By on October 4, 2018

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

The EPA hasn’t officially rated the 3.0-liter inline-six diesel bound for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, nor has the automaker released power specs for this Flint-built light truck engine.

Thankfully, someone took photos of GM Canada’s dealer site and flung them to the internet.

Published by , shots of a page detailing the 2019 Sierra show the new Duramax engine generating 282 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque — an output that beats Ford’s 3.0-liter PowerStroke V6 by 32 hp and 10 lb-ft of twist. Once confirmed, this information won’t have any of the ferociously competitive denizens of Dearborn smiling.

General Motors is the last of the Detroit Three to offer a diesel in its full-size pickups. FCA began the trend in 2014 with its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, then rated at 240 hp and 420 lb-ft. An improved motor is promised for 2019, so the power race is still on.

As for fuel economy, it seems Ford still holds some bragging rights. The dealer site shows the Duramax engine returning 28 mpg on the highway, less than the maximum 30 mpg offered by Ford. GM, of course, opted against going the all-aluminum route when constructing the body of its new truck.

During the launch of the 2019 Silverado, Chevy brass boasted that their new diesel would “outperform” the Ford engine, and it appears they were correct.

Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the GM 3.0-liter is said to be offered on SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4 and Denali trim levels, with a maximum towing capacity of 7,800 pounds. It joins another new engine — a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder— and returning 4.3-, 5.3-, and 6.2-liter engines in the Silverado and Sierra range. The latter two engines now boast GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management, which deactivates up to seven cylinders at any given time for improved fuel economy.

[Image: Steph Willems/TTAC]

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30 Comments on “Leaked Specs Reveal Power, Fuel Economy of GM’s Diesel Inline-six...”


  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “General Motors is the last of the Detroit Three to offer a diesel in its full-size pickups”

    I assume “diesel” there should be read as “small displacement 6 cylinder diesel”?

    (Or “full-size pickups” might mean “notionally-half-ton full-size pickups”?)

    Because I’m pretty sure GM has had a diesel in its full-size pickups for a long time?

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      the author should of said non-HD fullsize pickup

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      amusingly, for several years GM was the only one of the three with a diesel in their 1/2-ton trucks.

      However, it was the Olds 5.7 diesel, so…

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        IIRC, the later 6.2 and 6.5 Detroit Diesels (NA or turbo) were also available in the ’80s and ’90s 1500s and even Blazers.

        But AFAIK, GM wasn’t the very first to have a diesel in a half-ton. That distinction would go to Dodge–a decade before Cummins, some D100s and 200s had an NA Mitsubishi 4.0L I6 making 105 HP. And before that, there was an option for a Perkins diesel in the early ’60s, of which even less is known than the Mitsu.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          International Harvester also offered a Perkins Diesel in the 60’s which I think was available in the 1/2 tons, exclusively and they also had the first turbo diesel in a pickup in the Chrysler/Nissan powered Terra.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I don’t understand the horsepower wars when it comes to pickup trucks. It seems like most people are beholden to brand X for whatever reason, and a few horsepower or torques or payload pounds in another competitor’s truck isn’t going to sway them, nor is it going to make them feel envious. Do RAM fans really go around spouting off facts about how the RAM 1500 can haul Y pounds more than the F-150? Or do they just denounce the Ford brand together and call it crap, no matter how good the products are or aren’t?

    Although I myself am not a truck person, have recently owned FCA, Ford, and GM products, and could happily buy any of the domestic trucks, likely on styling, features, and price. That first criterion puts the new GM trucks in a distant third place, because they just look awkward.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      My experience has been:

      -The only number any truck buyers brag about is HD diesel torque.

      -The loudest fanboys are annoying, but the majority of buyers are open minded enough to switch brands for a better truck. I’ve personally gone Chevy, Ford, Chevy, Ford for my last 4 trucks and almost bought a Ram this last time.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        Most – if not all – of the guys I work with who daily their Diesel trucks talk far more about mileage than anything else. Or how long said trucks take to warm up when it’s cold outside. I have a 2010 F-150 SCab that the Diesel Mafia at work liked to make fun of for a while. That ended after a few injector problems. Apparently one has to change all of them if just one injector goes South – to the tune of about CDN$1000 each, I’m told. All of these guys, to a man, own these enormously-capable trucks so that they can tow a massive glamper a few hundred miles; park it for a few weeks; then tow it home. They’re otherwise saddled with driving their behemoths to work and back for the remaining 48+ weeks per year. One guy has begun to come around, though: he asked me about Audi A4s, as I used to have one. He wants a wagon with a manual. I suggested a WRX wagon, instead.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I know a fellow who has a large camper trailer and came to the realization that his Ram Cummins was great for the job but sucked the remaining 10 months of the year. He sold it and purchased an EB 3.5 F150 with max tow. He says it tows his trailer fine the 1/2 dozen or less times in a summer he takes it out and is much more economical the rest of the year.

