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    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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    snapback.pngCamino LS6, on , said:

    Diesel is a really good option (the Duramax is a fantastic engine), but it has three problems.

    1) the perception gap - not as bad as it once was, but still there (though unwarranted).

    2) cost - the premium to buy a diesel is just plain too high.

    3) fuel - Diesel prices are not falling along with gasoline, and are absurdly high.

    I have to go back to the idea of an inline 6. They have attributes that (I think) are worth considering.

    1) They are an inherently smooth-running design

    2) They make great torque which is key in a truck engine

    3) MPG

    4) And finally, an inline 6 would set the trucks apart from the crowd a little - and nothing says that it couldn't be turbocharged. The recent Atlas engines were quite well thought of, so the tech is there.

    I agree with all but there are a few issues.

    GM will want to use an engine or in this case a 6 cylinder that could be used in more than one platform and vehicle other than a truck or SUV.

    The Atlas was a pretty good engine but there were issues with it too. While it ran great and had good power it never got the MPG the others in class got. They even played with a Turbo on the I 5 with good results but again no MPG. Add in the cost of the Atlas vs the V8 and GM just could never consider it. It was heavy and to get the front axles in they had to go through the pan.

    I would love to see a well built I 6 but right now there are too many factors against it.

    DI , full VVT, and a turbo or two would address those issues in the Atlas and make it more than a match for the Ecoboost.

    Still does not address the cost of building the engine. The Atlas per GM was not cheap to build. Also there is no where else to use it as it would still would not fit the Colorado or new Trailblazer.

    A new Eco based engine sharing parts and design would be a better way to go. It would be cheaper and lighter by sharing things like rods pistons and other valvetrain parts. Then it would have to be offered in the VF.

    But knowing GM has a twinturbo coming and the fact that the Ford has already proven that people smart or not will pay more money for this type engine means we will not see the return of the inline anytime soon if ever.

    Now truck do need to lose weight and they do have a lot of wasted space. It is sad the 2010 Silverado has less bed length than my neighbors 2000 Dakota short bed.

    While the cab has more room inside as in cubic feet there is still a lot of wasted space in the cab. Also the nose of the truck is massive and has no rea use other than pretending to be a mini semi.

    GM and the others need to come up with a creative package that people will love but make much better use of the space given. This will not be easy as many truck owners have a crazy love for large chrome grills and boxy front ends that do noting to help the truck haul anything,

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    Interesting...didn't know Suzuki or Volvo had I-6 FWD cars...I know Volvo had I-5s (as did Audi).

    Volvo S80 has a 2.9/3.0/3.2 liter I6 mounted transversely

    2013 Volvo S60 has a 3.0t mounted transversely

    Suzuki Verona/Daewoo Leganza as a 2.5 liter I6 mounted transversely

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    Still does not address the cost of building the engine. The Atlas per GM was not cheap to build. Also there is no where else to use it as it would still would not fit the Colorado or new Trailblazer.

    A new Eco based engine sharing parts and design would be a better way to go. It would be cheaper and lighter by sharing things like rods pistons and other valvetrain parts. Then it would have to be offered in the VF.

    But knowing GM has a twinturbo coming and the fact that the Ford has already proven that people smart or not will pay more money for this type engine means we will not see the return of the inline anytime soon if ever.

    Now truck do need to lose weight and they do have a lot of wasted space. It is sad the 2010 Silverado has less bed length than my neighbors 2000 Dakota short bed.

    While the cab has more room inside as in cubic feet there is still a lot of wasted space in the cab. Also the nose of the truck is massive and has no rea use other than pretending to be a mini semi.

    GM and the others need to come up with a creative package that people will love but make much better use of the space given. This will not be easy as many truck owners have a crazy love for large chrome grills and boxy front ends that do noting to help the truck haul anything,

    Meh, GM has done way too much "me-too" thinking over the years. It's much more interesting to think about them innovating and leading for a change.

    Oh, and on the trucks, messing with interior space and feminizing the front styling would just be foolishness.

