Chevrolet’s new Duramax turbodiesel engine might just be the first pickup motor to get over 30 mpg on the highway.
Earlier this month, Chevy introduced the new 3.0-L Duramax 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine. Originally intended to arrive for the 2019 model year, it was instead pushed back for the 2020 model year as they await EPA testing and approval. It produces 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, which defeats the F-150’s Power Stroke diesel at 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft.
There’s also another number that it might beat Ford at, and that’s mileage. The Ford F-150 clocks in at 30 mpg on highway EPA tests, and although we’re still waiting for the official EPA numbers on the Duramax, Chevy is hinting that initial testing is very promising indeed.
According to Automotive News, GM executive chief full-size truck engineer Tim Herrick revealed that internal testing put the Duramax at somewhere between 30 and 40 mph when being driven at highway speeds (50-65 mph). Testing was performed last week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a highly controlled environment, so this is definitely not to EPA standards, but it’s still a great sign of where the Duramax might land.
Chevrolet also asked assembled media to see how far they could push the 3.0-L turbodiesel engine, with many reporting mileage of over 40 mpg. Still others got in between 30-40 mpg.
We’ll have to wait for the EPA to get back with their final values, of course. If Chevrolet can get highway mileage in the same range as a mid-size sedan then it would be quite the feather in their cap. Especially if they can also secure best-in-class towing and payload as they expect.
We already know the best feature of the 3.0-L Duramax, and that's price. It will cost the same as the 6.2-L V8 engine, which gives prospective buyers a tough decision between the V8's engine noise and the Duramax's mileage. It'll also be available on far cheaper trims than Ford's Power Stroke, making Chevy the easiest truckmaker to get behind a diesel engine.
Expect to see the 2020 Silverado arrive later this summer.