Fleetowner 5485 Duramax28

GM to offer small block diesel for its mid-size pickups

July 28, 2015
General Motors is rolling out a long-awaited 2.8-liter small-block diesel engine option for its 2016 models midsize pickups – the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon – that will cost approximately $3,730 more than similar models equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 gasoline engine.

GM said its new 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel is part of its “global family” of turbocharged four-cylinder diesels and cranks out 181 hp while generating 369 lb.-ft. of torque.

Scott Yackley, assistant chief engineer for the Chevrolet Colorado, noted that a diesel engine was part of the pickup’s “portfolio plan” from the very beginning, meaning that “chassis, suspension and other elements of its architecture” were engineered to support diesel capability.

“It was also designed specifically for trucks and has undergone many of the same validation tests as the 6.6-liter Duramax,” he added; an engine option for GM’s “full-size” pickup models, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Yackley said additional features on the 2.8-liter Duramax include:

  • Iron cylinder block and aluminum dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) cylinder head;
  • Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods;
  • Oiling circuit that includes a dedicated feed for the turbocharger; to provide increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery;
  • Piston-cooling oil jets;
  • 16.5:1 compression ratio;
  • Common rail direct injection fuel system;
  • Cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system;
  • Ceramic glow plugs for shorter heat-up times and higher glow temperatures;
  • Balance shaft that contributes to smoothness and drives the oil pump;
  • Laminated steel oil pan with upper aluminum section that contributes to engine rigidity and quietness;
  • B20 bio-diesel capability.

To control vibration and noise inside its diesel-fired midsize pickups, GM said its engineers integrated a device called the Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter used with the standard Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission.

GM said the CPVA is an “absorbing damper” with a set of secondary spring masses, that — when energized — cancels out the engine’s torsional vibrations so the driver and passengers can’t feel them.

The 2.8-liter diesel/midsize pickup package also features an integrated driver-selectable exhaust brake system, based on a design introduced on the 2015 Silverado HD models.

When the exhaust brake is engaged in cruise mode, GM said, exhaust cruise grade braking will h
elp the cruise control system maintain the desired vehicle speed when travelling downhill – keeping the driver from having to apply the brakes and exit cruise control to maintain speed.

When the exhaust brake is engaged in non-cruise mode, the transmission and the exhaust brake deliver the correct amount of braking to assist in vehicle control, regardless of vehicle load, added Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Truck Marketing.

He noted in a statement that the optional 2.8-liter Duramax diesel pushes the Chevrolet Colorado’s maximum trailering capacity up to 7,700 pounds on two-wheel drive models and up to 7,600 lbs. on four-wheel drive iterations, with payload capacity increasing to 6,000 lbs. and 6,200 lbs., respectively.

Piszar stressed, too, that the fuel economy ratings of pickups equipped with the new 2.8-liter diesel are projected to top the efficiency numbers of its gasoline models.

“Along with greater capability and efficiency, [the 2.8-liter Duramax] expands the Colorado lineup to give customers more choices and the capability of exploring more possibilities on and off the road,” he said.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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