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    Still does not address the cost of building the engine. The Atlas per GM was not cheap to build. Also there is no where else to use it as it would still would not fit the Colorado or new Trailblazer.

    A new Eco based engine sharing parts and design would be a better way to go. It would be cheaper and lighter by sharing things like rods pistons and other valvetrain parts. Then it would have to be offered in the VF.

    But knowing GM has a twinturbo coming and the fact that the Ford has already proven that people smart or not will pay more money for this type engine means we will not see the return of the inline anytime soon if ever.

    Now truck do need to lose weight and they do have a lot of wasted space. It is sad the 2010 Silverado has less bed length than my neighbors 2000 Dakota short bed.

    While the cab has more room inside as in cubic feet there is still a lot of wasted space in the cab. Also the nose of the truck is massive and has no rea use other than pretending to be a mini semi.

    GM and the others need to come up with a creative package that people will love but make much better use of the space given. This will not be easy as many truck owners have a crazy love for large chrome grills and boxy front ends that do noting to help the truck haul anything,

    Meh, GM has done way too much "me-too" thinking over the years. It's much more interesting to think about them innovating and leading for a change.

    Oh, and on the trucks, messing with interior space and feminizing the front styling would just be foolishness.

    In todays market few companies can afford a few billions in a mistake on a product. Ford took a measured risk with a Turbo engine already used in many other vehicles and it paid off. For GM to use a inline 6 not used in anything else with no demand is a major risk and could lose a lot of money if it fails to sell.

    It easy for you to dream here but to put your name on the order to build a new product is a major issue for not only the person signing his name but also for GM. Money lost could damage other product that could use the money for changes and development.

    The bottom line is the TTV6 is a limited risk vs doing a whole new engine. The Atlas is dead and will not becoming to any vehivcle in the near future.

    On the space and boxy front end. I expexct them all to address this. The package needs to me more efficent if you are going to lose weight. Hell Most of the Semi Companies have learned to make their trucks with smaller and more aero noses. If Kenworth can do it GM and Ford can too. An acceptable ground is out there and they will find it.

    Sorry but you have to keep a dose of reality here and keep risk in mind. Add to this that the Atlas was not a bad engine but it was not a great engine either. I have known many people who owned one and few really shed a tear when they sold it.

    Edited by hyperv6

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    I think his point is that the Atlas is too tall and that without major re-engineering, won't work in anything other than the full size trucks and SUVs, where as the 3.0TT will likely hit the spot on performance and can be used in almost anything.

    I get that.

    I would like to see an Ecotec I6/VR6 plus optional turbo, slanted if need be, that could be used in everything from the Epsilons on up.

    And FWD, transverse, slant engines are out there already. The Camry uses/used a transverse slant 4. That means they could engineer it as a slant engine from the start and use it in both transverse and north/south applications.

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    Point missed - again.

    No I just interjected the reality and economics as part of the dream.

    I am not saying that a I 6 would not cool but when you inject real world business issues it has it's great risks.

    The Atlas was big, heavy, not all that well know or popular, poor mileage [this could be addressed], shares no parts with any other engine, was not used in anything but the Trailblazer or Envoy. Add to that the cost to build it was more than the LS V8.

    So basically you have an older engine that is only good in trucks or SUV's that may cost more to build per unit than the new Gen V that can be sold in many vehicles.

    Now if you engineer a Inline 6 based on the Ecotec and use many of the same valvetrain and rotating assembly. Then design a new block based on the new lightened Ecotec Gen 2 you can use this in the trucks and still spread the cost out with shared parts with all the Ecotec engines that are built. The fact is the Ecotec is the highest volume engine GM makes and one of the best engineered and proven engines they have ever offered.

    The bottom line is the Atlas was dropped for good reason. Cost and lack of the ability to use it in much else. Most companies lay a inline 6 over because they have too in just about any car other wise the cowls of the cars would need to be raised. Even the simple in line Ford in the Mustang is a tight fit but add DOHC to it today and it takes up more room.

