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    New York Auto Show: 2016 Chevrolet Malibu


    • Chevrolet Gives the Malibu A Drastic Makeover


    Chevrolet hopes to reverse their fortunes in the midsize sedan class with the introduction of 2016 Malibu at the New York Auto Show. The new sedan is larger, efficient, and more technologically advanced than the Malibu it replaces.

    The 2016 Malibu takes a lot of the design ideas found on the Impala and goes a bit further. Up front are slimmer headlights with higher trim models getting LED daytime running lights and a distinctive take on the brand's dual-port grille. Along the side are three creases which help give the Malibu an identity of its own. More importantly, Chevrolet increased overall length by 2.3 inches (191.5 to 193. 8 and wheelbase by 3.6 inches (107.8 to 111.4).

    The Malibu's interior has been also addressed with rear legroom seeing a 1.3 inch increase. Also, Chevrolet has redesigned the center stack to better delineate infotainment system and climate control. Luxury treatments on the Malibu include satin chrome accents on the dash, available leather seating, and ventilated seats.

    Tech-wise, all Malibus come with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, with different trim levels getting different screen sizes, along with optional navigation. OnStar 4G LTE and wireless phone charging are also a part of the package.

    Power for the Malibu comes in three forms. First is a new turbocharged 1.5L EcoTec four-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet. This engine comes with stop/start technology and active grille shutters. A six-speed automatic comes as standard. Next is the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A new eight-speed automatic comes paired with this engine. Chevrolet promises better economy for both engines thanks to 300 pound weight drop.

    The final powertrain is the hybrid. An all-new, direct-injected 1.8L four-cylinder paired with a slightly modified two-motor drive from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. Total power output stands at 182 horsepower. An 80-cell 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electric power.

    As for safety, the 2016 Malibu features a new system called Teen Driver. Standard on most Malibus, the system allows parents to set a predetermined speed and also track how their teen drove the vehicle. When the teen is in the vehicle, the system will mute the audio or any device paired with the vehicle if it detects a front-seat passenger isn't buckled up. It will also throw up audible and visual warnings if the vehicle is traveling over the predetermined speeds.

    The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will hit dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.

    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2


    All-New Malibu is Larger, More Technological and Efficient

    • New hybrid sedan projected to offer combined rating north of 45 MPG

    DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced the all-new 2016 Malibu – a completely restyled midsize sedan engineered to offer more efficiency, connectivity and advanced safety features than ever.

    An all-new hybrid powertrain, which leverages technology from the Chevrolet Volt, will help offer a GM-estimated combined rating north of 45 mpg. The Malibu’s standard 1.5L turbo powertrain is projected to offer 37 mpg highway.

    The 2016 Malibu is also longer and lighter, with more interior space and improved fuel efficiency. Its wheelbase has been stretched close to four inches (101 mm), and it is nearly 300 pounds (136 kg) lighter than the current model.

    “Midsize customers tell us they want great fuel economy, connected technologies, wrapped in a gorgeous exterior. This is exactly what the 2016 Malibu was engineered to do,” said Jesse Ortega, Malibu chief engineer.

    The 2016 Malibu goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015. Additional vehicle highlights:

    • Available segment-exclusive OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle connectivity as well as available wireless phone charging
    • Agile, sophisticated and sleek exterior design incorporates sophisticated details that advance Chevrolet’s signature cues
    • Standard preventive safety technologies include 10 standard air bags, with available features such as Forward Collision Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Automatic Parking Assist is also available
    • All-new Teen Driver feature, which allows parents to view their kids’ driving statistics, such as maximum speed, warning alerts and more
    • All-new, power-dense Ecotec 1.5L turbo engine with fuel-saving stop/start technology is standard, offering a GM-estimated 160 hp (119 kW)
    • High-output 2.0L turbo with GM-estimated 250 hp (186 kW) is available and is mated with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

    The new Malibu will be offered in L, LS, LT and Premier trims, as well as the Hybrid model. The Premier trim, Chevrolet’s new uplevel designation, debuts in the 2016 Malibu. Additional model and trim details will be announced closer to the start of production.

    Malibu Hybrid technology

    The 2016 Malibu introduces new strong hybrid technology that leverages components and knowledge directly from the plug-in Chevrolet Volt. The Malibu Hybrid is projected to offer a combined rating north of 45 mpg – while maintaining the styling, comfort, driving dynamics and connectivity as gas-only models.

    An all-new, direct-injection 1.8L four-cylinder engine mated to a two-motor drive unit, slightly modified from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt drive unit, powers the Malibu Hybrid. The drive unit provides additional power to assist the engine during acceleration, for 182 horsepower (136 kW) of total system power.

    The engine also features Chevrolet’s first application of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, or EGHR, technology, which uses exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin. EGHR improves engine warm up and ensures consistent fuel economy performance in cold weather. Additional fuel economy benefits come from Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or EGR.

    An 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electric power to the hybrid system. It can power the Malibu Hybrid up to 55 miles per hour (88 km/h) on electricity alone. The gasoline-powered engine automatically comes on at higher speeds and high loads to provide additional power.

    In addition to the drive unit, the Malibu Hybrid also shares the 2016 Volt’s blended regenerative braking system, which provides maximum kinetic energy recovery during braking to be stored into the battery system to help maintain charge, and drive unit power electronics.

    Turbocharged performance and efficiency

    An all-new, Ecotec 1.5L turbo is the standard engine in the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, offering a GM-estimated 37 mpg on the highway. It is part of a new global family of small-displacement gas engines designed with greater power density to deliver confident performance with excellent efficiency.

    The new 1.5L turbo employs the stop/start technology introduced on the 2014 Malibu, which enhances efficiency in stop-and-go driving, contributing to a GM-estimated 27 mpg in city driving – an 8-percent increase over the current model. On the highway, 1.5L-equipped models also feature active grille shutters that reduce aerodynamic drag to optimize efficiency.

    The Malibu’s more-efficient standard engine delivers a GM-estimated 160 horsepower (119 kW) and 184 lb-ft of torque (250 Nm). The torque is comparable to the current model’s standard 2.5L naturally aspirated engine in a vehicle package that’s nearly 300 pounds lighter.

    A higher-output 2.0L turbocharged engine is available, offering a GM-estimated 250 horsepower (186 kW) and 258 lb-ft of torque (350 Nm), for a higher degree of performance – but not at the expense of good efficiency. Malibu 2.0T models are GM-estimated at 22 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.

    An all-new, GM-developed eight-speed automatic transmission – the first eight-speed automatic in a GM front-wheel-drive vehicle – contributes to the 2.0T’s balance of performance and efficiency. The 1.5L turbo engine is matched with a six-speed automatic.

    Teen Driver and an expanded range of safety features

    Teen Driver, a standard feature on most trim levels of the next-generation Malibu, supports safe driving habits by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts. Teen Driver also provides audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling over predetermined speeds.

    To use Teen Driver, a parent enables the feature with a PIN in the Settings menu of the Malibu’s MyLink system, which allows them to register their teen’s key fob. The system’s settings are turned on only to registered key fobs

    Chevrolet’s system is the first in the industry with a built-in system that lets parents view on a display how their teenager drove the vehicle. Maximum speed reached, distance driven and number of times active safety features were engaged are among the parameters that can be confirmed.

