Chevrolet has introduced their new Duramax diesel engine for the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado.
It’s been a long time coming, but Chevy finally has a turbodiesel engine of their own. Originally scheduled to arrive later for the 2019 model year, Chevrolet had to push the Duramax back to the 2020 model year on account of some slowpokes at the EPA not wanting to let another diesel scandal through.
But it looks like the wait was definitely worth it. The 3.0-L Duramax inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel has a lot of features that are sure to make it popular with diesel fans, not the least of which being that it’s cheap.
Let’s start with some performance figures. Power is 277 horses and 460 lb-ft of torque, which is better than the 3.0-L diesel you can get in the Ford F-150. That power is extremely accessible, too, arriving at just 1,250 rpm with max torque between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. It also comes mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and features "advanced combustion and emissions technologies to optimize performance and efficiency.”
More on that later, but now it’s price time. The 3.0-L Duramax is priced identically to the 6.2-L V8 but is available on lower trims (the LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country trims to be precise). This means that the Silverado Duramax is way easier to get behind than the F-150’s diesel engine, which requires at least a Lariat trim in 4x4 before Ford will even sell it to you.
Pricing is $2,495 more than the 5.3-L V8 and $3,890 over the 2.7-L turbo. Chevy didn’t mention in their press release if it will require a 4x4 model or if it might be limited to crew or double cabs, but if we pick the cheapest 4x2 LT trim we can get, that means the 3.0-L Duramax will start at around $37,600 excluding destination. That’s almost $10,000 cheaper than a diesel F-150.
As for the Duramax’s tech, it’s a cast aluminum block that’s 25% lighter than an equivalent iron block featuring a variable geometry turbocharger and a variable intake manifold. It also has ceramic glow plugs and Active Thermal Management so that the engine heats up faster and doesn’t need a block heater until it gets down to -22 degrees F (that’s -30 degrees C for you metric folk).
It also comes with an exhaust brake, something you just don’t get on a gas-powered engine.
EPA mileage, towing, and payload figures are still forthcoming, as is availability. We expect the Duramax to go on sale later this summer.