Diesel isn’t exactly the cleanest word in the U.S. at this moment. Following the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, which continues to unfold, any decent representation the fuel source had earned was quickly wiped away.
However, that hasn’t stopped General Motors from investing in diesel powertrains, especially in its Heavy Duty pickup trucks. In fact, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD makes significantly more power from its 6.6-liter L5P Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine but manages to produce fewer emissions in the process.
It begins with the new 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine, which has been redesigned with a class-first aluminum cylinder head design, with six head bolts per cylinder and four valves per cylinder. Foremost, this design reduces weight, but it also provides incredible head-clamping strength, imperative in a high-compression, turbocharged engine.
This also results in a stiffer head structure and more precise coolant flow control, while heavily revised airflow passages contribute to the lofty horsepower and torque ratings of 445 hp and 910 lb-ft.
So, all of this engineering wizardry makes it more powerful, but what about efficiency?
The new 6.6-liter L5P Duramax turbo-diesel V8 employs a common-rail direct injection fuel system with new high-capability solenoid-type injectors. High fuel pressure of 29,000 psi permits excellent fuel atomization for a much cleaner burn. In the end, this promotes reduced particulate emissions.
In addition, the new injectors also allow for up to seven fuel delivery events per combustion, also creating a more efficient process.
If all of this isn’t enough, the 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine is also capable of running on B20 biodiesel, a fuel composed of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel. The obvious benefit is even lower carbon emissions when burning the renewable, soybean-based fuel.
It seems diesel isn’t such a dirty word after all.