We’ll just come right out and say it: a diesel engine option in the 2019 Silverado 1500 is a must if Chevrolet wants to remain competitive or beat its direct competition. So, here’s everything we know about the much-rumored 2019 Silverado Diesel, followed by a GM Authority prediction about whether or not we will ultimately see Chevy stuff an oil burner into its new half ton truck.
The Spy Shots
Two specific and rather concrete pieces of evidence suggest that Chevy will, in fact, offer a 2019 Silverado 1500 Diesel.
The first are spy shots captured in June 2017 of a 2019 Silverado 1500 prototype filling up at a diesel pump – providing clear-cut evidence that the engineering mule was drinking diesel rather than gasoline.
The second are spy shots from September 2017 that show a mule of the 2019 Silverado (or perhaps a 2019 Sierra) with the necessary equipment for a diesel engine – including a tank for diesel exhaust after treatment and a particulate filter.
This confirms, at the least, that GM/Chevy were or are testing a 2019 Silverado 1500 Diesel.
Both of the two foremost competitors to GM’s Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are either already offering a diesel motor in their 1500 trucks, or will be doing so shortly.
First to market was FCA’s Ram, which began offering the EcoDiesel engine in the 2014 Ram 1500. The engine makes 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, while delivering 21 MPG city and 29 MPG highway in the Ram 1500 pickup. By comparison, the best fuel economy offered by the current-generation Silverado 1500 (on the K2 platform) is:
- 16 MPG city and 23 MPG highway in 4×2 configuration with the 5.3L L83 V-8, which makes 355 horses and 383 pound-feet of torque, or
- 18 MPG city and 24 MPG highway in 4×2 configuration with the 4.3L LV3 V-6, which makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque
We should note that the mild-hybrid eAssist variant of the L83 (called L8B) achieves 16 MPG city and 24 MPG highway, while making 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.
So, not only does the Ram EcoDiesel make roughly 40 pound-feet more torque than Chevy’s 5.3L V-8, but it also does so while delivering significantly better fuel economy – which is really the promise of a turbo-diesel engine.
Meanwhile, Ford will launch its own F-150 diesel for the 2018 model year. Though not much is known about Ford’s oil burner, we do know that it will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and will become available in the spring of 2018.
So, chalk that up as two big reasons for a 2019 Silverado Diesel.
Will It Actually Happen?
So with all that in mind, we can safely conclude the following:
- Chevy along with parent firm GM were definitely testing a next-gen Silverado 1500 with a diesel engine, and
- The competition is already offering or will soon offer a diesel engine in their 1500-level pickups
As such, we believe that there is a very strong probability of Chevy offering a half-ton 2019 Silverado Diesel.
What Engine Will It Be?
Perhaps the more important question is what engine GM will use for a 2019 Silverado 1500 Diesel. We can recall the 4.5-liter Duramax V-8 that GM developed but ended up shelving and never putting into production. As such, it’s highly unlikely that this mill will rise from the ashes anytime soon.
GM also has the four-cylinder 2.8-liter Duramax LWN turbodiesel engine optional in the midsize Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon, where it makes 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That might not be enough for full-size pickups. As such, we believe that The General has developed an all-new diesel engine for the next-gen Silverado.
About 2019 Chevrolet Silverado
The 2019 Silverado 1500 was surprisingly revealed at the Chevy Truck Centennial celebration in Texas on December 16th. Chevrolet says that the all-new truck is the result of over 7,000 customer interviews – the most intensive research in its history. The brand has stated that the pickup will use “higher grade alloy steel” in the bed floor as well as various mixed materials that will result in a reduction in weight and improved performance. The truck will also offer an expanded amount of models for a total of eight, including the new 2019 Silverado Trailboss, with more engine/transmission combinations and more technology and convenience features. The new truck is believed to ride on GM’s new T1 platform set to be shared with other full-size trucks and SUVs.
We’ll know complete details about the new Silverado, as well as whether there will be a 2019 Silverado Diesel, at Chevy’s upcoming media event scheduled for January 13th, 2018 ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show. In the meantime, be sure to follow our Chevy Silverado news coverage.