Should GM Offer The Turbo 2.7L High-Output L3B Engine In The Full-Size SUVs?56
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.
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I wonder if this high output turbo four will need premium gas for the highest output.
Not for me! Maybe in a2,000 lb. Car or small truck , but then your in a death trap!! Turbo are for kids!! & a lot more maintenance! V/8 Baby !!
I have driven a turbo 4 in a 2021 Cadillac CT4, given to me as a loaner, and it was a real dog in that compact car. It got worse gas mileage than my Corvette and sounded like it was going to send a rod through the bottom any second. A 60 mile one-way trip from the dealership to home and the thing drank 1/4 tank of gas. On the interstate it could ALMOST get out of its own way. I can’t imagine the repairs on this thing!
That POS needs to be kept in China.
Absolutely not. Small gasoline engine with high output made of aluminum will have a disappointing short life.
These engines are designed to meet Federal fleet fuel standards with designed obsolescence of less than 200K miles. GM wants car owners to turn their vehicles every 2 to at the max 5 years. It’s a designed cycle program. Industrial grade in the automotive industry is gone. It went out with the elimination of the gray iron engine.
GM is IMHO, actually the best at making vehicles last and repairable by DIYers. I’d bet they’d love to pull a fiat and have their buyers right back at the dealership 18 months later for a new vehicle, but they know the moment that happens they’d loose business even new GM’s have more engine bay space for repairs, the 5.3 is a 500K engine if cared for and the 3.6 is a 300K now that the timing chain issue is resolved and they’ve added an extra quart of oil.
Even this 2.7 turbo is going to be more reliable than fords. It’s got a pedigree from the original eco tech motor which is a 250K motor easily, and while to turbo will likely need replaced at 150K, at least you can reach it from the engine bay and do t have to remove the whole cab like the ford.
They should put the current HD engine, transmission and suspension in the Suburban like they did up until 2019. Some people use the truck for towing and hauling. But I suspect the next HD Suburban will get the EV treatment instead.
I learned from a Ford engineer at the SEMA show a couple of years ago that FoMoCo has a German vendor design their small gasoline high output engines. Makes sense to me since German carmakers originated this small displacement turboed high output popular throw-a-way engine.
Don’t expect to get beyond 200K miles.
The 2.7 Turbo requires using PREMIUM unleaded gas at 40 cents a gallon more! Where’s the saving in cost of operation?
They tried to push a 4 in the CT6. Didn’t work out well. Maybe for China. With the “transition”, pretty soon it’s take it or leave it.
Maybe as a rental fleet special.
I just would like to know who would buy one?
Should be out in the full size van.
Chevy express with an economical engine would be a shop vehicle dream.
No way!!!!! Now a twin turbo V6 would be the way to go if you don’t want the 3.0 diesel.
Here’s a better one for you. If your so proud of the 4 cylinder put it in the new Corvette and see how well they sell and then get back to us M
If it was an I-6 I would say yes. GM was supposed to have a 6 cylinder version of this engine, but where is it? Have not heard any news on that in a long time.
To be honest the 2.7 would be more reliable if it was an OHV and barely not that much more powerful than a duel OHC. engine ! all gm engines need to go back to OHV and eliminate Afm – this trying to save % .002 mpg is absolutely nonsense and the cost is only past on to the consumer !
I’ll pay $3k for the L3B to be an option on Buick Encore Gx (call it Encore GT) , and Envision. Subcompact and compact SUV’s need more than those tiny 1.3-1.5L one size fits all.
Geez! I wish this engine would be available in subcompact and compact SUV’s. Put it as the $5 k option in the Buick Encore GX. Change the anemic 1.3L turbo, 155 ho with a meatier 2.7L, 410 hp version. I’d jump on that!