    Teen Driver complements a roster of standard and available safety features, including a rear-view camera system standard on LS, LT, Hybrid and Premier models.

    • Ten air bags, including front-seat knee air bags, head-curtain side-impact air bags and seat-mounted side air bags, are also standard.
    • Rear-view camera

    Available active safety features include:

    • Front Pedestrian Alert that uses a forward-looking camera to help avoid or reduce the harm caused by crashes with pedestrians ahead of the vehicle. The system can apply automatic last-second braking
    • New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
    • Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert
    • New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
    • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    • Front and Rear Park Assist
    • Intellibeam, which automatically switches the headlamps to high beam for better road illumination and improved visibility
    • Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Automatic Braking
    • Automatic Parking Assist.

    Sleeker design with lighter, stronger body structure

    With a wheelbase stretching 3.6 inches (91 mm) longer than the current Malibu, along with a 2.3-inch (58 mm) longer overall length and the same overall width, the 2016 Malibu strikes a sleeker-looking proportion. The added wheelbase helps provide better in-cabin comfort and functionality.

    With styling influenced by the 2014 Impala, the all-new Malibu advances Chevrolet’s global design language with features such as slim, sweeping headlamps and a progressive take on the brand’s characteristic dual-port grille. Three body-side creases also add drama to the design and help distinguish the Malibu as a contemporary Chevy.

    The hood and the cowl – the area where the windshield meets the hood – are lower than the current model and contribute to the Malibu’s greater aerodynamic performance, as do active grille shutters on LS and LT models.

    Premium design cues are incorporated on all models, with contemporary lighting technology featured across the lineup, including light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps on LT and Premier models. The Malibu Premier also receives LED taillamps.

    Beneath the new Malibu’s athletic-looking skin is a stronger, lighter body structure that contributes to its efficiency and driving dynamics. Greater use of high-strength steels enabled engineers to design the body structure with thinner components in some areas, delivering comparable crash performance with lower weight. The all-new body structure accounts for more than one-third of the Malibu’s nearly 300-pound weight reduction.

    Roomier, more comfortable and more connected interior

    The longer wheelbase allows a more open execution of Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior. Rear legroom improves by 1.3 inches (33 mm).

    The cabin’s open, expansive feel is reinforced with a greater emphasis on comfort, convenience and connectivity, allowing the Malibu to keep pace with customers’ connected lives. Highlights include:

    • Chevrolet MyLink with a seven-inch-diagonal color capacitive touch screen is standard on LS, LT and Hybrid models
    • Chevrolet MyLink with an eight-inch-diagonal capacitive touch screen is available on LT and Hybrid models and standard on Premier model
    • Chevrolet MyLink with navigation is available with the eight-inch MyLink system and features three-dimensional map views for most major U.S. cities and attractions
    • All-new Teen Driver feature is supported by the eight-inch MyLink system, allowing parents to restrict certain vehicle functions to support safer driving and to view their kids’ driving statistics such as maximum speed, warning alerts and more
    • OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot is standard on all models with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first)
    • Wireless phone charging available on LT and Hybrid and standard on Premier
    • Dual rear-seat USB ports and a 110-volt power outlet is optional on LT and standard on Premier trim.

    The instrument panel “center stack” is all-new, with greater delineation between the infotainment system and climate system controls for easier, at-a-glance operation. The Malibu’s interior is also features:

    • Galvano (satin) chrome accents on the instrument panel and center console
    • Dedicated storage slot for mobile phones, which incorporates wireless charging, if equipped
    • Perforated leather-appointed seating surfaces available on LT and Hybrid and standard on Premier
    • Ventilated seats – a first for Malibu – are standard on Premier.

    Manufacturing

    The 2016 Malibu will be built from globally sourced parts at GM’s Fairfax Assembly Plant, in Kansas City, Kansas. The plant received a $600 million investment in paint shop and tooling upgrades in 2013.

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    A 1.5 turbo? No 2.5?

    4 extra inches of wheelbase but only 1.3 inches of added legroom?

    Wtf chevy ?

    Looks good though. I will give it that. That alone goes a long way. Exterior looks good, interior looks really good.

    Lame output from the 2.0. Is this on purpose as for example might the higher output 2.0 be headed for Impala?

    The 2.5 had good EPA numbers. Why didn't they keep it?

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    It seems like Chevy is differentiating between the Malibu and Impala at least power train wise. Keeping a gap of ~40 hp. While power may not be the main differentiator in this segment, the low power of the base engine compared to its competitors is perplexing.

     

    Design wise, I like it. It is not overtly trying and yet simple. It does mimic Impala from the rear panels.

     

    To GM's typical hypocrisy: the car is made "Sporty" yet no manual transmission! In a world where Mazda6 and Honda Accord Sport are getting high teens to low twenties manual transmission take rate, something from GM would be refreshing. Other than Mercedes Benz, GM is the worst when it comes aversion to offer stick cars.

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    The design is a huge leap forward and seems influenced by the Fusion, with a dash of Avalon and Impala.  The front end seems unnecessarily busy.  I'm with Reg on the puzzling small increase in rear legroom.  I'm not really a fan of small turbocharged engines, but the hybrid model sounds promising.

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    they did well and we will see more things yet to come. This is only the intro of a new platform and we have more things yet that will be added.

     

    The key here is this car is made to look better and improve many details which it has. As for the engines it will be lightest in class but will still perform with the others easily but it will get better MPG for it. Note the Turbo engine like most will beat the EPA numbers in the real world. Each one I have driven did a little better city.

     

    Many wanted a little Impala do you got it. Other that are sniping are just going to snipe no matter what.

     

    The market will prove this car.

    Also a darker color really makes it look great. White is hard to do on most cars. They all look like they are from the Gas Company if they are mid size. .

     

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    It's a baby Impy..which is not a bad thing. And it's lighter, which had me worried about the 160/1.5 T engine there.

     

    Wonder how roomy in there....

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    This is only the intro of a new platform and we have more things yet that will be added.

     

    So this is no longer Epsilon 2 but the E2XX that will replace Epsilon2 and I believe the Lambdas (IIRC the Thetas will be replaced by a crossover version of the new D2XX)?

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    A 1.5 turbo? No 2.5?

    4 extra inches of wheelbase but only 1.3 inches of added legroom?

    Wtf chevy ?

    Looks good though. I will give it that. That alone goes a long way. Exterior looks good, interior looks really good.

    Lame output from the 2.0. Is this on purpose as for example might the higher output 2.0 be headed for Impala?

    The 2.5 had good EPA numbers. Why didn't they keep it?

    300 lbs lighter + new 8 speed fwd transmission. They are saying that performance of the new powertrain will be equal or better than the 2.5 and with better fuel economy. That's why.

    The 2.0 is a torque machine not a horsepower machine. It will likely feel faster than V6es that have to wind up first.

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    The front end ruins it for me too, rest looks pretty good and hopefully the rear leg room is much better.

     

    To address Reg's concern, this is an area where there is more to it than the numbers. There may be an issue with the way rear seat room is measures skewing the number in an unfavorable way. The rear seat feels much much roomier than the current model.   Part of that is because the front seat feels roomier too.  I can sit in the front seat and move it further forward than I would in the current car and that in turn gives more room to the rear seat passenger. 

