Chances are that, by this time, you have already heard about the new 3.6L V-6 LGZ engine and 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission in the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and 2017 GMC Canyon. We’ve been getting all kinds of questions asking how, exactly, the new gasoline burner stacks up to the 3.6L V-6 LFX mill that it replaces. Here’s a side-by-side comparison.
On paper, the new LGZ gains 3 horsepower and 6 pound-feet of torque over the LFX.
|Vehicle:||2016 Colorado/Canyon||2017 Colorado/Canyon||+ / – 2017 Models|
|Engine:||3.6L V-6 LFX||3.6L V-6 LGX||N/A|
|Power (hp @ RPM):||305 @ 6800||308 @ 6800||+3|
|Power (kW @ RPM):||227 @ 6800||230 @ 6800||+3|
|Torque (lb-ft @ RPM):||269 @ 4000||275 @ 4000||+6|
|Torque (Nm @ RPM):||365 @ 4000||373 @ 4000||+8|
But that’s only scratching the surface, since the new six-banger — which represents GM’s second-generation double-overhead-cam engine architecture — also carries refinement and fuel economy benefits.
The new LGZ features an advanced suite of engine technologies, including improved variable valve timing for intake and exhaust as well as improved direct injection.
The increases in power and refinement go one step further thanks to the inclusion of the new 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission. Roughly the same size and weight as the 6L50 six-speed automatic it replaces, the 8L45 offers a wider 7.0 overall gear ratio spread than the 6.0 ratio of its predecessor, resulting in a numerically-higher first gear ratio that increases off-the-line confidence with a heavy load or when trailering.
The other vital aspect of the new LGZ engine revolves around fuel economy: not only is the LGZ slightly more powerful and refined than its predecessor, but it also features GM-pioneered Active Fuel Management (aka AFM or cylinder deactivation), which disables two cylinders under light driving conditions.
GM has yet to release official fuel economy figures for the 2017 Colorado and Canyon, but chances are they will be slightly higher than they were on the 2015-2016 models. Contributing even further to the gains in fuel economy is the new 8L45 transmission’s numerically-lower rear axle ratios that reduce engine rpm on the highway for improved efficiency.
The icing on the cake is the fact that the new 8L45 gearbox features extensive use of aluminum and magnesium as well as similar packaging to the outgoing 6L50 transmission, making it no heavier than the outgoing unit.
The GM Authority Take
All in all, the new 3.6L V-6 LGZ engine in the 2017 Colorado and 2017 Canyon deliver more power, higher levels of refinement and better fuel economy. What’s not to like?