The fresh rumor comes to us courtesy of a new report from Motor1, which cites statements made by the assistant chief engineer of diesel engine controls at General Motors, John Barta. According to Barta, development is currently underway to improve the materials used around the engine bay in an effort to raise tow ratings for the Chevrolet Silverado diesel and GMC Sierra diesel.
While higher tow ratings are never a bad thing, Barta also indicated that GM was aware that 95 percent of its light-duty customers don’t actually tow more than 9,000 pounds. As such, the automaker originally made the decision to focus on fuel economy with its light-duty diesel offerings, rather than sheer towing capacity. With that in mind, the two GM trucks already provide the sort of capability required by the vast majority of customers, plus impressive fuel economy as well.
Barta also expressed that while tow ratings can be useful for bragging rights, in reality, most light-duty customers don’t need sky-high tow ratings. As such, he said that GM believes it managed to find the correct balance between towing and fuel economy with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel and GMC Sierra 1500 diesel.
It’s particularly noteworthy that these new light-duty pickups were optimized for fuel economy, and not outright towing capacity. As we covered earlier this month, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel leads in mpg figures over competitors from Ram and Ford, posting 33 mpg on the highway, 23 mpg in the city and 27 mpg combined. As Barta points out, part of this is down to the engine design, as an inline six-cylinder has fewer rotating components than a V6, and thus provides greater efficiency. Both the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Ford F-150 Power Stroke come with V6 powerplants.
Regardless, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel still posts a maximum tow rating figure of 9,300 pounds with the proper configuration. That said, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is rated at 12,560 pounds, while the Ford F-150 Power Stroke posts 11,500 pounds, both considerably more than the two GM trucks.
|Model||Configuration||Max Trailer Weight (lbs.)|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado||2WD Short Bed/Crew Cab||7,600|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado||4WD Short Bed/Crew Cab||9,300|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado||2WD Standard Bed/Crew Cab||7,500|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado||4WD Standard Bed/Crew Cab||9,200|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado||2WD Standard Bed/Double Cab||7,600|
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado||4WD Standard Bed/Double Cab||9,300|
|2020 GMC Sierra||2WD Short Bed/Crew Cab||7,400|
|2021 GMC Sierra||4WD Short Bed/Crew Cab||9,000|
|2022 GMC Sierra||2WD Standard Bed/Crew Cab||7,300|
|2023 GMC Sierra||4WD Standard Bed/Crew Cab||9,000|
|2024 GMC Sierra||2WD Standard Bed/Double Cab||7,400|
|2025 GMC Sierra||4WD Standard Bed/Double Cab||9,100|
Indeed, if GM manages to up tow ratings for its two diesel light-duty pickups, while still keeping the impressive fuel mileage figures, we’ll see it as a big win.