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    I like the front, it has an Impala look and looks like a Chevy. The rear looks almost like a hatchback I prefer 3 box sedan styling, and the rear looks like a Hyundai. Exterior overall is decent, but not great.

    The interior is great, that might be the best mid size car interior, I would probably still take the Mazda 6 interior, but the Malibu is a close 2nd.

    Engines other than the 2.0T seem gutless, but a lot of people buy gutless engine cars so that might not matter.

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    I honestly don't like Chevy's dual port grille thingy. That said it at least looks better-integrated and not quite as ugly here than it does awkwardly grafted on the front of a Cruze or an Equinox. I'm hoping it'll show better in person.

     

    The slightly disappointing nose aside, this seems like a promising step forward. The rest of the car looks quite good.  I do hope Chevy's given more attention to making it at least somewhat fun to drive than they did the current model, but that's not a requirement to be a popular model in this segment. For that matter, neither is an attractive front-end...

     

    -RBB

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    The front end ruins it for me too, rest looks pretty good and hopefully the rear leg room is much better.

    To address Reg's concern, this is an area where there is more to it than the numbers. There may be an issue with the way rear seat room is measures skewing the number in an unfavorable way. The rear seat feels much much roomier than the current model. Part of that is because the front seat feels roomier too. I can sit in the front seat and move it further forward than I would in the current car and that in turn gives more room to the rear seat passenger.

    The current Malibu is the worst for no foot space under the front seat and poor access to the footwell of the backseat otherwise. GM always has been bad about low rear seat cushions and tight head room also. Raise the rear seat, clear out the foot space, allow headroom, and the actual legroom number matters less.

    But if this car still has the 9 inches of nothing under the hood between the front clip and the power train, as this bs about new platform is BS. The added rear seat room could come equally from making the underwood space efficient instead of tacking on more length and still not using that real well either.

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    The front end ruins it for me too, rest looks pretty good and hopefully the rear leg room is much better.

    To address Reg's concern, this is an area where there is more to it than the numbers. There may be an issue with the way rear seat room is measures skewing the number in an unfavorable way. The rear seat feels much much roomier than the current model. Part of that is because the front seat feels roomier too. I can sit in the front seat and move it further forward than I would in the current car and that in turn gives more room to the rear seat passenger.

    Re-reading your quote again I think there is another important point you touched on. Malibu/regal/ cruze the current versions, the lower part of the dash sticks out way too far and are big time knee knockers compared to other makes. If they managed to fix that with better dash and airbag design, I can see where that would help with front seat comfort and rear seat space. Lots of GM cars though have that congested front part of the cabin at the knees.

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    I just went and sat in the Malibu and Optima back to back to compare.  I'd say that these two are basically the same in headroom and legroom in the back.  Still can't put your feet under the front seat in the Malibu, but it is much further forward, so there is little need to. 

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    Passat is the benchmark for rear cabin utility.  Altima is another car with a good back seat.  So is Legacy.  Fusion is adequately good.  If the Malibu = Fusion in the backseat now, that should be ok.  Just a shame with a tiny 1.5 litre motor not needing a v6 engine bay that they can't reapportion space back to where it matters.  Saw an early 2000's cab forward Intrepid today.  Made me think how ahead of their time those Chrysler cab forward designs were.  That Intrepid still looks good today.

     

    If GM would pick the base of the front seat up high enough to get your foot under, that is like adding 4-6 inches of legroom because your feet can reside their in a natural position, and your legs can be forward and untwisted.  Cruze has it FCOL........I imagine they can't still give this more room inside than the Impala in back.

     

    I was thinking about one of the comments of no MT.  I would only want to see an MT on this car with the 2.0.  With the 1.5 it would be fairly gutless.  I've driven the Fusion 1.6 MT and while it does ok once you get it up to 6th gear at highway speed, the rest of the time, its a lot of shifting and doesn't burst the dam with torque otherwise.  The Passat TSi is a different story, it has great torque but its a 1.8.  I would recommend to Chevy to not bother with a stick unless its a 1.8t or the 2.0t.

     

    Regarding the mpg, and going only to the 1.5t.  Its epa is only like 1 more mpg than the 2.5.  There is a lot of Chevy's buyer base that is turbo averse and i think to keep the NA engine in the lineup for those folks would be a good idea..........regarding the Turbo, it's mpg doesn't go up much vs. the Regal but loses all that power.  The Ecoboost 2.0 Taurus has practically the same mpg and is wayyyyyy heavier......for losing the hp and weight and having the 8 speed, the 2.0 should get 24/34 not 22/32.....

     

    Maybe Volt II should have been this size and with this body.  The hybrid is a great choice, but I would imagine having a plug in opportunity would be even nicer.

     

    Make no mistake though, if the pricing and option packaging work out right, this car is a home run.  It's perfect for those who want good style like a Fusion but don't want the Fusion or are tired of it.  This jumps to the top of my list for sedan midsizers.  Maybe I can get into one.  How can a new Regal top this?

     

    Those who critique the chevy sedan structure too, note, the difference between this and the next Cruze are quite wide.  The size is far enough apart, as is the stylizing and power etc.  And this still doesn't impede much on Impala.

     

    Anyone see, the LTZ trim is no more........why get rid of the LTZ moniker?

     

    (edit) something about this car reminds me of the Oldsmobile Auroras.....in character, which is cool.

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    You know... This isn't quite what I was expecting. Having chased the prototypes in person, I was thinking it would look differently. First impressions are, mixed, to say the least. That was what I thought last night, though. Today, things are different, and in a fairly good way.

     

    To elaborate, we have the age old problem of press photography and GM's horrible addiction of doctoring the photos. After the live shots began to show up across the internet, this Malibu started to look more attractive. Having let those sit and digest for a bit, I've come to conclusion that this is a proper follow-up to the 2008-2012 model. If fact, I feel much the same way I do now as I did back then. When that model was first shown there were a lot of mixed feelings about it. It was radically different, with some odd choices here and there. With time, though, it became one of the more timeless designs of the segment. Whether this one will follow in that model's footsteps directly or not remains to be seen. But, most notably, it has promise.

     

    It still looks a little awkward from certain angles, and I do wish Chevrolet would pick a grill and stick with it (Seriously, I though we were moving away from the horizontal bar), yet it still has presence. It's sleek, with flowing lines, great details, and a swept back tail reminiscent of the Audi A7 (The one thing I was expecting and was delivered). The interior, by all means, is a massive improvement. While it doesn't differ much from the Volt's new innards, its fairly pleasing to look at unlike the last one (and all Malibus since the nameplates reincarnation) and seems to have fixed the rear seat issues. Power-train-wise, the biggest announcement is the class-leading hybrid (atleast per GM's lofty specs). If it lives up to expectations and doesn't fall flat on its face like the Fusion, this will surely help the Malibu regain some of its losses over the years. The other two combinations are rather lackluster, but should be fine with the assured weight loss regimen it's been placed on.  

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    A 1.5 turbo? No 2.5?

    4 extra inches of wheelbase but only 1.3 inches of added legroom?

    Wtf chevy ?

    Looks good though. I will give it that. That alone goes a long way. Exterior looks good, interior looks really good.

    Lame output from the 2.0. Is this on purpose as for example might the higher output 2.0 be headed for Impala?