    It is fine to dream and want to be different but the fact is companies can not afford to always be different. GM is not out of the woods yet and can not afford to lose large amounts of money on limited use engines if the public does not embrace them. The TTV6 is already proven popular and profitable in the Ford. It would be foolish for GM who already has a very good TTV6 coming not to use it. If it fails it will do just fine in the car line.

    Economics of scale have to always be considered. Bob Lutz even understands this and points it out in both of his books.

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    I never said that I was married to the idea of the Atlas in particular.

    But I think what we've discussed here in this thread shows a surprising potential viability for an inline 6 of some sort.

    As for the dream vs. reality thing, GM had better start setting itself apart from the crowd right now if it wants to survive.

    "Me too" will never get them there.

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    Where's the 2.9 V6 diesel that was developed for Cadillac? That had 400 ft-lb of torque.

    The 3.0TT is coming to the cars wouldn't take much work to make a 3.6TT for the trucks. The hardware is basically the same but use lower boost numbers. I do think that Chevy needs a turbo V6 or Atlas I6 Turbo as an option.

    But mostly l would like to see Chevy do a broad spectrum diesel release. Cruze, 'Nox, Impala, Colorado, and Silverado should all be available with diesel and in the Silverado specifically, a diesel that isn't a $7,000, Heavy Duty upgrade.

    That engine was developed with Venturi Motors as part of Fiat JV. I think Fiat is using that engine in the Jeep and the so called Ram 1500 diesel.

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    I never said that I was married to the idea of the Atlas in particular.

    But I think what we've discussed here in this thread shows a surprising potential viability for an inline 6 of some sort.

    As for the dream vs. reality thing, GM had better start setting itself apart from the crowd right now if it wants to survive.

    "Me too" will never get them there.

    GM Will do just fine with building a better ME TOO for a while. Right now GM is in the mode where they have no great need to take any silly multibillion dollar risk. They have good product and better coming.

    The Me Too thing is all industries anymore. we get one Reality show on the life of cross dressing Amish then we get 5 more from other networks. It is just a sign of a tight market in an even more tight economic time. The difference of being here is just one failed project for many anymore. My company has bailed out many companies in the perfromce area because they took a great risk and failed.

    Once GM gets things done like a Flagship for Cadillac. More produce for Buick and Chevy fully revamped then they can take a look at some risks once the economy improves. Till then they need to put some profits under their belts.

    Even then the risks need to be calculated.

    The bottom line is the Atlas is an old engine that would need a lot of investment, would have limited use and too few people crying for it let alone know about it.

    On the other hand the Cruze Diesel is a risk but is calculated. It is already in great use in Europe and elsewhere. They plan a slow roll out in a Cruze to test the waters and educate the public. Things like this may or may not work but you can still take a risk and limit the damage if it failes or gather the profits if it works.

    The idea of an inline 6 in a FWD is just a poor one right now with most cars getting smaller and smaller. The packaging just has little chance to work even in coming cars like the Impala. Why re engineer all your cars for something that is more difficult to fit when you can come out with the best TT V6 on the market and put it in anything you build now and in the future win no need to redesign anything.

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    And all of those in a coupe. Think of it: a relatively big, comfy American coupe with hidden capability, emphasis on American. Walk softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

    Edited by ocnblu

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    And all of those in a coupe. Think of it: a relatively big, comfy American coupe with hidden capability, emphasis on American. Walk softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

    Would be nice, but I don't see that happening...it seems most Americans today want small, bland silver or white FWD sedans w/ automatics. The coupe market (beyond a small sporty/performance niche and a smaller luxury niche) is dead.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    Be interesting to see the gas mileage on a TT-V6. So many people talk about how great you can get the power of a V8 with TT-V6, yet if you enjoy the power like a V8 the TT-V6 gives worse gas mileage. So be interesting to see what people average in real world driving.

    I know the Turbo EcoBoost by Ford gets lots of praise, but people are also complaining about the mileage which shows if you have your foot into it, your mileage suffers.

