In a recent interview, General Motors President of North America Mark Reuss was asked whether the automaker was planning on using GM’s new 3.6 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine (production code LF3) in its new range of pickup trucks — the 2014 Silverado and 2014 Sierra. Reuss’ answer isn’t necessarily news, but it does confirm what some have suspected, and the reasoning behind it, as well:
“Never say never. That’s [the turbocharged V6 LF3] a really high-output engine. It is designed to beat BMW power-density-wise, and it does. If the market tells us that someone would want something like that in a truck, we’d certainly look at it. We’ve got three technologies in a V8 that beat it from a fuel-efficiency standpoint at a much different price point. That’s value. I wouldn’t say we’re never going to do that. That would be foolish. Is that something we’re going to rely on as our play? No.
GM has been an ardent supporter of the idea that boosted engines (such as the six-cylinder LF3) have no place in trucks, which get used and abused repeatedly. Instead, GM believes that nothing can replace the durability, toughness, and low-end torque of a V8.
What’s noteworthy here is that the decision to not use the boosted V6 LF3 in the new trucks, but rather a line of redesigned V6 and V8s, is likely as much about the image (rather than the actual real-world benefits) of using an eight-cylinder engine where it’s believed to be most appropriate (in trucks), rather than shoehorning a powerplant primarily designed to be used in cars. But with Ford’s 3.5L turbocharged EcoBoost engine enjoying relatively positive results in the F-150, we do wonder if the stigma associated with using a V6 in place of a V8 in trucks has been over and done for.
Either way, GM has the ability to offer both, a naturally-aspirated eight-cylinder engine alongside a boosted six it its trucks — if
it ever so desired the market told it to.