    The 2.5 had good EPA numbers. Why didn't they keep it?

    300 lbs lighter + new 8 speed fwd transmission. They are saying that performance of the new powertrain will be equal or better than the 2.5 and with better fuel economy. That's why.

    The 2.0 is a torque machine not a horsepower machine. It will likely feel faster than V6es that have to wind up first.

     

     

    As a owner of a 3.6 V6 Bu and a owner of a 2.0 turbo I can tell you the Turbo is a much more satisfying car to drive. With the 8 speed even more so.

     

    The torque curve is flat and long. Torque feels like a old Pontiac like torque just the torque curve is wider.

     

    I will say this the car in person will look much different than in photo's. This is a very dimensional car as the body lines need to be seen in 3D to get the full effect.

     

    The way I see it this car if priced right and marketed right it will be at the top of the sales in this segment. I see It easily in the top three and could even go to the top if they do all things right.

     

    Price will be key to compete with the Korean cars.

     

    Edited by hyperv6
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    Really no matter what it does it won't unseat Altima, Accord, Camry, and Fusion.  But it can move a lot closer.  Chevy will have to whore this thing out on 199 leases if it wants to crack the top 4 in the segment.  Not a reflection of the car, its a reflection of the typical buyers and their prejudices.

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      Our ATS-V tester featured the optional Carbon Fiber package that adds an exposed carbon fiber weave for the front splitter, hood extractor, and rear diffuser. It also comes with a larger rear wing and extensions for the rocker panels. I’ll admit I found the carbon fiber package to be a bit much with our tester’s red paint at first. It’s like going into an important meeting wearing a zoot suit and alligator shoes. You’ll make an impression, but is it the one you want to put out into the world? I did grow to like this combination as the week went on. That said, I would skip the carbon fiber package. For one, you have to very careful not cause any damage to lower parts when driving over speed bumps and other road imperfections. For example, the low ride height makes it easy for the front splitter to be cracked. Second, this optional package is $5,000. There are better ways you can use that $5,000 such as getting a new set of tires or a plane ticket to get you over to Cadillac’s V driving school.
      Inside, the ATS-V is a bit of a disappointment. For the nearly $80,000 price tag of our tester, you would think that it would look and feel the part. In certain areas, the ATS-V does. Cadillac has appointed parts of the interior with carbon fiber and suede to give it a sporty feel. Our tester featured the optional Recaro seats which are the first set I actually liked sitting in. A lot of this is due to how you could adjust seat bolstering to make yourself actually fit into the seat, not sitting on top of it. 
      But this where the good points end with the ATS-V’s interior. Despite all of the premium touches Cadillac has added, it doesn’t feel like it is worth the price. Take for example the center stack with CUE. It is just a sheet of piano black trim and makes the interior feel somewhat cheap. You’ll find more piano black trim throughout the interior which reinforces this. The instrument cluster is the same that you’ll find in the standard ATS only with a different font. It would have been nice if Cadillac could have pulled the 12.3-inch screen setup they use on the CTS-V as it looks nicer and would provide the key details needed for a driver. CUE still hasn’t gotten any better in terms of performance and overall usability. Yes, Cadillac has added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to CUE. But we had issues with CarPlay with the system not recognizing our phone and apps crashing. The back seat? Just use it for storage. Trying to fit someone back there could cause you to be accused of cruel and unusual punishment.
      Power for the ATS-V comes from a twin-turbo 3.6L V6 with 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with either a six-speed manual or our tester’s eight-speed automatic. Start up the engine and it delivers a meaty, if somewhat muted growl. Don’t let that fool you, this engine will throw you in the back of your seat with no issue. Yes, the turbos do mean you’ll have a moment or two for that rush of power to arrive. But once the turbos spool, hold on. Power comes on at a linear rate and never lets up. The eight-speed automatic delivers crisp upshifts, but it does take a second or so for it to downshift. If you’re wondering about fuel economy, the EPA rates the ATS-V automatic at 16 City/24 Highway/19 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 18 mpg.
      Where the ATS-V truly shines is in the handling. The first time I took the ATS-V down a curvy road, I was gobsmacked at how well it hustled around the corners with no issues. Enter into a corner and ATS-V hunkers down thanks to sticky Michelin Pilot Sport. There is little body roll and the steering provides quick and precise turn-in. The ATS was already a pretty decent handling car, but Cadillac knew that it could be better. The stiffness of the chassis has been increased by 25 percent and there is the newest version of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control system that is faster when it comes adjusting the damping characteristics of the shocks. Three modes (Touring, Sport, and Track) can vary the stiffness of the shocks along with the behavior of the engine and steering. 
      When you decided that you had enough fun and it is time to go back to the daily grind, the ATS-V turns into a comfortable cruiser. With the vehicle in Touring mode, the ride is compliant with some bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to very acceptable levels.
      One item that we were disappointed not to have on our test ATS-V was blind spot monitoring. This is part of a $1,500 Safety and Security package that also adds lane keep assist, forward collision alert, rear-cross traffic alert, and more. For a vehicle that begins that begins just a hair over $62,000, you think blind spot monitor would be standard. It should.
      Cadillac has been making great strides since the first-generation CTS-V and the ATS-V is the beneficiary of it. The powertrains will nail you to your seats and the handling can match or surpass the class leaders. But Cadillac is still stumbling over some simple things such as the interior materials and the infotainment system. It is an amazing driving vehicle, but it is let down by the interior.
      At the end of the week, I couldn’t deny this is an impressive vehicle even with the interior issues. It was very much worth the long wait.
      Cheers: Jaw-Dropping performance, Sharp handling, Looks that make it stand out from the crowd
      Jeers: Carbon Fiber package isn't worth the money or worry, Interior doesn't feel like it is worth the price, CUE
      Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the ATS-V, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Cadillac
      Model: ATS-V Coupe
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 3.6L SIDI DOHC Twin-Turbo V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 464 @ 5,850
      Torque @ RPM: 445 @ 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 3,803 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $62,665
      As Tested Price: $79,205 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carbon Fiber Package - $5,000.00
      Recaro Performance Seats - $2,300.00
      Luxury Package - $2,100.00
      8-Speed Automatic Transmission - $2,000.00
      Performance Data Recorder - $1,300.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,050.00
      18-inch Polished Wheels - $900.00
      Dark Gold Brembo Calipers - $595.00
      Sueded Microfiber Steering Wheels and Shifter - $300.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It has been about five years since a Cadillac V series model has graced either one the Cheers & Gears’ garages (if you’re wondering, that would be the 2011 CTS-V Coupe that our Managing Editor drove). It isn’t for our lack of trying. I can give you a stack of emails to the person who handles General Motors’ fleet in Detroit that list the ATS-V and CTS-V as a possible test vehicle. But if you keep bugging someone over time, something is bound to change. That is what happened this summer as a Cadillac ATS-V coupe rolled into the Cheers and Gears’ Detroit garage. Was it worth the wait? 
