Despite an industry-wide pivot to electric vehicles, internal-combustion engine technology continues to impress. That includes GM’s turbocharged 2.7L High-Output L3B four-cylinder gasoline engine, which can be found in a broad variety of applications, including the Chevy Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Cadillac CT4, Chevy Colorado, and GMC Canyon. Notably, the turbo 2.7L I4 L3B is not offered in GM’s full-size SUVs – but maybe it should be.
While some readers out there will no doubt scoff at the idea of a modern, full-size GM SUV running a turbocharged four-banger, the spec sheet starts to bring things into focus. At present, GM’s full-sizers, including models like the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, and GMC Yukon, offer three engine options – the naturally aspirated 5.3L V8 L84 gasoline engine, the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 L87 gasoline engine, and the 3.0L I6 LM2 turbodiesel Duramax engine.
However, when it comes to peak torque numbers, the High-Output L3B nearly matches that of the L87 and LM2, churning out 430 pound-feet as compared to the 460 pound-feet produced by the L87 and LM2. And compared to the L84’s 383 pound-feet of torque, the L3B simply offers more peak twist.
|Engine Type||Turbo 2.7L I4||5.3L V8||6.2L V8||Turbodiesel 3.0L I6|
|Bore x Stroke (in / mm)||3.63 x 4.01 / 92.25 x 102||3.78 x 3.62 / 96 x 92||4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92||3.30 x 3.54 / 84 x 90|
|Block Material||Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum|
|Cylinder Head Material||Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum|
|Valvetrain||DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, VVT||OHV, 2 valves per cylinder, VVT||OHV, 2 valves per cylinder, VVT||DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder|
|Fuel Delivery||Direct high-pressure injection with AFM||Direct high-pressure injection with DFM||Direct high-pressure injection with DFM||High-pressure common rail direct injection|
|Horsepower (hp / kw @ rpm)||310 / 231 @ 5,600||355 / 265 @ 5,600||420 / 313 @ 5,600||277 / 207 @ 3,750|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm)||430 / 583 @ 3,000||383 / 519 @ 4,100||460 / 623 @ 4,100||460 / 623 @ 1,500|
|Transmission||Hydra-Matic 8-speed automatic||Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic||Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic||Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic|
Interestingly, the L3B also offers peak torque at a lower rpm than the V8 engines, and more power than the diesel six-cylinder as well.
With all that in mind, the High-Output L3B isn’t really that much of a stretch for GM’s full-size SUVs. Of course, it might not be the best option for the more-refined Cadillac Escalade, but for the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, and GMC Yukon, it could very well hold its own.
Then we have fuel economy. While we don’t know what sort of returns the L3B would provide in a full-size SUV, we can estimate, and based on the other gasoline engine ratings, the L3B could provide some pretty decent mpg figures. As a cherry on top, the L3B is actually 130 pounds lighter than the atmospheric 5.3L V8 L84.
|Engine||Drivetrain||GMC Sierra 1500||GMC Yukon|
So then, what do you think, dear reader? Should GM offer the turbocharged 2.7L I4 L3B gasoline engine in some of the automaker’s full-size SUV models? Let us know by voting in the poll below, and remember to subscribe to GM Authority for more GM technology news, GM business news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.