General Motors dealerships have been running on extremely low inventory of the Chevy Silverado 1500 this year due to the semiconductor chip shortage. The Silverado diesel is particularly hard to come by, though, as production of the 3.0L LM2 turbo-diesel Duramax engine is currently on hold.
Data obtained by GM Authority indicates there were just 231 examples of the Duramax-powered Chevy Silverado diesel on U.S. dealer lots at the beginning of November. GM was forced to pause production of the 3.0L LM2 turbo-diesel Duramax engine back in August due to a parts supply issue, hence the low inventory, and later confirmed production would be idled for the remainder of the 2021 calendar year. It’s currently not clear when production of this engine will resume, with a GM spokesperson saying it previously that it would return “as soon as possible.”
In addition to the Chevy Silverado 1500, the 3.0L LM2 turbo-diesel Duramax engine is also offered in the GMC Sierra 1500, as well as all of GM’s next-generation full-size GM SUVs, which includes the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade. The engine, which is produced at the GM Flint Engine Plant in Flint, Michigan, has a factory-rated output of 277 horsepower at 3,750 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. It pairs exclusively with the GM 10-speed automatic transmission in both GM’s full-size truck and full-size SUV models.
The purpose of the LM2 diesel engine is to provide customers with a torque-rich powertrain option with strong towing capability that is more fuel-efficient than a traditional naturally aspirated gasoline V8. For example, the two-wheel-drive 2021 Chevy Silverado diesel has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway for a combined rating of 27 mpg. The same model equipped with the 5.3L L84 V8 engine, meanwhile, is rated at 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.
Despite this comparably high fuel economy, a properly equipped 2021 Silverado diesel has an impressive maximum tow rating of up to 9,500 pounds. This towing capacity will increase even further for the refreshed 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel, which boasts a tow rating of up to 13,300 pounds when properly equipped.