      The standard Cadillac ATS coupe is already a model that stands out in crowd thanks to an aggressive look. The V turns that aggressiveness up to eleven. The front features a dual mesh grille setup (a small one on top and a larger one below), a narrow slot between the grille and hood; and a new bulging hood with an air extractor. A set of optional eighteen-inch alloy wheels fill in the wheel wells nicely and show off the massive Brembo brakes. The back comes with a rear wing and diffuser with quad exhaust tips.
      Our ATS-V tester featured the optional Carbon Fiber package that adds an exposed carbon fiber weave for the front splitter, hood extractor, and rear diffuser. It also comes with a larger rear wing and extensions for the rocker panels. I’ll admit I found the carbon fiber package to be a bit much with our tester’s red paint at first. It’s like going into an important meeting wearing a zoot suit and alligator shoes. You’ll make an impression, but is it the one you want to put out into the world? I did grow to like this combination as the week went on. That said, I would skip the carbon fiber package. For one, you have to very careful not cause any damage to lower parts when driving over speed bumps and other road imperfections. For example, the low ride height makes it easy for the front splitter to be cracked. Second, this optional package is $5,000. There are better ways you can use that $5,000 such as getting a new set of tires or a plane ticket to get you over to Cadillac’s V driving school.
      Inside, the ATS-V is a bit of a disappointment. For the nearly $80,000 price tag of our tester, you would think that it would look and feel the part. In certain areas, the ATS-V does. Cadillac has appointed parts of the interior with carbon fiber and suede to give it a sporty feel. Our tester featured the optional Recaro seats which are the first set I actually liked sitting in. A lot of this is due to how you could adjust seat bolstering to make yourself actually fit into the seat, not sitting on top of it. 
      But this where the good points end with the ATS-V’s interior. Despite all of the premium touches Cadillac has added, it doesn’t feel like it is worth the price. Take for example the center stack with CUE. It is just a sheet of piano black trim and makes the interior feel somewhat cheap. You’ll find more piano black trim throughout the interior which reinforces this. The instrument cluster is the same that you’ll find in the standard ATS only with a different font. It would have been nice if Cadillac could have pulled the 12.3-inch screen setup they use on the CTS-V as it looks nicer and would provide the key details needed for a driver. CUE still hasn’t gotten any better in terms of performance and overall usability. Yes, Cadillac has added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to CUE. But we had issues with CarPlay with the system not recognizing our phone and apps crashing. The back seat? Just use it for storage. Trying to fit someone back there could cause you to be accused of cruel and unusual punishment.
      Power for the ATS-V comes from a twin-turbo 3.6L V6 with 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with either a six-speed manual or our tester’s eight-speed automatic. Start up the engine and it delivers a meaty, if somewhat muted growl. Don’t let that fool you, this engine will throw you in the back of your seat with no issue. Yes, the turbos do mean you’ll have a moment or two for that rush of power to arrive. But once the turbos spool, hold on. Power comes on at a linear rate and never lets up. The eight-speed automatic delivers crisp upshifts, but it does take a second or so for it to downshift. If you’re wondering about fuel economy, the EPA rates the ATS-V automatic at 16 City/24 Highway/19 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 18 mpg.
      Where the ATS-V truly shines is in the handling. The first time I took the ATS-V down a curvy road, I was gobsmacked at how well it hustled around the corners with no issues. Enter into a corner and ATS-V hunkers down thanks to sticky Michelin Pilot Sport. There is little body roll and the steering provides quick and precise turn-in. The ATS was already a pretty decent handling car, but Cadillac knew that it could be better. The stiffness of the chassis has been increased by 25 percent and there is the newest version of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control system that is faster when it comes adjusting the damping characteristics of the shocks. Three modes (Touring, Sport, and Track) can vary the stiffness of the shocks along with the behavior of the engine and steering. 
      When you decided that you had enough fun and it is time to go back to the daily grind, the ATS-V turns into a comfortable cruiser. With the vehicle in Touring mode, the ride is compliant with some bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to very acceptable levels.
      One item that we were disappointed not to have on our test ATS-V was blind spot monitoring. This is part of a $1,500 Safety and Security package that also adds lane keep assist, forward collision alert, rear-cross traffic alert, and more. For a vehicle that begins that begins just a hair over $62,000, you think blind spot monitor would be standard. It should.
      Cadillac has been making great strides since the first-generation CTS-V and the ATS-V is the beneficiary of it. The powertrains will nail you to your seats and the handling can match or surpass the class leaders. But Cadillac is still stumbling over some simple things such as the interior materials and the infotainment system. It is an amazing driving vehicle, but it is let down by the interior.
      At the end of the week, I couldn’t deny this is an impressive vehicle even with the interior issues. It was very much worth the long wait.
      Cheers: Jaw-Dropping performance, Sharp handling, Looks that make it stand out from the crowd
      Jeers: Carbon Fiber package isn't worth the money or worry, Interior doesn't feel like it is worth the price, CUE
      Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the ATS-V, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Cadillac
      Model: ATS-V Coupe
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 3.6L SIDI DOHC Twin-Turbo V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 464 @ 5,850
      Torque @ RPM: 445 @ 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 3,803 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $62,665
      As Tested Price: $79,205 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carbon Fiber Package - $5,000.00
      Recaro Performance Seats - $2,300.00
      Luxury Package - $2,100.00
      8-Speed Automatic Transmission - $2,000.00
      Performance Data Recorder - $1,300.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,050.00
      18-inch Polished Wheels - $900.00
      Dark Gold Brembo Calipers - $595.00
      Sueded Microfiber Steering Wheels and Shifter - $300.00
    • By William Maley
      Over the weekend, General Motors published and then deleted the power figures for the new 6.6L Duramax Diesel V8 that would be appearing in the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD. Today at the Texas State Fair, GM revealed everything about this new engine.
      We'll begin with the most important detail, power output. The numbers that GM revealed match the numbers posted to their powertrain site - 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the current Duramax V8, the new engine produces 48 more horsepower and 145 more pound-feet of torque.
      How was GM able to pull this off? They basically went through the engine with a fine tooth comb and made various changes. GM says 90 percent of this engine has been changed. Some of the changes include new electronically controlled, variable-vane turbocharger, revised cylinder heads, improved cooling, and revised fuel delivery system. The updated Duramax can also run B20 bio-diesel.
      Figures for payload and towing will be announced at a later date.
      Source: Chevrolet, GMC
      Press Release is on Page 2


