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GM Ponders Reviving 4.5-liter Duramax V-8 Diesel

  

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GM Ponders Reviving 4.5-liter Duramax V-8 Diesel

Posted by Mike Levine | June 8, 2010

Last year, General Motors shelved plans to offer a 4.5-liter V-8 Duramax light-duty diesel engine in its half-ton pickups as the market for personal-use pickup trucks shrank, the U.S. economy nosedived and GM went into survival mode by shedding brands and restructuring.

Now, with signs that truck sales and the economy have turned a corner and GM refocused on its smaller product portfolio, some at GM wonder if the 4.5-liter Duramax could be revived to play a broader role, not just in light-duty pickups but in the automaker's revamped heavy-duty trucks, too.

"The 4.5-liter V-8 is fully developed and ready," said Mark Cieslak, GM's full-size truck chief engineer. "[if we decided to offer it] we could launch it in a heartbeat."

Also driving the decision to possibly pull the 4.5-liter Duramax off the shelf are tough new EPA fuel economy regulations for light-duty cars and trucks that are being phased in between now and 2016, and a new push to create fuel-efficiency standards for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks – including pickups over 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight – that would go into effect starting with the 2014 model year. Medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks aren't required to carry EPA fuel economy ratings today.

"Fuel economy is top-of-mind in every vehicle discussion we have today inside GM," Cieslak said. "Every powertrain discussion, we are breathing fuel economy."

That has GM's truck team wondering about using the 4.5-liter V-8 in GM's HD pickups.

"The 4.5-liter V-8 is a legitimate contender for the 2500 segment, but are customers and [the economic environment] ready for it?" said Cieslak and Gary Arvan, Duramax chief engineer.

GM's newly launched 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups feature an updated 6.6-liter LML Duramax V-8 diesel, which GM says is rated a best-in-class power of 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque while returning 11 percent greater highway mileage compared with the outgoing LMM model.

The 6.6-liter V-8 can tow up to 21,700 pounds and haul up to 6,635 pounds, but all that power isn't necessary at the lighter end of the HD market, in the three-quarter-ton 2500 segment.

"[The 4.5-liter Duramax] could get a few miles per gallon more [than the 6.6 Duramax]," Arvan said. "It's a high-performance diesel with a high level of work capability and fuel economy."

The 4.5-liter V-8 might be a better choice for those who don't need maximum capability from an HD pickup but still need a truck that's tougher than a half-ton. It wouldn't necessarily be compromise. It's as strong as HD diesels were just a decade ago and more sophisticated.

"[The 4.5-liter Duramax] would have launched [with power ratings] about where the Duramax was in 2001 when it was introduced," Arvan said.

Like the all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel that Ford introduced in the 2011 F-Series Super Duty lineup, the 4.5-liter Duramax was designed by GM entirely in-house with reversed intake and exhaust relative to a conventional diesel, so fresh air would enter the cylinders from the outer edges of the cylinder heads while exhaust gases would be dumped between the cylinder heads directly into a turbocharger. The design eliminated the intake and exhaust manifolds and other related components, saving weight, reducing size and lowering costs by up to an estimated $600 per engine compared with a conventional diesel. GM promised power ratings for the 4.5-liter Duramax would be more than 310 hp and 520 pounds-feet of torque with up to 25 percent better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine.

Even if the 4.5-liter Duramax cost less than the $8,395 6.6-liter Duramax (including Allison 6-speed automatic transmission), it would carry a higher premium over the standard 6.0-liter V-8 in GM's HD pickups. Offering the 4.5-liter in GM's light-duty pickup trucks too (as originally intended) might help make the business case that finally brings this engine to market.

What do you think? Would you opt for a lower rated, more fuel-efficient engine in your heavy-duty pickup?

link:

http://news.pickuptr...-v8-diesel.html

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GMTruckGuy74    228
What do you think? Would you opt for a lower rated, more fuel-efficient engine in your heavy-duty light duty pickup?

Hell yes!! Nothing sounds better (at least to a truck person) than a diesel. My neighbor has a 2009 Dodge 2500 Ram with the diesel engine and the sound of that thing starting up and driving off is music to my ears. I'd love to have a GMC Sierra 1500 SLE Crew Cab 4WD Diesel :drool:

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z28luvr01    170

Stop pondering. Do it. And offer it as an option on every vehicle that can fit it in its engine bay.

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FAPTurbo    1,096

Build it! And offer it with an Avalanche, GM, and you'll get a sale, right here.

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hyperv6    774

I really don't think there is any ponder to this with the pending MPG regs.

The only issues they will have to consider is the emissions and fuel issues the Goverment may add in the future before they invest a lot of money. The Goverment is really wanting to clamp down even more on Deisels.

The DC idiots want more MPG and then they restrict the best engine to do it.

Now they are pressing busses and semi trucks for more MPG.

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Drew Dowdell    5,169

probably a bit big for the euro market which taxes by displacement. There was a 2.9 litre V6 diesel that was developed but never released as far as I know.

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ocnblu    777

An excellent choice for all the GMT900 trucks and SUVs. Do it, GM.

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ocnblu    777

4.5 for the 900s, 2.9 for the 355s... YEAH!

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FAPTurbo    1,096

from what i've read i think the 2.9 could pull around the 1500's pretty good as well

250 HP and 406 LB-FT

That'd be great in even a 1500, but I have a feeling a lot of possible buyers would be put off by a '4-pot' engine in their big truck.

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smk4565    357

from what i've read i think the 2.9 could pull around the 1500's pretty good as well

250 HP and 406 LB-FT

I'd say so, in the 1990s the Silverado had 255 hp and 330 lb-ft, so the 2.9 is an upgrade over that. Even the gas V8s in the silverado now aren't near 400 lb-ft. And if they did a 3.3 liter V6 based off the 4.5 V8, that could be a diesel with 275 hp and 430 lb-ft.

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That'd be great in even a 1500, but I have a feeling a lot of possible buyers would be put off by a '4-pot' engine in their big truck.

it's a v-6 iirc

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