    And all of those in a coupe. Think of it: a relatively big, comfy American coupe with hidden capability, emphasis on American. Walk softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

    Would be nice, but I don't see that happening...it seems most Americans today want small, bland silver or white FWD sedans w/ automatics. The coupe market (beyond a small sporty/performance niche and a smaller luxury niche) is dead.

    I disagree with you Cubical. Right now the Coupe market is taking a breather. Just like everything, there is a cycle and people might be focused on families and CUV's but lots of people as kids get out of the house look to have a fun coupe to drive. I know I will be considering one in the near future depending on what is available.

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    And all of those in a coupe. Think of it: a relatively big, comfy American coupe with hidden capability, emphasis on American. Walk softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

    Would be nice, but I don't see that happening...it seems most Americans today want small, bland silver or white FWD sedans w/ automatics. The coupe market (beyond a small sporty/performance niche and a smaller luxury niche) is dead.

    I disagree with you Cubical. Right now the Coupe market is taking a breather. Just like everything, there is a cycle and people might be focused on families and CUV's but lots of people as kids get out of the house look to have a fun coupe to drive. I know I will be considering one in the near future depending on what is available.

    We'll see...it seems like a long term trend as far as coupes going away...a lot fewer now than 10, 20, 30 years ago...

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    Be interesting to see the gas mileage on a TT-V6. So many people talk about how great you can get the power of a V8 with TT-V6, yet if you enjoy the power like a V8 the TT-V6 gives worse gas mileage. So be interesting to see what people average in real world driving.

    I know the Turbo EcoBoost by Ford gets lots of praise, but people are also complaining about the mileage which shows if you have your foot into it, your mileage suffers.

    And all of those in a coupe. Think of it: a relatively big, comfy American coupe with hidden capability, emphasis on American. Walk softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

    Would be nice, but I don't see that happening...it seems most Americans today want small, bland silver or white FWD sedans w/ automatics. The coupe market (beyond a small sporty/performance niche and a smaller luxury niche) is dead.

    I disagree with you Cubical. Right now the Coupe market is taking a breather. Just like everything, there is a cycle and people might be focused on families and CUV's but lots of people as kids get out of the house look to have a fun coupe to drive. I know I will be considering one in the near future depending on what is available.

    The Ecoboost does just fine when you keep out of the Turbo. People want their cake and to eat it too... if you use more pedal, you use more gas, why is that hard to understand?

    I got 27MPG out of an AWD MKS Ecoboost on the highway. That is a great number for a big, heavy, AWD sedan, with 350 hp and gobs of torque.

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    And all of those in a coupe. Think of it: a relatively big, comfy American coupe with hidden capability, emphasis on American. Walk softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

    Would be nice, but I don't see that happening...it seems most Americans today want small, bland silver or white FWD sedans w/ automatics. The coupe market (beyond a small sporty/performance niche and a smaller luxury niche) is dead.

    I disagree with you Cubical. Right now the Coupe market is taking a breather. Just like everything, there is a cycle and people might be focused on families and CUV's but lots of people as kids get out of the house look to have a fun coupe to drive. I know I will be considering one in the near future depending on what is available.

    We'll see...it seems like a long term trend as far as coupes going away...a lot fewer now than 10, 20, 30 years ago...

    True, but this is also due to consolidation in manufactures and the baby boom from the baby boomers. I think Coupes will make a come back as people retire.

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    Be interesting to see the gas mileage on a TT-V6. So many people talk about how great you can get the power of a V8 with TT-V6, yet if you enjoy the power like a V8 the TT-V6 gives worse gas mileage. So be interesting to see what people average in real world driving.

    I know the Turbo EcoBoost by Ford gets lots of praise, but people are also complaining about the mileage which shows if you have your foot into it, your mileage suffers.