      DALLAS — Chevrolet today announced the redesigned Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel offered on the 2017 Silverado HD. This next-generation redesign offers more horsepower and torque than ever — an SAE-certified 445 horsepower (332 kW) and 910 lb.-ft. (1,234 Nm) — to enable easier, more confident hauling and trailering.
      Along with a 19 percent increase in max torque over the current Duramax 6.6L, the redesigned turbo-diesel’s performance is quieter and smoother, for greater refinement. In fact, engine noise at idle is reduced 38 percent.
      “With nearly 2 million sold over the past 15 years, customers have forged a bond with the Duramax diesel based on trust and capability,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “The new Duramax takes those traits to higher levels.”
      The new Duramax 6.6L shares essentially only the bore and stroke dimensions of the current engine and incorporates a new, GM-developed control system. The Duramax’s signature low-rpm torque production hasn’t changed and still offers 90 percent of peak torque at a low 1,550 rpm and sustains it through 2,850 rpm.
      “Nearly everything about the Duramax is new, designed to produce more torque at lower rpm and more confidence when trailering or hauling,” said Gary Arvan, chief engineer. “You’ll also notice the refinement improvements the moment you start the engine, and appreciate them as you cruise quietly down the highway — with or without a trailer.”
      Additional highlights include:
      New, stronger cylinder block and cylinder heads New, stronger rotating and reciprocating assembly Increased oil- and coolant-flow capacity New EGR system with single cooler and integrated bypass New electrically actuated/electronically controlled turbocharging system All-new advanced solenoid fuel system All-new electronic controls New full-length damped steel oil pan that contributes to quietness New rocker cover/fuel system acoustical treatments B20 bio-diesel compatibility SAE-certified 445 net horsepower (332 kW) at 2,800 rpm SAE-certified 910 net lb.-ft. of torque (1,234 Nm) at 1,600 rpm A new, patent-pending vehicle air intake system — distinguished on the Silverado HD by a bold hood scoop — drives cool, dry air into the engine for sustained performance and cooler engine temperatures during difficult conditions, such as trailering on steep grades. Cooler air helps the engine run better under load, especially in conditions where engine and transmission temperatures can rise quickly. That allows the Duramax to maintain more power and vehicle speed when trailering in the toughest conditions.
      The intake design is another example of the advanced integration included in the 2017 Silverado HD that makes it over-the-road capable.   
      A strong foundation
      As with previous versions, the new Duramax block features a strong cast-iron foundation known for its durability, with induction-hardened cylinder walls and five nodular iron main bearings. It retains the same 4.05-inch (103mm) and 3.89-inch (99mm) bore and stroke dimensions as the current engine, retaining the Duramax’s familiar 6.6L (403 cu.-in./6,599 cc) displacement.
      A deep-skirt design and four-bolt, cross-bolted main caps help ensure the block’s strength and enable more accurate location of the rotating assembly. A die-cast aluminum lower crankcase also strengthens the engine block and serves as the lower engine cover, while reducing its overall weight.
      The new engine block incorporates larger-diameter crankshaft connecting rod journals than the current engine, enabling the placement of a stronger crankshaft and increased bearing area to handle higher cylinder loads.
      An enhanced oiling circuit, with higher flow capacity and a dedicated feed for the turbocharger, provides increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery. Larger piston-cooling oil jets at the bottom of the cylinder bores spray up to twice the amount of engine oil into oil galleries under the crown of the pistons, contributing to lower engine temperature and greater durability.
      A new, two-piece oil pan contributes to the new Duramax’s quieter operation. It consists of a laminated steel oil pan with an upper aluminum section. The aluminum section provides strength-enhancing rigidity for the engine, but a pan made entirely of aluminum would radiate more noise, so the laminated steel lower section is added to dampen noise and vibration.
      There’s also an integrated oil cooler with 50 percent greater capacity than the current engine’s, ensuring more consistent temperatures at higher engine loads.
      Segment firsts
      Re-melt piston bowl rim Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator Closed-loop glow plug temperature control Stronger pistons with remelt
      A tough, forged micro-alloy steel crankshaft anchors the new Duramax’s stronger rotating assembly. Cut-then-rolled journal fillets contribute to its durability by strengthening the junction where the journals — the round sections on which the bearings slide — meet the webs that separate the main and rod journals.
      The connecting rods are stronger, too, and incorporate a new 45-degree split-angle design to allow the larger-diameter rod bearings to pass through the cylinder bores during engine assembly. They’re forged and sintered with a durable powdered metal alloy, with a fractured-cap design enabling more precise cap-to-rod fitment. 
      A new, stronger cast-aluminum piston design tops off the rotating assembly. It features a taller crown area and a remelted combustion bowl rim for greater strength. Remelting is an additional manufacturing process for aluminum pistons in which the bowl rim area is reheated after casting and pre-machining, creating a much finer and more consistent metal grain structure that greatly enhances thermal fatigue properties.
      Additionally, the Duramax’s pistons don’t use pin bushings, reducing reciprocating weight to help the engine rev quicker and respond faster to throttle changes.
      Lightweight cylinder heads, solenoid injectors
      The redesigned engine retains the Duramax’s signature first-in-class aluminum cylinder head design, with six head bolts per cylinder and four valves per cylinder. The aluminum construction helps reduce the engine’s overall weight, while the six-bolt design provides exceptional head-clamping strength — a must in a high-compression, turbocharged application.
      A new aluminum head casting uses a new double-layer water core design that separates and arranges water cores in layers to create a stiffer head structure with more precise coolant flow control. The heads’ airflow passages are also heavily revised to enhance airflow, contributing to the engine’s increased horsepower and torque.
      The Duramax employs a common-rail direct injection fuel system with new high-capability solenoid-type injectors. High fuel pressure of 29,000 psi (2,000 bar) promotes excellent fuel atomization for a cleaner burn that promotes reduced particulate emissions. The new injectors also support up to seven fuel delivery events per combustion event, contributing to lower noise, greater efficiency and lower emissions. Technology advancements enable less-complex solenoid injectors to deliver comparable performance to piezo-type injectors.
      Electronically controlled, variable-geometry turbocharging system
      A new electronically controlled, variable-vane turbocharger advances the Duramax’s legacy of variable-geometry boosting. Compared to the current engine, the system produces higher maximum boost pressure — 28 psi (195 kPa) — to help the engine make more power, and revisions to enhance the capability of the exhaust-brake system.
      Along with a new camshaft profile and improved cylinder head design, the Duramax’s new variable-vane turbocharger enables the engine to deliver more power with lower exhaust emissions. It uses a more advanced variable-vane mechanism, allowing a 104-degree F (40 C) increase in exhaust temperature capability. The self-contained mechanism decouples movement from the turbine housing, allowing operation at higher temperature. That enables the engine to achieve higher power at lower cylinder pressure. Additionally, it has lower internal leakage, allowing more exhaust energy to be captured during exhaust braking.
      The integrated exhaust brake system makes towing less stressful by creating added backpressure in the exhaust, resulting in negative torque during deceleration and downhill driving, enhancing driver control and prolonging brake pad life.
      Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator
      A new Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator employed with the Duramax 6.6L is the first of its type in the segment and is designed to ensure oil control in sustained full-load operation. The totally sealed system collects the fine mist of oil entrained in the blow-by gas and uses a small portion of the boosted air generated by the turbocharger to pump the collected oil back to the engine oil sump for re-use by the engine. Less sophisticated systems are not able to return this oil during full-load operation, which can result in oil carryover into the cylinders during combustion.
      Cold Start System
      The new Duramax also provides outstanding cold-weather performance, with microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of gas-engine-like starting performance in fewer than 3 seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 C) without a block heater. The system is enhanced with ceramic glow plugs and automatic temperature compensation — a first-in-class feature providing improved robustness and capability. The automatic temperature compensation assesses and adjusts the current to each glow plug for every use, providing optimal temperature for cold start performance and durability.     
      Electronic throttle valve and cooled EGR
      Unlike a gasoline engine, a diesel engine doesn’t necessarily require a throttle control system. The Duramax 6.6L employs an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to increase exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates. It also contributes to smoother engine shutdown.
      Additionally, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system enhances performance and helps reduce emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is fed through the cylinder head for combustion. This lowers combustion temperatures, improving emissions performance by reducing NOx formation.
      The exhaust is cooled in a unique heat exchanger before it’s fed into the intake stream through a patented EGR mixing device, further improving emissions and performance capability. An integrated bypass allows non-cooled exhaust gas to be fed back into the system to help the engine more quickly achieve optimal operating temperature when cold.
      B20 Biodiesel Capability
      The new Duramax 6.6L is capable of running on B20 biodiesel, a fuel composed of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel. B20 helps lower carbon dioxide emissions and lessens dependence on petroleum. It is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made primarily of plant matter — mostly soybean oil.
      Manufacturing
      The new Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine is produced with locally and globally sourced parts at the DMAX Ltd. (GM’s joint venture with Isuzu) manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio.
      Allison 1000 Automatic Transmission
      The proven Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the new Duramax 6.6L. A number of refinements have been made to accommodate the engine’s higher torque capacity, including a new torque converter.
      The Allison 1000’s technologically advanced control features, such as driver shift control with manual shift feature and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature, haven’t changed. Also, the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
      There’s also a smart diesel exhaust brake feature that enhances control when descending steep grades.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Over the weekend, General Motors published and then deleted the power figures for the new 6.6L Duramax Diesel V8 that would be appearing in the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD. Today at the Texas State Fair, GM revealed everything about this new engine.
      We'll begin with the most important detail, power output. The numbers that GM revealed match the numbers posted to their powertrain site - 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the current Duramax V8, the new engine produces 48 more horsepower and 145 more pound-feet of torque.
      How was GM able to pull this off? They basically went through the engine with a fine tooth comb and made various changes. GM says 90 percent of this engine has been changed. Some of the changes include new electronically controlled, variable-vane turbocharger, revised cylinder heads, improved cooling, and revised fuel delivery system. The updated Duramax can also run B20 bio-diesel.
      Figures for payload and towing will be announced at a later date.
      Source: Chevrolet, GMC
      Press Release is on Page 2


