As GM Authority covered back in March, the 2021 Chevy Express gets one very important change under the hood – the addition of the heavy-duty 6.6L V8 L8T engine, which arrives as a replacement for the archaic 6.0L V8 L96 and 6.0L V8 LC8. The Express’ corporate cousin, the GMC Savana, also gets this change for the latest 2021 model year. However, although the new L8T packs more power and more torque than the L96 / LC8 which it replaces, the tow ratings for both full-size vans goes unchanged.
One would think that with more power and toque, the tow ratings for the 2021 Chevy Express and 2021 GMC Savana would go up. However, this is not the case, thus suggesting that the limiting factor is in fact the frame, and not the engine.
Naturally, it’s worth pointing out that both vans are built primarily for hauling and payload, rather than towing. Nevertheless, the static tow ratings for the latest 2021 model year is definitely noteworthy.
|2020 Chevy Express/GMC Savana||2021 Chevy Express/GMC Savana|
|Engine||LC8 / L96 6.0L V8||L8T 6.6L V8|
|Power (hp / kw @ rpm)||341 / 254 @ 5,400||401 / 299 @ 5,200|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm)||373 / 506 @ 4,200||464 / 629 @ 4,000|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic||6-speed automatic|
|Maximum Tow Rating (lbs. / kg)||10,000 / 4,536||10,000 / 4,536|
The 6.6L V8 L8T was introduced in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD, producing 401 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 464 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm when equipped in the 2021 Chevy Express and 2021 GMC Savana.
By comparison, the L96 / LC8 produce 341 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 373 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm, a difference of 60 horsepower and 91 pound-feet of torque next to the L8T.
A six-speed automatic transmission is used across the board, including both the 2020 model year vans, and the 2021 model year vans.
First introduced for the 1996 model year, the Chevy Express and GMC Savana arrived as replacements for the Chevrolet van and GMC Vandura, respectively. Both received few changes until 2002, when the 2003 model year introduced a revised front fascia.
Both vehicles are produced at the GM Wentzville plant in Wentzville, Missouri.