    And all of those in a coupe. Think of it: a relatively big, comfy American coupe with hidden capability, emphasis on American. Walk softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

    Would be nice, but I don't see that happening...it seems most Americans today want small, bland silver or white FWD sedans w/ automatics. The coupe market (beyond a small sporty/performance niche and a smaller luxury niche) is dead.

    I disagree with you Cubical. Right now the Coupe market is taking a breather. Just like everything, there is a cycle and people might be focused on families and CUV's but lots of people as kids get out of the house look to have a fun coupe to drive. I know I will be considering one in the near future depending on what is available.

    The Ecoboost does just fine when you keep out of the Turbo. People want their cake and to eat it too... if you use more pedal, you use more gas, why is that hard to understand?

    I got 27MPG out of an AWD MKS Ecoboost on the highway. That is a great number for a big, heavy, AWD sedan, with 350 hp and gobs of torque.

    That is good mileage for the MKS and while you get mileage, you have the power fun factor. So this brings up the long life issue. Right now even in small turbo models that I have driven and this does not include the last few years, but older small turbo's were great till you hit 100K and then ability to move the auto sucked.

    I wonder about the life factor of these small turbo motors. Can they pull 250K or 350K miles on a small 4 or 6 cylinder turbo motor?

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    Speaking as a owner of a a Eco Turbo I can say I bought it with a little reservation on several levels but today I am just crazy about the engine.

    If GM does with the V6 like they did with the Eco it should be a fine engine. The power and MPG I get are great. Just beating around twon I get a solid 25 MPG. Note this is not any hypermile deal either as I drive it to enjoy it. My City was to have been 19 MPG per the EPA listing but I have never gotten worse than 23 MPG. Highway has been 32 MPG at 70-80 MPH. Yes I see 23-24 PSI on on ramps.

    The only negitives are the lack of traction due to the FWD and load transfer and the rock hard Michelin Pilots Chevy used.

    I am just at 25K miles now but I know many on the HHR web site with the SS that have near or even over 100K miles. Very few have had issues.

    The guys who mod the SS have seen it easy to add power and generally the engines take it well. The Transmissions and clutches have been the weak link but these are the old 4 and 5 speed transaxles.

    There have been only a couple turbo failures and all were under warranty. The wastegate on a few also had issues but these were rare. To be honest I have seen less issues on the SS than I saw on the 3800SC Series III.

    From the people I have read who have driven the early TT V6 engines they all have said they have the power of the LS but the MPG of the V6. Now like any engine if you drive it very very hard it can get thirsty but the Turbo engines under normal driving and with the new DI system will get very good MPG.

    We just have to learn what was once true is no longer at issue with turbo engines. Better syn oils, Better quality turbo's and water cooled housings have made trouble pretty much a non issue. GM learned their lessons when they cheaped out on the T type engines. Once they upgraded to the GN engines with the water cooled turbo's they had little issue after that. The early T types were only good for 30K-36K miles and the bearings would die. GM and most other companys will all be using Turbo engines and the will not skimp this time.

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    The Ecoboost does just fine when you keep out of the Turbo. People want their cake and to eat it too... if you use more pedal, you use more gas, why is that hard to understand?

    I got 27MPG out of an AWD MKS Ecoboost on the highway. That is a great number for a big, heavy, AWD sedan, with 350 hp and gobs of torque.

    Beat that with the LS1 in my 2002 Firehawk - just sayin.

    Technical question:

    What is the height measurement of a fully-dressed ecotec?

    And of an LSx?

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    I still think boost eats gas. I mean, people are reporting similar fuel mileage out of the 5.0 and Ecoboost V6 in the F-150. Why are people not realizing that the simpler, relatively understressed engine is the way to go, especially in a pickup truck?

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    I still think boost eats gas. I mean, people are reporting similar fuel mileage out of the 5.0 and Ecoboost V6 in the F-150. Why are people not realizing that the simpler, relatively understressed engine is the way to go, especially in a pickup truck?

    That thinking works as you go larger too, my 2001 2500HD with the 6.0 was a real pig on fuel when compared to the same truck with the 8.1 big block.

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