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by Bruce W. Smith
If you want to see the future of U.S. diesel pickup engines, keep a close eye on what’s happening 8,500 miles west of Detroit. Or for that matter, anywhere else but on the North American continent.
We love our high-horsepower, V-8 gas and diesels and big pickups here in the U.S.
But the rest of the world is quite happy driving V-6 and 4-cylinder diesels in mid-size trucks.
That’s why GM, among others, has invested a lot of time and money engineering some of the best little diesels on the planet and doing so on the other side of the world.
Case in point: The 2nd generation 163hp 2.5L and 200hp 2.8L Duramax (MY14) four-bangers just introduced in Bangkok, Thailand.
(GMs Thailand marketing numbers show the first generation in a 4×4 Colorado fuel economy at 25.57 mpg–and the new version is 6% better.)
Both engines will be showing up in the Thailand and Southeast Asian Colorado pickup truck and Trailblazer SUV, two of Chevrolet’s most popular overseas models.
“When we launched the first generation Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines two years ago, both the 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter variants delivered best in class power and torque outputs,” said Nicola Menarini, Global Chief Engineer, GM Powertrain.
“The new-generation, MY14 Duramax engines just raised that bar even further with unprecedented levels of output from a compact and highly-efficient construction. When we were developing the second-generation Duramax engine, outright power and torque outputs were not the main priorities,” Menarini said.
The 2.8L has several new parts, namely a new water-cooled variable-geometry turbocharger, a new high-pressure common-rail fuel delivery system, a new Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, a new intake manifold, a new cylinder head, a new cylinder block, a new balancer shaft unit and a new Engine Control Module (ECM).
The 2nd Gen Duramax fours are also very clean: GM says both engines are Euro-4 compliant and can be upgraded to meet Euro-5, -6 and U.S. emission standards if necessary.
The new Duramax engines were engineered in Europe and the U.S., with global application as one of its developmental objectives. They are being built in the $200 million GM Powertrain Thailand plant, which is their most advanced diesel engine facility.
Will these new diesels see the light of day in the States? You can count on it.
Duramax 2.5L/2.8L Key Components;