With both Ram and Ford raising the bar on fuel economy, General Motors’ light-duty trucks are going to be at a competitive disadvantage in the coming months. This disadvantage won’t last long with GM poised to bring a half-ton diesel engine to the market.
GM’s Steve Kiefer, vice president of global powertrain, recently told Automotive News they are looking at bringing a diesel to the market. With their stable of diesel engines and a 4.5L V8 diesel already designed, GM could answer the growing MPG race quickly in their light-duty Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups.
“We are looking closely at diesel entrees in that segment,” Kiefer said. “In fact, I heard the term ‘dust off’ that 4 1/2-liter at one point. That is certainly one of the options. Clearly, we have a portfolio of diesel engines.”
A 4.5L Duramax V8 diesel was developed before the company went into bankruptcy in 2009 and was subsequently shelved. Dusting it off and adding some modern improvements like reducing displacement and adopting new friction-reduction technologies. But it’s been so long, we wonder if perhaps the upcoming 2.8L Duramax could serve as a possible replacement.
Whichever direction GM decides to go, trucks getting more MPGs are a win for consumers who are tired of pumping hundreds of dollars of gas into their trucks. If they can afford the up-front premiums.