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Going Loud In The Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept
3 Comments

What's GM's Plan To Solve The MPG Problem With Trucks?


William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
June 8, 2012

Ford has been having a resounding success with the EcoBoost option one the F-150 pickup truck. With new full-size trucks on the way, you would think GM would be heading down the same route.

Not so fast.

"I wouldn't say that's a huge priority. I think there are other answers to that, which they don't have, for us that make a lot more sense," said GM North America President Mark Reuss.

Reuss believes the full-sized pickup can't be all things to all buyers. He figures that fuel economy isn't that big of a concern for people who rely on them for a living.

He puts its this way: if GM was to downsize from the current V8 engines used in the Silverado/Sierra while still offering power and towing capacity, GM would have to significantly reduce the truck's weight and powertrain.

"So what have you really done? You've made a mid-sized pickup," Reuss said.

GM's strategy is to offer a mid-size (Colorado) and a full-size truck (Silverado/Sierra).

However, Reuss didn't say no the idea of a turbocharged V6 for its next generation pickups. GM is rumored to be developing one, but no one knows if that is to be the case or what vehicles this engine will go in.

Regardless if the turbo V6 is part of the lineup or not, the next generation of GM pickups will be on a diet, get the next-generation small block V-8 engine with direct injection, and a eight-speed transmission.

Source: Autoweek
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87 Comments

There's no reason to doubt that the next small block will match the Ecoboost in fuel economy and hp/tq,

Ecoboost requires premium to get its lofty numbers. IMO the 5.0 is the better engine to buy if you're shopping for an F150.

Still, it's probably a good idea for GM to test the waters with a turbo'd V6 in the next ful sizers, if nothing else than to have something to market against the Ecoboost.
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would the 2.5L and a turbo 3.0L work well in the "colorado" for people that want a small truck that can actually be used?

dwight- have you thought about this and come up with numbers before?

it's known the 4.3L as is won't cut it, it'd have to be majorly reworked.... even an 8 speed wouldn't help it THAT much...
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I know it make little sense to pay that much more for a Turbo V6 when the Coyote is a very good engine with only 1-2 less MPG but people are. This is not a case where you reason with the customer. This is a case were you give the customer what they want and if they are paying more for it all the better.

The Turbo V6 has taken with a large segment of this market and GM needs to offer something similar no mater what the V8 is.

The other trick is the Turbo engine is much easier to tune in many cases and the power increases are far easier.
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4 Banger Diesel baby or maybe a v6

You can have your awesome Torque for pulling, Awesome Fuel milage as only Diesels do.
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ford's base v6 is good. the ecoboost is good also. yet ford has the v8 side covered also.

It's probably high time GM looked at a six cylinder for the truck line that is more powerful and fuel efficient, turbo or not...i think the market will move to a fair size of units sold with v6.

perhaps chevy can develop the 5.3 into two states of tune....one for lesser power but more mpg and one just balls out power and all the vvt and stuff.

too bad the 4.2 inline never made the silverados.

chevy needs to deveop a new mid size truck line that is far better than the colorados. i'd like to see a full size with both a six and an eight diesel. a smal;l-mid truck with a 4 diesel would rock.
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F150 is the #1 selling pick up, and they sell more V6 than V8. Dodge is also putting a V6 Ram on sale (I just realized it isn't Dodge anymore, but to me it is). So GM has to look at what the top 2 competitors are going, and think we need a V6 also.

I would look seriously at diesel power to get fuel economy up. A Mercedes ML350 diesel gets 20/27 mpg, and that is a 5,000 lb truck, I think it possible to get similar numbers out of a Silverado, especially with 8 gears to work with. And if they can remove weight out of the Silverado, that obviously helps.

I do think they need a smaller pick up, the Colorado seemed too big, and also too expensive. It was like half as good as a Silverado at 90% the price. A smaller pick up for people that don't want a huge or thirsty vehicle makes sense. I still believe they can do that off an Equinox platform because that type of buyer is looking for easy to drive, with some versatility. They aren't looking to tow 10,000 pounds or haul payload.
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Equinox pickup? That BLOWS. :lol:

Hopefully the next Colorado will have a front clip to reflect a family resemblance to the new fullsize trucks. And I'd like to see the Canyon front take some things from the '13 Acadia. That embryonic 4 cylinder Duramax will make these trucks HOT.

