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GM's V6 is The Little Engine That Can for Five Reasons!


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G. David Felt

Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer


In looking through GM's web site for interesting information, I came across the following story.

Five Reasons Silverado V6 is The Little Engine That Can


As this story states, the recently updated EcoTec3 V6 equipped Silverado is accountable for 20% of sales in North America. This is a 15% increase over last generations model. GM goes on to quote the following five reasons for this growth.

1) Purpose built for pickup use with class leading standard torque and towing. 2014 4.3L V6 EcoTec3 has 285 horsepower, 305lb-ft of torque.

2) For returning customers, comparable performance with much better economy. 2004 4.8L V8 (285HP / 295LB-FT) compared to this 2014 4.3L V6.

3) Saves money at the pump.

4) Innovative technology for every customer. Direct Injection, Variable Valve Timing and Active Fuel Management

5) All new engine with deep strong roots. Engineered on 60 years of small block experience.

GM is offering 2 years / 24,000 miles maintenance, 3 years / 36,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty and 5 years / 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

In reading the full story I find it interesting that they have truly matched the old small V8 engines for performance and a noticeable increase in MPG. With this said, the last 40 years we have seen colleges take the best built parts from the various auto companies and build V6 engines that achieved 100 miles per gallon and V8 engines that achieved 50 miles per gallon. Yet then these technology advances have just disappeared.

One such example of the 100 miles per gallon solution was and is the Viking project that Western Washington University has been doing since 1970. They have to this day pushed for 100mpg cars that people love to drive starting with the Viking 1 and currently with the Viking 45 a 118MPGe car.



Viking Details

WWU now has their entry auto for the X-Prize. It would seem that if only the government would let up on pushing for all the electronic safety devices, we could take a small step backwards to move a considerable step forwards in reducing oil consumption.

So this divergent trip to the College side is what brings up my question of this whole editorial.

Did the government have to pass the crazy gas laws to get the auto companies to produce fuel efficient engines?

Was it possible 10 to 20 years ago to have strong engines with high gas mileage or was it only recently doable due to computer technology?

As some members have pointed out here, if we were to move to high compression small engines running Bio-Diesel or CNG could we be energy independent in a green state as we push towards pure electric?

There is no doubt that the auto companies are making big strides in fuel efficiency. This GM V6 is an amazing engine. Could we have done it 10 years ago making the American auto industry far stronger than it was and avoided financial meltdown of 2007?

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I quite like that Viking 45 concept. Good looking and 118 MPG? Fits my dream daily driver parameters. The program has a very interesting history.

I don't know much at all about engines, but while I suspect we could have had present-day fuel economy ten to twenty years ago, the companies didn't have nearly the same incentive to make them back then as they do nowadays after the War for Oil, the Great Recession, and new CAFE requirements, and all the extra equipment cars carry now.

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I wonder if we had pushed through the initial big increase in CAFE in the early 90's if we would not have had these high mileage cars now 10-15 years earlier.

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I at the very least love modern technology. Were I to still have my 55 Chevy still around, I would be dropping in GM LS series power. When you see the tremendous performance that modern tech can bring, I think the future looks very bright indeed.

Can you imagine how speechless a group of car nuts would be if you could take them from say 1965 and show them the current Chevrolet lineup? Esp. the Corvette, and the prev. gen (C6) ZR1? Or let them drive a modern Escalade?

They would be utterly, utterly stunned and speechless I think. Esp. when the Corvette took a road trip and topped 30 MPG....and then ran off a 200 MPH trip around a track....

The future is bright!

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