          • 0 avatar
            cimarron typeR

            The fellow I know who traded his MK7 Golf R for a GMC 1/2 ton Duramax has towed to date a rented Airstream, his own medium sized camper, and… a boat AFAIK. At least he doesn’t complain about how hard it is to drive in the city.He’s from Iceland , so I think it’s more about the freedom of buying the largest displacement, largest GMVW available without being bent over with use taxes.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      What Tele Vision said about mileage. I’ve never heard the RV/Horsetrailer people talk about hp/torque specifically, but I often hear anecdotes about what gear they were in when they reached the top of Galena Pass or White Bird (lower is better). Alot of eclectic conversation about the best rpm to keep their EGTs in check or aftermarket exhaust brakes…it gets pretty wierd.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    The 2wd Ford May have an advantage in the fuel economy department but wouldn’t be interesting if the 28MPG also applied to the 4wd Sierra. 3 MPG better than the 4wd Ford.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This GM diesel should be more than adequate for a half ton.

    Maybe this engine should be offered in the GM HDs as an entry level diesel for fleet operators. 285hp and 450ftlbs is more than enough for work trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah that is more power and torque than the diesels in 3/4 ton trucks a couple of decades ago and they got the job done. However this and the other 1/2 ton diesel engines might not be up to the task durability wise if they are truly used for hard work on a daily basis.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        At least south of the Canadian tundra, the limiting ingredient in heavily loaded engine output for towing up long grades, is cooling capacity. Unless these new halfton diesels are really, really different from their gas brethren, they won’t be close to HDs in that respect.

        The spec sheet numbers on any pickup truck, is for very intermittent power ratings. Even for the HDs. Manual transmission Ram HDs being the closest to a commercial rating, since the tranny is a commercial holdover, and hence weren’t designed to handle more power than the engines can in commercial guise. Which is why, in the real world, the feebly rated 650ft-lbs manual Ram, tows just as well as the 1000ft-lb chip-tuned-but-fundamentally-the-same variety, up and down long grades. And even the “commercial” rating in medium duty trucks, are way higher than the much more continous rating for marine and generator use.

        Moral of the story being, that for engines which are ostensibly bought for the lion’s share of miles of heavy towing (why else would one suffer through the indignities of diesel ownership?), peak output numbers don’t really tell nearly as useful a story as it does for the engines in less burdened vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          stuki,
          Most work trucks (fleet) I see in the US aren’t towing. They generally are fitted with a small dumper or specialised body.

          If you look at the larger displacement HD diesels they are bigger on torque than hp. A small diesel, like this 3 litre inline 6 will have quite a small bore and stroke, hence greater rpm which ups the hp. A lower revving version of this engine would still have the torque, but less hp.

          My inline 5 3.2 diesel is quite commercial and understressed. It will pull all day long.

          As for cooling, a diesel will generate less heat than a gas engine doing the same work. A simple way to validate this is looking at the EGT.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    My 20-year old, bone stock 235hp/500 ft-lb 7.3l does fine towing a 16k lb trailer. This 285hp/450 ft-lb rated engine should be fine as well and limited only by the 1/2-ton rating of the truck it is wrapped up in.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Only mildly interesting to me because it is an inline 6.

    An inline 6 gas base engine would be infinitely more attractive to me than the V6.

    • 0 avatar
      ahintofpepperjack

      Rumor has it FCA is working on an I6 to replace the Hemi engines.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I want a 9-12 liter, perhaps Atkinson cycle, I6. Big enough to make it slow turning enough to mate to the G56 tranny that is exclusive to the Cummins for now….

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        eh, that rumor has been around about as long as the Turbo Pentastar that is supposed to replace the 5.7 Hemi in 1/2 tons.

        It looks like GM and FCA are playing the waiting game to see who drops the pushrod V8 in 1/2 ton (at least in volume trims) first, who ever drops the V8 first will send the V8 buyers to the other one. Turbo 6s in Fords are showing there isn’t much improvement to be had in that segment. So get ready for 160 wheelbase on 1/2 tons.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I doubt Ram or GM will ditch V8’s. They will offer a token V8. Ford keeps the 5.0 around. There are enough buyers out their who want a V8 especially in the “loud pipes annoy lives” driving segment.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    Looks good – except for that knobby window-unit air conditioner bolted to the top of the grille.

  • avatar
    James2

    That Sierra is ghastly. Nothing on that front end is cohesive. Four different guys must have been assigned to the project –and they worked in different studios.

  • avatar
    Aron9000

    I will give GM some credit, at least they stack the cylinders in the right order(inline six instead of V6).

    Still though, diesel, at least how its done here in the United States makes no sense except for big trucks where you actually need the torque. The running costs on “heavy duty” diesel pickups is quite ridiculous, seems like all 3 of them have problems with the emissions equipment and other various bs things after they go off warranty. And I’m not talking $500-1000 problems, try more like $3k, $5k or more to fix things like injectors, dpf filters, urea systems, its just outrageous what it costs to service these trucks.

    Add into the fact that diesel is $0.60 cents more expensive than regular 87 where I live, you save big money buying a gas engine over the long haul. Add into the fact that this is probably going to be an expensive option only on upper trim levels, I just don’t see the value.


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