I agree with z... the 5.0 is a more suitable engine for the F-150. And these new smallblocks with 8-speed should be pretty darn economical without resorting to a potentially problematical turbocharger.

Both midsize and fullsize GM trucks need a killer naturally aspirated V6. And the new 2.5L should be the base motor for the midsizers.
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Rumor is the Ram is getting a 3.0 liter diesel V6 with over 400 lb-ft of torque. The General should be looking at that.

Pickups are about torque; the Mercedes diesel V6 puts out more torque than the 6.2 Vortec, the Hemi or Ford's Ecoboost, the 5.0 V8, even the 6.2 V8 in the Raptor. Why make a 6 liter engine to get 400 lb-ft when a 3 liter engine can make 450 and get 5-7 mpg more and be more durable.
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1500s definitely need a diesel, whether small 8 or a 6.
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Diesel V6, more torque than any of these V8s and it would crush the ecoboost in fuel economy. 455 lb-ft and 27 mpg are the stats on Mercedes V6, GM could copy that, but I think Ram will beat them to it.
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Baby Duramax needs to be revived. It should be also put in Suburban and Tahoe. As much as I love the big Duramax, it is just excessive for most of people's needs.
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Baby Duramax needs to be revived. It should be also put in Suburban and Tahoe. As much as I love the big Duramax, it is just excessive for most of people's needs.

Yes, and the Duramax isn't that economical. Excellent idea on Tahoe and Silverado. A diesel V6 could get those to 24 mpg highway I bet, that is as good as a Traverse. I guess while we are at it, it could go into the Traverse also, but that much torque would probably rip the transmission apart. GM would have to make a new one, I don't think and FWD transmission they have can handle over 300-350 lb-ft.
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Baby Duramax needs to be revived. It should be also put in Suburban and Tahoe. As much as I love the big Duramax, it is just excessive for most of people's needs.

Yes, and the Duramax isn't that economical. Excellent idea on Tahoe and Silverado. A diesel V6 could get those to 24 mpg highway I bet, that is as good as a Traverse. I guess while we are at it, it could go into the Traverse also, but that much torque would probably rip the transmission apart. GM would have to make a new one, I don't think and FWD transmission they have can handle over 300-350 lb-ft.


Do you know that engine hauls a 7,200 to 8,400 lbs truck and still returns 22 mpg on highway? To me that is more efficient than the MB engine you are humping.
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While Diesels will help the issue is most buyers still want gas so they still need to address that.

GM has forgotten the V6 for way too long.

The Colorado in the new form will improve on the old issues of design and quality but will it fix the price issue. Today you can still buy a full size truck on sale for less or the same as a Colorado. The price it just too high and too close to the half ton truck that ends up being a better value.

I wish they would have move the Colorado to the dize the S-10 was and get back to a smaller truck. The Ranger as old as it was did so well at a lower price in a smaller size. I think that speaks volumes on what the maket wants. Imagine if Ford had done a new Ranger in that size I think it would have dominated the market.
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A GM version of an EcoBoost V6 in the trucks is mandatory. The free(ish) market has spoken. Full size pickup + turbo v6 = more profits and more sales.

Diesels appropriate for the Colorado/Canyon as well as the Silverado/Sierra are great too. GM should NOT foreclose an opportunity to make more cash, even if the consumer is not 100% rational.
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MPG gains aren't just about the engines, though..the automakers needs to work long term at reducing the obesity of their trucks...
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MPG gains aren't just about the engines, though..the automakers needs to work long term at reducing the obesity of their trucks...


Lighter trucks and cars would be best, but that would cost $$$$$$.
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4 Banger Diesel baby or maybe a v6

You can have your awesome Torque for pulling, Awesome Fuel milage as only Diesels do.


I agree with this...

MPG gains aren't just about the engines, though..the automakers needs to work long term at reducing the obesity of their trucks...


...and I agree with this also...but the market seems to be full of people who want a truck the size of a 1950's starter house.
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I'd like to see a modern inline 6 in the trucks.
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Baby Duramax needs to be revived. It should be also put in Suburban and Tahoe. As much as I love the big Duramax, it is just excessive for most of people's needs.

Yes, and the Duramax isn't that economical. Excellent idea on Tahoe and Silverado. A diesel V6 could get those to 24 mpg highway I bet, that is as good as a Traverse. I guess while we are at it, it could go into the Traverse also, but that much torque would probably rip the transmission apart. GM would have to make a new one, I don't think and FWD transmission they have can handle over 300-350 lb-ft.