      DALLAS — Chevrolet today announced the redesigned Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel offered on the 2017 Silverado HD. This next-generation redesign offers more horsepower and torque than ever — an SAE-certified 445 horsepower (332 kW) and 910 lb.-ft. (1,234 Nm) — to enable easier, more confident hauling and trailering.
      Along with a 19 percent increase in max torque over the current Duramax 6.6L, the redesigned turbo-diesel’s performance is quieter and smoother, for greater refinement. In fact, engine noise at idle is reduced 38 percent.
      “With nearly 2 million sold over the past 15 years, customers have forged a bond with the Duramax diesel based on trust and capability,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “The new Duramax takes those traits to higher levels.”
      The new Duramax 6.6L shares essentially only the bore and stroke dimensions of the current engine and incorporates a new, GM-developed control system. The Duramax’s signature low-rpm torque production hasn’t changed and still offers 90 percent of peak torque at a low 1,550 rpm and sustains it through 2,850 rpm.
      “Nearly everything about the Duramax is new, designed to produce more torque at lower rpm and more confidence when trailering or hauling,” said Gary Arvan, chief engineer. “You’ll also notice the refinement improvements the moment you start the engine, and appreciate them as you cruise quietly down the highway — with or without a trailer.”
      Additional highlights include:
      New, stronger cylinder block and cylinder heads New, stronger rotating and reciprocating assembly Increased oil- and coolant-flow capacity New EGR system with single cooler and integrated bypass New electrically actuated/electronically controlled turbocharging system All-new advanced solenoid fuel system All-new electronic controls New full-length damped steel oil pan that contributes to quietness New rocker cover/fuel system acoustical treatments B20 bio-diesel compatibility SAE-certified 445 net horsepower (332 kW) at 2,800 rpm SAE-certified 910 net lb.-ft. of torque (1,234 Nm) at 1,600 rpm A new, patent-pending vehicle air intake system — distinguished on the Silverado HD by a bold hood scoop — drives cool, dry air into the engine for sustained performance and cooler engine temperatures during difficult conditions, such as trailering on steep grades. Cooler air helps the engine run better under load, especially in conditions where engine and transmission temperatures can rise quickly. That allows the Duramax to maintain more power and vehicle speed when trailering in the toughest conditions.
      The intake design is another example of the advanced integration included in the 2017 Silverado HD that makes it over-the-road capable.   
      A strong foundation
      As with previous versions, the new Duramax block features a strong cast-iron foundation known for its durability, with induction-hardened cylinder walls and five nodular iron main bearings. It retains the same 4.05-inch (103mm) and 3.89-inch (99mm) bore and stroke dimensions as the current engine, retaining the Duramax’s familiar 6.6L (403 cu.-in./6,599 cc) displacement.
      A deep-skirt design and four-bolt, cross-bolted main caps help ensure the block’s strength and enable more accurate location of the rotating assembly. A die-cast aluminum lower crankcase also strengthens the engine block and serves as the lower engine cover, while reducing its overall weight.
      The new engine block incorporates larger-diameter crankshaft connecting rod journals than the current engine, enabling the placement of a stronger crankshaft and increased bearing area to handle higher cylinder loads.
      An enhanced oiling circuit, with higher flow capacity and a dedicated feed for the turbocharger, provides increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery. Larger piston-cooling oil jets at the bottom of the cylinder bores spray up to twice the amount of engine oil into oil galleries under the crown of the pistons, contributing to lower engine temperature and greater durability.
      A new, two-piece oil pan contributes to the new Duramax’s quieter operation. It consists of a laminated steel oil pan with an upper aluminum section. The aluminum section provides strength-enhancing rigidity for the engine, but a pan made entirely of aluminum would radiate more noise, so the laminated steel lower section is added to dampen noise and vibration.
      There’s also an integrated oil cooler with 50 percent greater capacity than the current engine’s, ensuring more consistent temperatures at higher engine loads.
      Segment firsts
      Re-melt piston bowl rim Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator Closed-loop glow plug temperature control Stronger pistons with remelt
      A tough, forged micro-alloy steel crankshaft anchors the new Duramax’s stronger rotating assembly. Cut-then-rolled journal fillets contribute to its durability by strengthening the junction where the journals — the round sections on which the bearings slide — meet the webs that separate the main and rod journals.
      The connecting rods are stronger, too, and incorporate a new 45-degree split-angle design to allow the larger-diameter rod bearings to pass through the cylinder bores during engine assembly. They’re forged and sintered with a durable powdered metal alloy, with a fractured-cap design enabling more precise cap-to-rod fitment. 
      A new, stronger cast-aluminum piston design tops off the rotating assembly. It features a taller crown area and a remelted combustion bowl rim for greater strength. Remelting is an additional manufacturing process for aluminum pistons in which the bowl rim area is reheated after casting and pre-machining, creating a much finer and more consistent metal grain structure that greatly enhances thermal fatigue properties.
      Additionally, the Duramax’s pistons don’t use pin bushings, reducing reciprocating weight to help the engine rev quicker and respond faster to throttle changes.
      Lightweight cylinder heads, solenoid injectors
      The redesigned engine retains the Duramax’s signature first-in-class aluminum cylinder head design, with six head bolts per cylinder and four valves per cylinder. The aluminum construction helps reduce the engine’s overall weight, while the six-bolt design provides exceptional head-clamping strength — a must in a high-compression, turbocharged application.
      A new aluminum head casting uses a new double-layer water core design that separates and arranges water cores in layers to create a stiffer head structure with more precise coolant flow control. The heads’ airflow passages are also heavily revised to enhance airflow, contributing to the engine’s increased horsepower and torque.
      The Duramax employs a common-rail direct injection fuel system with new high-capability solenoid-type injectors. High fuel pressure of 29,000 psi (2,000 bar) promotes excellent fuel atomization for a cleaner burn that promotes reduced particulate emissions. The new injectors also support up to seven fuel delivery events per combustion event, contributing to lower noise, greater efficiency and lower emissions. Technology advancements enable less-complex solenoid injectors to deliver comparable performance to piezo-type injectors.
      Electronically controlled, variable-geometry turbocharging system
      A new electronically controlled, variable-vane turbocharger advances the Duramax’s legacy of variable-geometry boosting. Compared to the current engine, the system produces higher maximum boost pressure — 28 psi (195 kPa) — to help the engine make more power, and revisions to enhance the capability of the exhaust-brake system.
      Along with a new camshaft profile and improved cylinder head design, the Duramax’s new variable-vane turbocharger enables the engine to deliver more power with lower exhaust emissions. It uses a more advanced variable-vane mechanism, allowing a 104-degree F (40 C) increase in exhaust temperature capability. The self-contained mechanism decouples movement from the turbine housing, allowing operation at higher temperature. That enables the engine to achieve higher power at lower cylinder pressure. Additionally, it has lower internal leakage, allowing more exhaust energy to be captured during exhaust braking.
