eight- and four-cylinder power to save fuel. Two versions of the Vortec 5.3L Gen IV V-8 – including an aluminum-block version that is standard in 4WD models – are compatible with E85. They can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85 fuel. Coming later in the year is a powerful, new all-aluminum 6.0L V-8 with variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management. The engine is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (264 kw).
Pioneered on the first-generation Avalanche, the Midgate opens to extend the cargo-carrying capability from the cargo bed’s 5.3-foot-long (1.6 m) length to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) – 2 inches (51 mm) longer than previous models. The rear seat must be folded to achieve maximum storage capability; with the rear seat up and the Midgate closed, Avalanche has room for up to six passengers. Avalanche also offers up to 8,000 pounds (3,629 kg) of towing capability, when properly equipped, enhancing its flexible, ready-for-anything capability. New features on the ’07 model enhance Avalanche’s flexible attributes and reflect customer feedback:
Central-locking tailgate – locking and unlocking the tailgate is more secure, as the conventional keyed lock is removed from the tailgate. Locking and unlocking functions are handled by the interior lock switches or from the Remote Keyless Entry fob.
Remote vehicle starting – standard on some models and available on others, the remote vehicle starting system allows convenient start-up from a distance to pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle’s interior.
Cargo cover retaining straps – new straps allow the cargo covers to be held securely in place when removed from the storage compartments.
Avalanche also has a new tailgate that is spring-loaded to reduce the effort needed to open or close it.