Do you know that engine hauls a 7,200 to 8,400 lbs truck and still returns 22 mpg on highway? To me that is more efficient than the MB engine you are humping.

EPA doesn't rate that engine, but Car and Driver got 14 mpg average from it (on a 2500, not a heavier 3500). You could get a Silverado diesel that weighs 5900 lbs, if it is 4 door, dually, long bed, then yes it probably is near 8,000 lbs. So weight reduction is an area for Chevy to look at. But the Duramax is an $8400 option, and I am not suggesting getting rid of it, it is a good engine for the 3500 trucks. I am saying add a 3 liter V6 diesel for the 1500 trucks and dump the 4.3 V6 and 4.8 V8s. That 4.3 V6 is from the 80s, time to say goodbye already.
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The GM trucks are the lightest of the Big 3 already. I think Ford and Dodge should be the ones substituting lighter materials.
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Baby Duramax needs to be revived. It should be also put in Suburban and Tahoe. As much as I love the big Duramax, it is just excessive for most of people's needs.

Yes, and the Duramax isn't that economical. Excellent idea on Tahoe and Silverado. A diesel V6 could get those to 24 mpg highway I bet, that is as good as a Traverse. I guess while we are at it, it could go into the Traverse also, but that much torque would probably rip the transmission apart. GM would have to make a new one, I don't think and FWD transmission they have can handle over 300-350 lb-ft.


Do you know that engine hauls a 7,200 to 8,400 lbs truck and still returns 22 mpg on highway? To me that is more efficient than the MB engine you are humping.

EPA doesn't rate that engine, but Car and Driver got 14 mpg average from it (on a 2500, not a heavier 3500). You could get a Silverado diesel that weighs 5900 lbs, if it is 4 door, dually, long bed, then yes it probably is near 8,000 lbs. So weight reduction is an area for Chevy to look at. But the Duramax is an $8400 option, and I am not suggesting getting rid of it, it is a good engine for the 3500 trucks. I am saying add a 3 liter V6 diesel for the 1500 trucks and dump the 4.3 V6 and 4.8 V8s. That 4.3 V6 is from the 80s, time to say goodbye already.


Car and Driver observed 19 mpg for the ML320 cdi that was rated 18 27. The numbers I have quoted are real life numbers of actual people who drive the truck. You just bolstered my point by pointing the lighter truck will be more efficient than the real numbers I quoted for heavier truck. The Baby Duramax 4.5L V8 has already been developed 4 years ago, why waste money on a new engine?
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For trucks, in general, I think Reuss' strategy of looking at bigger picture makes sense. Variety has always been a spice of life for truck buyers. Discontinuing one of the three V8s, replacing a V6, adding a diesel and a turbo (since market has spoken) for powertrain will make sense for the 1500s. Adding a smaller Colorado with two four bangers and one V6 will be good.

As far as style and utility is concerned, this is where GM needs to be the most innovative to keep the buyers and increase its market share.
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Car and Driver observed 19 mpg for the ML320 cdi that was rated 18 27. The numbers I have quoted are real life numbers of actual people who drive the truck. You just bolstered my point by pointing the lighter truck will be more efficient than the real numbers I quoted for heavier truck. The Baby Duramax 4.5L V8 has already been developed 4 years ago, why waste money on a new engine?

So put the baby duramax on sale already. I don't think developing a new engine is a waste of money. (and a diesel V6 can be used in cars and suvs) Ford did the Ecoboost, Ram is about to do Pentastar V6 and a diesel V6 in the pickup.

I think gas and diesel V6, then a gas V8 obviously and duramax diesel. They could do 2 gas V8s if they feel need to have one for more regular trucks and one for HD.

For the second pickup, I like the idea of doing one closer to S10 size. They need separation from the Silverado's size and price.
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Lighter trucks are a given and we will see them cut weight in the next two gens at GM.

As for power The V6 Turbo is a give just because the public has taken to them. Ford proved it with their risk and even made a buck. They made the V6 an option people really wants.

Diesels still have issue. There is a goup of buyers who will consider them but GM will still have to take that step out on faith that they can market them in a half ton. It is a risk like Ford took but in a truck it still may pay off. I still fear that a Diesel Cruze will still be a hard sell. The average Americans do not like or understand Diesels. GM has to change this to make it work in the cars.
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