Diesel car sales are on the rise in America, and even GM is getting in on the action with the Chevy Cruze Diesel. But if you ask me, small diesel pickups is where automakers could make some serious money, and engines like the new global Chevy Duramax diesel makes the case all by itself.
Available in 2.5 liter and 2.8 liter variants, this 4-cylinder diesel engine was unveiled by Chevrolet Thailand, where little diesel Chevys are in high supply. GM has improved on every aspect of these engines to deliver more power and torque while consuming less fuel. The 2.8 liter variant delivers 369 ft-lbs of torque (!) and 200 horsepower, while the 2.5 liter model delivers 163 horsepower (no mention of torque).
Both engines will be tuned to a six-speed transmission designed to deliver awesome(for trucks) fuel economy, and could easily top 30 mpg on the highway. It has already been confirmed by GM that two new, smaller pickups will come to the American market in the next few years, and there is the hope that these diesel engines will be among the options.
With competitors like Chrysler and Nissan also embracing diesel engines, but in bigger (i.e. more expensive) full-size pickups, the market for a compact-but-capable diesel pickup is wide open. GM could waltz right on in for an easy win, as long as they don’t price it in the stratosphere like certain other products.
I wouldn’t put it past them though.