      The integrated exhaust brake system makes towing less stressful by creating added backpressure in the exhaust, resulting in negative torque during deceleration and downhill driving, enhancing driver control and prolonging brake pad life.
      Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator
      A new Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator employed with the Duramax 6.6L is the first of its type in the segment and is designed to ensure oil control in sustained full-load operation. The totally sealed system collects the fine mist of oil entrained in the blow-by gas and uses a small portion of the boosted air generated by the turbocharger to pump the collected oil back to the engine oil sump for re-use by the engine. Less sophisticated systems are not able to return this oil during full-load operation, which can result in oil carryover into the cylinders during combustion.
      Cold Start System
      The new Duramax also provides outstanding cold-weather performance, with microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of gas-engine-like starting performance in fewer than 3 seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 C) without a block heater. The system is enhanced with ceramic glow plugs and automatic temperature compensation — a first-in-class feature providing improved robustness and capability. The automatic temperature compensation assesses and adjusts the current to each glow plug for every use, providing optimal temperature for cold start performance and durability.     
      Electronic throttle valve and cooled EGR
      Unlike a gasoline engine, a diesel engine doesn’t necessarily require a throttle control system. The Duramax 6.6L employs an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to increase exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates. It also contributes to smoother engine shutdown.
      Additionally, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system enhances performance and helps reduce emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is fed through the cylinder head for combustion. This lowers combustion temperatures, improving emissions performance by reducing NOx formation.
      The exhaust is cooled in a unique heat exchanger before it’s fed into the intake stream through a patented EGR mixing device, further improving emissions and performance capability. An integrated bypass allows non-cooled exhaust gas to be fed back into the system to help the engine more quickly achieve optimal operating temperature when cold.
      B20 Biodiesel Capability
      The new Duramax 6.6L is capable of running on B20 biodiesel, a fuel composed of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel. B20 helps lower carbon dioxide emissions and lessens dependence on petroleum. It is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made primarily of plant matter — mostly soybean oil.
      Manufacturing
      The new Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine is produced with locally and globally sourced parts at the DMAX Ltd. (GM’s joint venture with Isuzu) manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio.
      Allison 1000 Automatic Transmission
      The proven Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the new Duramax 6.6L. A number of refinements have been made to accommodate the engine’s higher torque capacity, including a new torque converter.
      The Allison 1000’s technologically advanced control features, such as driver shift control with manual shift feature and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature, haven’t changed. Also, the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
      There’s also a smart diesel exhaust brake feature that enhances control when descending steep grades.
    • By William Maley
      For a time, the V6 was looked down upon in the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang because they were seen as lackluster. The engines didn’t match aggression that was being expressed by the exterior of the coupes. But rising gas prices and increasing regulations on fuel economy and emissions has the likes of GM, Ford, and FCA revisiting the idea of a V6 muscle car. We recently spent some time in a 2016 Dodge Challenger V6 to see if it is worth it.
      I will argue that the Challenger is still the meanest looking out of the three muscle cars on sale. Dodge’s designers were able to bring the design of the original Challenger into the modern era without making it look like a complete mess. The little details such as the narrow grille, quad headlights, fuel filler cap, and rectangular taillights are here and help it stand out. Our tester featured the optional Blacktop package that adds a blacked-out grille, black stripes, and a set of 20-inch wheels. The downside to bringing the original Challenger design into the modern era is poor visibility. Large rear pillars and a small glass area make it somewhat difficult to backup or making a pass. The good news is that a number of Challenger models like our SXT Plus come with a backup camera as standard and blind spot monitoring is available as an option. The Challenger’s interior hasn’t changed much since we last reviewed it back in 2014 with the SRT 392. It is still a comfortable place to sit in and controls are in easy reach for the driver thanks to the center stack being slightly angled. Still, the limited glass area does mean you will feel somewhat confined. Power for the SXT is Chrysler’s 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, you need to step to one of the V8 engines. The V6 is quite surprising with how much performance is on offer. Step on the accelerator and the V6 moves the Challenger with surprising authority. Power comes on a smooth rate no matter what gear you find yourself in. The eight-speed automatic is one of best in the business with smart shifts. Only disappointment is the V6 doesn’t sound like it belongs in the Challenger. There isn’t that muscular roar when step on the accelerator. A new exhaust and some tweaking in the engine could fix this issue.  As for fuel economy, we got an average of 23.4 mpg. Not bad for a coupe that is rated at 19 City/30 Highway/23 Combined. One item that the Challenger is known for is its ride comfort and this hasn’t changed. Even with the optional Super Track Pak fitted to our tester, the Challenger was able to provide a cushy ride over some of Michigan’s terrible roads. Road and wind noise are kept at very low levels. Speaking of the Super Track Pak, this should be mandatory equipment on the V6 model. With firmer suspension bits, it makes the Challenger feel slightly smaller and reduces body roll around corners. However, it cannot mask the Challenger’s weight. Pushing it around a corner, the Challenger feels quite big and not as nimble the as the Chevrolet Camaro I drove afterward. The Challenger SXT Plus starts at $29,995. Add on a few options such as the Blacktop package and you’ll came to an as-tested price of $34,965, pretty good value for a muscle car. Going with the V6 option in the Challenger isn’t bad a choice. You get the looks of a muscle car and some decent performance. But as I drove the Challenger during the week, I couldn’t help but think about what if I had the V8. Six is good, but eight is even better. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: SXT Plus
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 305 @ 6,350
      Torque @ RPM: 268 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/30/23
      Curb Weight: 3,885.2 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $34,965 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SXT Plus 3.6L V6 Package 21V - $3,000.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,095.00
      Sound Group II - $795.00
      Blacktop Package - $695.00
      Super Track Pak - $695.00
      UConnect 8.4 NAV - $695.00

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